Have you got a stack of yogurt containers, microwave meal bowls or a shelf full of empty jars? Most of us keep food containers as we hate to throw them out. We figure that eventually we’ll find a use for them.

Maybe we think a use will miraculously present itself. Or that we’ll meet someone who needs them. Regardless of the reason, we seem to hang on to things that have already fulfilled their original purpose.

So, instead of hanging on to this junk, waiting for some kind of enlightenment, we need to do something with it.

Here are 7 good reasons why we need to reuse, repurpose and recycle when we’re over 60.

Our Homes Are Full… So Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle!

Getting rid of clutter makes us feel lighter, less stressed and more at ease. When we are outgrowing our homes because of the stuff we have, it’s time to get rid of the stuff, not to move to a bigger space.

I don’t mean finding storage space, I mean doing something with it all. The emotional benefits from having a leaner home far outweigh the need to keep things in case we find a use for them.

If your home is jam-packed, you could be experiencing anxiety from the clutter. Check out my Sixty and Me article on Going on a Home Diet in Your 60s for the emotional benefits of downsizing.

When your home is full, it’s time to reuse, repurpose and recycle, to claim back your space and peace of mind.

The Plastic City in the Pacific Ocean Is Enormous

Recycling is so important. It ensures that the items don’t end up in garbage landfills or in the mass of plastic in the Pacific Ocean. When I googled the size of this mass, I found it’s double the size of Texas!

That’s incredible. I definitely don’t want to add to it, and I’m sure you don’t either. Recycling ensures that the items are broken down and used in other products. It keeps them out of landfills and from being duped in the ocean.

Helps Reduce Our Spending

Most of us live on a budget. We shouldn’t spend our money when we can reuse something we already have. Why buy containers when we can use yogurt tubs? Why buy plastic bags when we can reuse the ones we have?

There is a wealth of ideas online on how to reuse so many things, like plastic containers, glass jars, toweling and bedding.

These are just a few of the common things we hang on to, long past their due date. We can save money and reduce unnecessary spending by finding ways to reuse and repurpose.

Keeps Us Busy

You’ll find you’re never bored if you look for ways to reuse and repurpose items found around your home. There are many websites full of ideas, along with videos on how to easily transform the items into more usable things.

It Gives Us Something to Talk About

Talking about repurposing items makes great conversation starters, even with strangers. There are endless interesting and creative ways to make something useful, and it’s fun to talk about this.

Such discussion and the sharing of ideas usually sparks more discussion on how to transform other things. And this gives fuel for continuing and new conversations, and new ideas, and more discussions…

Provides an Opportunity to Be Creative

You’ll surprise yourself with your ideas on how to transform your clutter. Let your creative juices flow. Maybe you’ll never actually transform the objects, but you’ll have fun thinking about it. You may find that your creativity is uplifting, and that you enjoy coming up with creative ideas.

You may even start to feel very proud of yourself for being so innovative. Being creative is a wonderful way to help reduce depression, loneliness and stress. We can all use a lift as we get older. A bit of positive energy goes a long way to make us feel good about our day.

Connects Us with Others

There are so many groups and clubs trying to help reduce our garbage footprint. If there isn’t a group in your area, start one. Put up a sign in the local supermarket, senior centre, or on a local Facebook page. Find others trying to make a difference.

You’ll be surprised at the number of seniors interested in helping out. It’s a good reason to have a weekly meeting at the local coffee shop, to come up with ideas, plan activities, and make a difference.

You could even prepare a presentation to give in your neighbourhood, maybe at a nearby senior’s home. Share suggestions for reusing and repurposing to enlighten others on how they can get involved and make a difference.

We all need to get involved with this. When I think about how much I love yogurt, I now have visions of towering stacks of my used yogurt containers.

It’s mind-boggling when I realize the garbage footprint I’ve had on the planet. My own garbage would probably be a mass the size of a city. It’s like science fiction when I think about this, but it’s not, it’s all real.

I’m trying as much as possible to reuse and repurpose, and to recycle my waste. I’m making cat and dog toys with discarded clothing and bedding, making grocery tote bags from dry food packaging, and composting all my food waste to use as fertilizer in my garden.

How do you recycle, reuse and repurpose? Are you committed to reducing the amount of waste in your life? Are there any community groups in your area focused on recycling? Please share any tips you have found helpful in your journey to recycling.