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reduce REUSE REPURPOSE recycle

By Jenn (TinyChoices.com) | December 27, 2007

CD spindle bagel carrier holderMy favorite of the Three R’s has always been Reuse, because this principle requires no additional materials nor life modifications. It takes what we’ve already got and keeps it useful and relevant– no need to process anything nor buy anything new– just reuse what’s handy.

I also think that this R is a multipurpose R, because Reuse is interchangeable with Repurpose. The glass jar becomes a water bottle. The tin can becomes a vase. The single sock becomes a dusting rag.  The empty wine bottle becomes a rolling pin. The seashell becomes an ash tray becomes a change catcher becomes a soap holder. You know.

And here is one of the most awesome instances of repurposing I’ve seen to date: one person’s trash is another person’s recycling is PWKA’s bagel carrier. A CD spindle bagel carrier! No more disposable sandwich wrappers! No more bagel-sandwiches-falling-apart-in-too-big-tupperwares! The end to a lifetime of bagel-sandwich agony.

The big question is, do we want to put our food in used CD spindles? Commenter il lobo wrote: “plastics of cd spindles are PP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polypropylene) so they are food-safe, maybe after a dishwasher clean.” Commenter mailbrucelee countered, “aren’t cyanides used in the manufacture of CD-Rs, which may leak out into the case itself?” So my question is this: is there really a difference between food-grade polypropylene containers and non-food-grade polypropylene containers? Or are all polypro containers the same? Or do we just need to consider what the containers were storing, and the potential toxins associated with those items?

In the end, this is just another plastic item which will be around in one form or another for the next good bit of eternity, because plastic never disappears. It’s best if we can avoid its production/purchase altogether (I think CDs are sold in spindleless packs, but I can’t locate any online). And, myself, I believe in the benefits of avoiding plastics for food storage, so I don’t necessarily think this is the healthiest idea around. I guess I’m just tickled by this creative reuse of a resource-intensive yet single-use item, something that we’re told to discard but really does fill a good niche.

S’more repurposed items:

Do you have any repurposed items which you just love to bits?

[Link via NotMartha]
[Image by pwka via Flickr]

Topics: Food, Home, Waste | 13 Comments »

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2008-01-02 06:03:35

[...] reduce REUSE REPURPOSE recycle [...]

2008-01-02 11:26:33

[...] Tags: craft, handmade, repurpose, reuse I love a recent article in the Tiny Choices blog, “reduce REUSE REPURPOSE recycle“. I don’t care if you call it repurpose, reuse, reclaim, remake, refashion or [...]

Comment by Valerie
2008-01-03 23:18:29

Love the idea of “repurpose” Personally, as an artist I think it helps people think outside the box to look at materials and things in alternate ways and how to use them otherwise. Cool.

Comment by Jenn
2008-01-04 16:57:08

Hi Valerie! I totally agree with you… I’m a huge fan of reusing/repurposing materials in my crafts. It also just feels more fun to do that, rather than go buy all new materials for any given project… that’s, like, so easy! Anyone can shop at Michaels! But to find a crafty use for a burlap sack, orange thread and 2′ of striped ribbon… ;)

Comment by Cat Laine
2008-01-20 09:41:43

Hi Jenn,

You might be really interested in this UK blog: http://www.recyclethis.co.uk/

It’s basically a site with “creative ideas for reusing and recycling [actually mainly repurposing] random stuff” from holiday tinsel, to old cigarette packs, to windshield wiper blades, etc. etc. Good fun.


Comment by Jenn
2008-01-21 00:18:02

Hey Cat! That looks like a fun and useful site– looking forward to diving into it– thanks for passing it along!
ps- love your blog, and glad to have you here!

2008-05-22 06:02:07

[...] CD spindle sandwich holder [...]

2009-10-19 12:06:58

[...] This idea courtesy of TinyChoices.com and can be found here: http://tinychoices.com/2007/12/27/reduce-reuse-repurpose-recycle/ [...]

Comment by CCC Joann
2010-01-26 21:29:32

We took a vintage 40’s Vornado fan that was no longer functional and converted it into a working lamp. We’ve kept it’s original vintage look. Adding the lamp conjures up thoughts of vintage Hollywood spotlights. We’re really proud of this project. It’s ready for paint right now. Here’s a link to some progress pics with more to follow as the project as completed.


Comment by Papermaking
2010-02-06 16:14:59

Awesome article! Do you enjoy papermaking?

- John

Comment by Michael E Gruen
2010-02-13 18:51:05

I was about to write a full-length blog post on this idea (with nearly the same title), but you summed up the idea nicely.

The only thing I’d like to contribute is that this idea of repurposing can fall far outside just the little things (or the tiny choices).

For example, see this: http://www.thehighline.org/

2012-01-22 12:41:38

[...] spindle. I saw this re-purposing online, and just had to share it. You can use an old CD spindle as a bagel sandwich container. No more [...]

2012-01-23 02:57:11

[...] spindle. I saw this re-purposing online, and just had to share it. You can use an old CD spindle as a bagel sandwich container. No more [...]


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