In addition to recovering old usable tools from thrift stores (and learning to use them), here's my current re-using list. (I post these hoping that someone in need of a good, recycling-based business idea will run across them!)
- Clothing fabric. Americans throw away an average of 68 lbs of clothing a year. We clothe entire nations in our cast-offs, while buying new ourselves. I was at an event where there were these wonderful, classic patterned quilts. The friend I was with asked about them, they're made in a factory from new materials. There's just something wrong about making a classic quilt from new materials instead of re-using the ones you have...
- Newsprint - Okay, yes. It can be composted ground up into pulp. But what about another use before that? What about turning them into take out containers? (Maybe with a food-based wax coating...)
- Greeting cards. I am experimenting with making wire-bound journals from these, preferably with recycled wire.
- I need a plastic container swap. My local recycling company doesn't take #5 plastic and I have a small box of lidless containers and container-less lids. Seems like someone could collect 'em, match em up, run 'em through a sanitizing dishwasher and then sell them... as used of course.
- This is more of a reducing thing than a reusing thing, but supporting local dairies that still deliver milk in re-usable glass containers. The market for plastic recycled milk jugs is incredibly, depressingly small.
- On a similar tangent, EcoDragon, which used to make woven hemp shoes without glue, seems to have disappeared. If the plans were available somewhere, it seems like there are fibers that could be recycled into woven shoes.
- CDs and cases. No ideas here, but they're ubiquitous and durable. Seems like something could be done with them... Hey... how about a purse lined with a t-shirt to keep things from falling out? They can be broken, what about cutting or drilling them?