Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reusing materials

We can make a difference to the environment by reusing more of what we already have.

Most things that we buy or bring into our homes can be used for more than one purpose, like using empty jam jars to store small items like screws and nails or empty ice cream cartons to store leftover food.

Making and transporting new goods requires energy and involves extracting and processing raw materials. Throwing away old items can cause unnecessary landfill and pollution.

We can also make considerable savings for the environment (and often our wallets too) by buying some things second-hand. You might need to look a bit harder to get the perfect item, but charity shops and many websites are crammed with second-hand bargains.

Benefits of reusing items

  • Lessen the pollution and greenhouse gas emissions associated with landfill, and help to make Scotland a cleaner, greener place to live
  • Cut the financial cost of disposing of waste
  • Support jobs for people in Scotland
  • Reduce how much you spend and find handy solutions to your challenges at home

Find reuse centres near you

Check out Revolve, Scotland's national reuse network.

Find out more

Three things you can do

Does an item no longer serve its purpose? Then why not look for a new way to use it? A lot of the stuff we get rid of can instead be saved and adapted to suit another task. If you’re a keen gardener, use carpet offcuts to cover the compost heap or turn old tyres into planters.

Reuse it

A good clean or a lick of paint is sometimes all it takes to give an item a new lease of life. If you can't reuse it yourself, someone else probably can. Look for a local member of Community Resources Network Scotland to uplift items for reuse.

Repair it

If you can't mend it yourself, find someone locally who can by searching online or looking in the phone book. For bigger repair jobs around the home, source a reputable local tradesperson online using Trustmark.

Donate it

Take things you no longer need to your local charity shop and make sales, donations and purchases online using sites that allow you to exchange, donate, sell and buy second-hand items.

Things that you could donate

  • Clothes and other textiles
  • Shoes and boots
  • Furniture and household items
  • Books, games, toys, CDs and DVDs
  • Prams, cots and other outgrown baby equipment
  • Mobile phones and chargers
  • Prescription spectacles
  • Electrical goods (not all charity shops can accept these, call to ask first)
  • Even old cans of paint can find a new home