By reusing products and packaging, it prolongs the useful life of materials, thus delaying final disposal or recycling. Repairing, refurbishing, washing, or recovering older products, appliances, furniture, and building materials saves natural resources and money while giving the products a new life. A few ideas include:

  • Reuse food containers, ziplock bags, and aluminum foil. If not recycling your margarine tub, then reuse to send your leftovers home with guests.
  • Donate to and shop at thrift stores. Also check out garage sales, estate sales and flea markets. Don’t feel bad about regifting – it’s environmentally friendly.
  • Use the back side of paper. You’ll get twice as much paper for your money, and save some trees.

The important thing to consider when you want to reuse is that creativity is king. Creativity also provides the opportunity to be thrifty by reusing what you already have for new, innovative purposes.

 repurpose items  

Here is a list of local charitable organizations to donate your gently used items:

Baldwin Center – Pontiac
A safe haven in Pontiac that provides clothing among other items for homeless and low-income people in Pontiac

Church of the Holy Family Clothes Closet – Novi
Christian Service Ministry that provides clothing assistance plus other services to low income families, regardless of faith background, in Novi and surrounding areas.

Community Sharing Outreach Center – Highland
A non-profit organization that helps the recently unemployed, working poor, families in poverty, low income seniors and those with disabilities.

Encore Upscale Retail – Southfield
29080 Southfield Rd, NE corner of 12 Mile and Southfield
(248) 552-1555

Goodwill Locations  

Canton (between Haggerty & Lilley)
41937 Ford Road
(734) 981-1692

Dearborn (corner of Michigan & Military)
22451 Michigan Avenue
(313) 228-5927

Commerce Township (off Haggerty, north of 15, in front of Meijer)
3281 Crumb Road
(248) 859-5927

Woodhaven (West & Allen Roads – in front of Meijer)
20080 West Road
(734) 301-3902

Livonia (96 & Middlebelt – in front of Menards)
12651 Middlebelt Road
(734) 245-0115

Purple Heart – serving Oakland County
Free pick-up of clothing and household items that can be picked up by one person. ie, no heavy furniture.

Salvation Army – Southfield
26235 Greenfield Rd (south of 11 Mile)
(248) 552-9585 or 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825)

St. Vincent de Paul – Free in-home pickup of gently used household items
(313) 393-2930 or 1-877-ST-VINCE (1-877-788-4623)

Detroit (Van Elslander Center)
3000 Gratiot Avenue
(313) 393-2870

Madison Heights
28720 Stephenson Highway
(248) 206-5644

5395 Dixie Highway
(248) 623-2780

The Furniture Bank – serving Oakland County
(248) 332–1300

Vietnam Vets – serving Oakland County
Free pick-up of clothing, household items, and small furniture.