Reuse is the second most important “R” in the Waste Management Hierarchy.

Reusing requires us to think about how items could be reused, both at the time of purchase and as the item approaches the end of its useful life.  Reusing is nothing new for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians – for generations it’s been a smart, common sense part of life.  Reuse means using a product to its full extent.  Think about whether the materials you throw away can be used again, either by yourself or by someone else.


  • Pack a waste-free lunch: use a fabric lunch bag or lunch tin, a refillable water bottle, reusable sandwich and snack containers, reusable cutlery and a cloth napkin.
  • Stock your kitchen with cloth napkins and hand towels instead of paper towels and napkins.
  • Enjoy coffee or tea in a reusable mug; request a ceramic mug when enjoying a beverage at your local coffee shop.
  • Keep reusable grocery bags somewhere you’ll remember – in the front porch or trunk of your car.
  • Invest in small mesh bags for produce instead of using plastic bags at the grocery store.
  • Keep a compact shopping bag in your purse or car for unplanned shopping trips.
  • Use a coffee press or reusable coffee filters.


  • Shop at second-hand stores for furniture, clothing, accessories and household items.
  • Donate textiles and household items to thrift stores.
  • Hold a clothing swap or baby gear swap with friends.
  • Sell items you no longer use online, at a flea market or have a yard sale.
  • Use social media groups to find and post second-hand items.
  • Sell used building materials online or donate to a local charity.
  • Donate furniture that is still in good condition to a local charity.


  • Mend holes in clothing and socks.
  • Alter clothes that don’t fit quite right; do it yourself or bring it to a tailor.
  • Make fabric gift bags of various sizes that can be used among family members for birthdays or Christmas year after year.
  • Make toys and crafts from discarded household items. Odd socks, mittens and gloves are a great start for making cute stuffed animals.
  • Make gift tags from Christmas, birthday and other greeting cards.
  • Save gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons, gift wrap and gift boxes to use again.
  • Reuse brown paper and brown paper bags for gift wrapping.