Refuse. Reduce. Reuse. Repair. Recycle. Rot

This is a place to collect, share, and request information and resources to help us Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Recycle. Please add your own suggestions to this wiki!



  • Take reusable bags to the grocery store.

  • Unpaper Towels This is one set of instructions I found. There are many others. I recommend using your favourite search engine to see lots of different instructions and use those which suit you best. (Please share the ones you find particularly effective here.)

  • Paper Products made from bamboo or recycled paper. If you check out you can find the following products:

    • bamboo toilet paper
    • recycled fibre (books and office paper) toilet paper
    • bamboo tissues
    • bamboo and sugar cane paper towel
    • Dream Cloth (70% FSC certified cellulose/30%repurposed cotton)

    No inks, dyes or scents are used and there’s no plastic in the packaging. We’ve tried the bamboo toilet paper and it’s as good as any product we’ve bought from Willie’s. We’ve also tried the bamboo tissues and they are fine but I find them a little rough as I’ve become used to Puff’s lotion infused tissues.

    Check out the website for prices and more information on the company. They say they use 50% of their profits to build toilets and improve sanitation around the world.

    Pomme de Terre Foods is now carrying toilet paper. Added August 2022.

  • Gift wrapping alternatives. Things that can be reused, for example, gift bags, fabric & ribbon etc. rather than paper you throw away.
    How to wrap gifts in fabric Furoshki style

    Nic’s sister is a big fan of using things like calendars and maps to wrap gifts. Anything which has lots of pictures, in fact.

    Also see notes on stone wrapping paper below in the recycling section

  • How to Make Your Own Reusable Menstrual Pads from wikiHow

  • Reusable menstrual products This organization, Be Girl, is working to get products to women and girls around the world. If you buy their products it makes items more affordable elsewhere. (You can also donate to their work.) To find other companies’ products just search for ‘reusable menstrual’ and many items appear.


  • From, Sustain My Craft Habit, on youtube How to make T-Shirt Yarn using the Whole Shirt in a Continuous Strand.

  • How to Hand Crochet (Finger Crochet) a Blanket with Simply Maggie on youtube. This might be a good project to use the t-shirt yarn on.


If anyone knows a local business offering to do repairs please share the information here.


As we learned from our waste meeting Friday 21st February 2020 this is not as effective a way of dealing with waste as we might have supposed. Please consider, of all the things we might do to reduce our impact on the environment, this is just one step above putting items in the trash. (As of 21 Feb 2020 recycling disposal is cheaper than trash disposal.)

Stone wrapping paper is being advertised as eco-friendly, water-resistant, recyclable, reusable, and it cuts like butter! From personal experience I can say if definitely cuts like butter, is very robust (so potentially reusable if you don’t rip open the present!) and enjoyable to use. We bought Christmas wrapping paper like these from The Paper Source We had to search to find recycling information and apparently it’s best done by returning the product to the manufacturer but we couldn’t get The Paper Source to give us that information. So not really recyclable. We’re not even sure if it’s safe to add it to the recycling. Check out this article from Wired for more information. The product does not use trees as it’s based on limestone but it does incorporate HDPE a common plastic. So not petroleum free. @Susan_Gilbert


Also see our composting resource page

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Over winter break I turned some old flannel sheets and pajamas into reusable replacements for tissues and paper towels. We go through so many tissues and paper towels in our house and this has really helped us cut back!


I was googling ‘how to make a flannel’ a couple of days ago as I thought surely I could make one from an old towel. (Yes you can!) I discovered that in USEnglish it’s called a wash cloth and that there is a whole world of using towels/flannel/sheets/tea-towels etc to make things. The whole replacing paper towels with unpaper towels is a revelation. WOW!!!

I’ve started taking my PdT cloth bags for bulk items to Willies to replace the produce section plastic bags. I don’t really have enough so I’m contemplating making my own from muslin fabric I have.


Craft, climate, and linguistic discoveries in one! Yay @Susan_Gilbert!

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