Breathe new life into old objects and reduce landfill waste by diverting leftover odds and ends that would be relegated to the dumpster into useful items. Call it repurposing, call it recrafting, call it creative reuse, or call it trash transformed. No matter what you call it, this concept of “cradle to cradle” is one of the tenants of green living. It means that a product’s lifecycle doesn’t have to end up forever rotting away in a landfill. It can be endlessly reincarnated into useful items.

We EcoNesters talk a lot about purging clutter, living slower, donating and thrifting, and living minimally. So, this post is going to take a different tact. It isn’t going to tell you that hording some things isn’t such a bad idea. In fact, hold onto those scraps.

But, wait a minute … scraps are junk, right? Not so fast. Scrap items can be put to use and given a “life after waste.” In fact, the end products of materials are often called salvage. That’s a great word for things that are “saved from the ruins” and eventually end up in Dumpsters.

If you’re like me, you’ve got all sorts of scraps hanging around just ready for a new practical renaissance of sorts. Think of it as part of the transformation of renewal for living a more resourceful life.

Scrap Renewal Projects

1. Yarn
If you read my posts with any regularity, you know that knitting is my number one DIY project of choice. Yarn scraps abound in the needle world, and this pin cushion from Craft Leftovers via the Craftzine blog is perhaps one of the best uses I’ve seen for small amounts of yarn scraps.

2. Wood
Keep those wood scraps out of the burn pile and make a beautiful and unique scrap wood cutting board from Instructables.

3. Fabric
I love wrapping gifts using fabric. Here is a pattern from Purl Bee to make an easy, little drawstring bag that could become the perfect packaging for gift giving.

4. Paper
While cardboard furniture has been making the DIY design rounds lately, I’m not sure how comfy these things are to sit on. This bowl, by A Little Hut that is created using scraps of magazine cuttings seems more useful.

5. Plastic
Not being much of a plastic user or a soda drinker, I don’t have a lot of plastic recycling hanging around, but this is truly one of the post amazing things I’ve seen using tossed plastic: This plastic kayak shown here at Gizmodo with DIY instructions from Instructables is outrageous!

6. Glass
I’ve had a case of severe chandelier envy. You can read about it here and here. So, when I found this outdoor glass chandelier over on Casa Sugar crafted from recycled glass jars, it lit my fire.

This story was written by Ronnie Citron-Fink. It originally appeared on Care2.com and is used here with permission. Visit Care2.com to discover more than 5,000 ways to enhance your life — from holistic health and wellness to pets and family life, the experts at Care2.com share great tips for living a healthier, happier and more sustainable lifestyle.

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