Choose Reuse: Give Items a Second Life…

  • Repair It. Check out I Fix It for free repair manuals for thousands of items.  They even review items based on their ability to be easily repaired.  Attend one of our free community Repair Cafes to help people get in touch with the value of their consumer goods.
  • Upcycle It.  To “upcycle” is to take an item that was previously garbage and turn it into something of higher quality and different purpose.  An example of this is creating new home furniture from old barn siding lumber, or funky pouches from fused plastic bag trash.
  • Donate It. Donate unwanted items to charity.  Go to Find a Reuser/Recycler to learn where to reuse.
  • Sell ItCraigslist and eBay are reuse in action, providing people easy ways to sell, buy, or trade used goods. Consignment stores now exist for clothes, outdoor gear, books,furniture and decor to make some money for your unwanted items.
  • Give It.  Give unwanted items to friends, family, neighbors, or check out Freecycle for freebie reuse opportunities.
  • Redo It. Repurpose, refinish, or reclaim outdated items.  Often it takes just a fresh coat of paint or turning something upside down to see it in a new way and find a new use for something.


Choose Reuse: Instead of Disposables BYO…

  • Water bottle. Find or purchase a durable and refillable water bottle for staying hydrated with our delicious Central Oregon tap water.
  • Coffee mug. Use a travel mug for your coffee and other beverages while also saving money. Coffee shops usually give a 5 or 10 cent discount for bringing your own cup.
  • Shopping bags. Say neither to paper or plastic with reusable, washable cloth bags for grocery shopping.
  • Produce Bags. Once you get into the bag habit, it’s time to think about ALL the bags you use at the grocery store. Reuse bread or produce bags or buy/make smaller bags for your produce or bulk needs.
  • Bulk Containers. Forgo plastic altogether and reuse your glass jars to fill up in the bulk aisle.  Stores will weigh containers while empty so you just pay for what you put in them.
  • To-go Container. When dining out, bring your own reusable to-go container for any leftovers you don’t finish.
  • Growler or Growlette. If it’s one thing Central Oregon has a lot of it’s beer, and the best way to package it is in your own reusable growler or growlette.  In addition to all our breweries keep an eye out for the growler refill stations popping up around Bend.


Choose Reuse: Before You Buy New…

  • Tools & Equipment. Before buying higher end items that you don’t plan on using everyday, can you borrow it from a neighbor or friend?  The sharing economy is upon us with online tools popping up all over to help strangers and neighbor share, rent, borrow.  Check out this page on Collaborative Consumption listing known share sites and let us know if any one in particular gains any traction here in Central Oregon!
  • Building Materials. Construction and demolition materials make up a large portion of our overall waste. By reusing things like lumber, doors, windows and fixtures, we can keep things out of the landfill. Check with your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore or find one at the Find A Reuser or Recycler.
  • Sporting Goods. When getting into a new sport its best to test out gear to make sure you like it.  This is especially key for children as their growing bodies lend themselves to updating every year.  Check out local resale gear stores, Bend Craigslist, and yard sales to keep up your need for outdoor gear.
  • Clothing. Styles change with the season, but clothing doesn’t have to go to waste. Shop consignment stores, hold a clothing swap with friends or give them new life by hemming or altering. Old clothing can be made into rags or even upcycled into fun accessories. Form a Facebook group with friends to post items you are ready to part ways with.



DIY Upcycling Projects

Upcycling is the practice of taking material that has no value in its current state, and turning it into something that does.  Some entrepreneurs are turning discarded material into a business venture. Local business SaraBella turns plastic bags into fashionable bags, purses, pouches, and even dresses. Green Guru Gear, out of Colorado, makes backpacks, bike panniers and […]

Green Holiday Tip #8: Think Outside the Box

My husbands grandparents have a Christmas tradition that I discovered the first one I spent with them.  Upon tearing into the wrapping paper of my present it was like the music stopped and everyone looked at me.  What no one told me was that they have been reusing wrapping paper for years, some of it […]

Dare to Repair

Let’s change our relationship with our stuff. Too often we buy it cheap, toss it when it breaks, and quickly replace it with the next new thing. It’s not our fault really – we’ve grown up with planned obsolescence for most of the stuff we own. But it’s time for that to change. One way […]