r/ZeroWaste is a subreddit dedicated to sharing information to help users reduce their impact on the environment by producing as little waste as possible. Many posts in the group are recommendations for long-lasting, reusable products to buy, or users seeking alternatives for items they find wasteful.
But there are also threads seeking suggestions for repurposing belongings that users no longer want, giving them and others the chance to keep benefiting from unneeded items while minimizing the amount of waste they send to the landfill.
In this post, the original poster shares how they just bought new dishes that they hope will last for decades — and they now need to decide what to do with the old ones, an incomplete set that they didn’t feel they could sell.
“We’re down to 3 dinner plates (one with a pretty sizable crack that gets worse with microwaving), 7 side plates, and somehow still have all 8 original bowls,” they say. “Any way to reuse, repurpose, donate, or anything else that means they don’t end up in the trash?”
Commenters had a wide range of suggestions. One of the most popular was to list them for free on Craigslist, NextDoor, or a Buy Nothing Facebook group.
“Anything that isn’t actual garbage is usually very quick to go,” says one. Others suggest in-person thrift stores like Goodwill.
Some ideas were more creative. “I brought incomplete dish sets into my office to encourage others to use real dishes instead of paper plates,” says one commenter.
Plant lovers also chime in. “I use old plates and bowls to catch water or set under pots to protect surfaces,” says one, while another suggests, “Any broken ones you could break into smaller pieces and use for drainage at the bottom of your plants’ pots!”
Another user rattles off several suggestions, including “paint palettes or glue gun trays or drip trays, bowls for catch-alls/trinket dishes, dice trays.”
And one particularly adventurous Redditor says, “I have a gravel driveway. Whenever I have a plate/ bowl/ mug, chip, or break, I find a spot in my driveway that needs a little fill and smash it there… And no, I’ve never ruined a tire by driving off it.”
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