The Fifth R….Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…and When All Else Fails…

April 3rd, 2011

With Earth Day approaching, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the 4Rs (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).

When you look at this brush, what do you see?

Baby Bottle Brush

An old baby bottle brush that should have been thrown out when baby stopped bottles?  Thrown out?!

Didn’t I mean recycled? Well, that would be nice, but unfortunately baby bottle brushes aren’t typically recycled by municipalities…they’re incinerator bound.

So how do you reuse a baby bottle brush when there are no more baby bottles?

Pass it along to someone else in the new baby stage? Sell it at a consignment shop?  Hmm…I don’t know what things are like in your neck of the woods, but here in Bethesda, the odds of a new Mom buying a used baby bottle brush are just about…nil. Although it’s easy to sanitize a baby bottle brush, used baby bottle brushes just don’t pass the ick test…

So here’s where the 5th R comes in to play….Repurposing….

The Fifth R...Repurposing

After all, when the babies are grown, there’s much more time to kick back and enjoy a glass of wine!

What have you repurposed lately?

Leave a comment and share!

— Lynn



11 Responses to “The Fifth R….Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…and When All Else Fails…”

  1. Kristina (The Greening of Westford) on April 4, 2011 7:10 am

    Love this! Unfortunately, I wasn’t as GREEN when the bottles stopped, so I tossed mine. A few years later, I was out buying another one to help me clean out water bottles!

    Recently, I re-purposed tie dye T-shirts I made my kids long ago. They outgrew the shirts, but I couldn’t give them away since I had made them and loved them so much – very sentimental to me. So they became cloth napkins. I like seeing them each day instead of storing them in some bin in the attic to look at once in a while.

  2. Sandy Eckert on April 4, 2011 8:17 am

    I repurposed ruined (hard) paintbrushes as tomato-stakes just this morning!

  3. Lynn on April 4, 2011 10:41 am

    I love it! Who woulda thunk it? Perfect for spring gardening season! Thanks for sharing…you should blog about this too!

  4. Lynn on April 4, 2011 10:44 am

    Kristina, I love what you did with the napkins! AND you gave me an idea for another use for that bottle brush…I hadn’t thought about using it on water bottles, but probably a good idea, huh? I’m a bit housework-challenged! (Did you notice that was my husband’s hands washing the wine glasses, not mine?! :)

  5. Stephanie - Green Stay at Home Mom on April 4, 2011 8:03 pm

    I also use my old bottle scrubbers for my water bottles. Works great since most of the family currently has their own reusable water bottle. Only the youngest doesn’t, and only because she doesn’t need one yet.

    We use old burp clothes as napkins. They aren’t pretty, but they get the job done. We also use empty gallon jugs for watering the garden. They’re like an ugly version of those glass Aqua globes they sell some places, and let us water a lot of our garden more gradually.
    Stephanie – Green Stay at Home Mom´s last blog post ..Are The Benefits of Nuclear Power Worth the Risks

  6. Lynn on April 4, 2011 8:57 pm

    Stephanie, thanks for sharing…I am loving all these ideas! I could do another post on these alone. Yes, come to think of it, we use the old burp clothes as hand towels and wash rags in the family bathroom. (Such elegance, huh?). Well…hand and nose towels for the boys, anyway.

  7. Trish on April 5, 2011 6:45 pm

    Any tips on an old mop? I don’t think it will be accepted at recycling and it is kicked … what to do with it?

  8. Lynn on April 5, 2011 10:03 pm

    Yikes…an old mop. Hmmm..Halloween costume? Witches broom? Center pole for fort?

    I really think I feel another post coming on….!

  9. Hayley on July 21, 2011 5:24 pm

    Ahahah Repurposing. I do it all the time in my house too. There are some stuff that simply doesn’t feel right to throw away. Even an old mop, like Trish said can be used for a witch costume or as last resort for a wood fire :/

    Hayley´s last blog post ..Motivational Images – Top Singers

  10. Lynn on July 23, 2011 12:15 pm

    Very true! And it’s hot enough here to think of witches flying about! :)

  11. Organic and Green Mom Blog | Back to School Shopping: When Green Moms DON’T Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose or Recycle at Organic Mania on August 20, 2011 11:43 am

    […] explain the fact that just about so many “green Moms”  forget all about the Cardinal Rules of The Five Rs (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle) when it comes to their own precious darlings’ return to […]

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