Don’t forget that Earth Day is this Friday!
As an international student, now is the ideal time to start thinking about how you can help the world we all share by learning to reduce, reuse and recycle. To help you get into the swing of things, this Earth Day we thought that it would be fun to take some old items around your dorm, apartment, or home and rework them into something you can use again! To make things as easy as possible, most of these fun ideas don’t require tape, glue, a green thumb or much foresight. Our list is filled with everyday items and our suggested purpose or activity is just as simple.
Ready to get started? Here’s our list of easy ways to repurpose around your dorm:
- Old Newspapers – You’ve likely heard of using old newspapers as wrapping paper, but what about order elimination? It’s pretty simple. Just crumble up some old newspaper and place it in a pair of sneakers! Within a few hours you will notice the smell become fainter and soon the newspaper will eliminate the smell completely! Here’s another trick: in addition to your shoes, stick a few pieces of newspaper in your refrigerator for odor elimination. If your sneakers and fridge already smell squeaky clean, give yourself a huge pat on the back, and take some newspaper to a nearby window for an instant fingerprint-free shine!
- Leftover Wrapping Paper – There always seems to be just an extra foot or two left at the end of a roll of wrapping paper, which at least in my house means that it would sit at the bottom of my closet collecting dust, but no more! Leftover wrapping paper can be shredded and made into decorative confetti, or it can be scrunched up and used as padding for a fragile ‘care package’ for your family. If you don’t need any confetti or packing materials, get creative by using wrapping paper to line a drawer in your desk or kitchen. A pop of color or a festive pattern can do wonders for a small space!
- Glass Food Jars – Do you remember that jar of spaghetti sauce you bought last week? Instead of throwing the container away after making dinner, simply rinse it with some water, take off the label and use it for storage! Tall jars can be cute for collecting your markers, pens and pencils, while smaller jars are ideal for organizing office supplies, like paperclips or rubber bands. If you are feeling extra crafty, give your old jars a new twist by adding a coat of paint or a quick dip in some glitter – no one will ever suspect your organization was all thanks to a trip to the grocery store.
- Used Coffee Grounds – Believe it or not, there are a variety of interesting uses for coffee grounds – none of which require a trash can. Wet or dry coffee grounds are actually a great way to clean dirty pans and (even kitchen counter tops) in a jiffy! Simply toss some coffee grounds on the surface that you would like to clean and scrub with a damp sponge. If you’d prefer a household cleaner for your pots and pans, coffee grounds can also be used to repel snails, slugs, and even ants. Simply sprinkle old grounds wherever your little critters to ensure they don’t come back. Perhaps best of all, this natural repellent won’t have the traditional bleach-smelling odor (score!).
It’s important to remember that everyone is responsible for their effect on the planet we all share, and now is as good a time as ever to get involved and do some good for our earth; at the very least, put on a pair of gloves and plant a tree for future generations to enjoy! Earth day is currently celebrated by more than 193 countries around the world, but oftentimes requires someone
Do you have a reduce, reuse or recycle tip or idea for us? Leave a comment with how you plan on making this earth Earth Day a success.