A lot of items thrown away in the UK are still fully functional or are only partly broken. If you no longer have use for something, don’t throw it away - consider how to fix it, turn it into something you can use, or who might have a need for it.


If you don’t know how to repair something, you might know someone who does. If not, you could try to learn a new skill yourself, or find a local handyman who could do the job for you. These repairs could be anything from stitching ripped clothing and darning socks, to resoling or re-heeling shoes, to glueing back together pottery or china, to mending a broken whisk, to soldering a fault circuit board. Larger items like bikes and cars can also need repair work to help prolong their lives, but make sure you know what you’re doing with these before you start.

When things have been repaired for the last time or are no longer needed, they can be remade into a myriad of useful and beautiful things.

  • Old clothes can be cut up and used as kitchen roll or fabric for clothing repair. Fabric scraps can also be useful for wrapping your presents in the furoshiki style.

  • Used candle glasses can be cleaned and used as drinking glasses or small vases.

  • You can make artwork from old corks, straws, glass and so much more!

  • Old wine bottles can be made into candle or fairy light holders (or even in to drinking glasses - click here for how).

  • Old toothbrushes can always be used for deep cleaning in the bathroom or kitchen before you throw them away.