How to reuse your toilet

Filed in Blog by on July 29, 2009 7 Comments
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Share your innovative reuse ideas with us!

Share your innovative reuse ideas with us!

We all know the 3R’s mantra by now and the fact that they are in the order of reduce, reuse, recycle for a reason.

Reducing saves more resources than reusing, which saves more resources than recycling.

We’ve covered a lot of reuse ideas on our site, such as turning old plastic bottles into slug deterrents, making seedling pots from toilet roll inners, reusing glass jars,  and then we talk about more simple things such as reusing envelopes and packaging.

All of these can save landfill waste, resources and help save us money.

It’s the really ‘think outside the box’ ideas, however, that capture my imagination. The ideas that are born from a moment of creativity or inspiration.

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about Junktion, who take ‘junk’ out of context and create unique, stylish and functional items from it; such as their reading lamp created from an old telephone. While on holiday in Devon we saw a washing machine drum used as a planter, Mrs A has done all sorts of pretty things in her  garden with old plastic wheel barrows and wellies, but our friend Sarah from Ethics Trading has really taken things one step further with her toilet habits.

When her toilet was taken out of her home, she didn’t send it to the landfill.

Neither did she have it crushed to make a new road.

No, she kept it and grew strawberries in it.

Sarah from Ethics Trading; I wouldn't ask to use the toilet if I were you

Sarah from Ethics Trading; I wouldn't ask to use the toilet if I were you

I mean, who wouldn’t?

I’d love to hear some of your creative reuse ideas! And if you’re on to something good, why not head over to Peter’s Junkk site; you might be able to win a prize for your suggestions!


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (7)

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  1. Peter says:

    As we’re on matters ablutive, thanks so much for the ‘plug’!


    In all our fun and games getting new stuff on the ‘ideas’ section (many of which you kindly suggested, such as URL hyper links and auto photo resizing), and uploading to a new server, a very old incarnation of the site was uploaded last week and it seems your system seems to have cached that.

    So please may I direct one and all to With luck also highlighted/hyperlinked in my name, too, above, by memory

    We’re still working on some gremlins, as it seems to be quite slow to load on some browsers (ironically my Mac on Safari is getting an error, but PC/FireFox is OK), so do bear with us!

    The competition has been extended to August, so there is plenty of time!

    I’ll certainly add your post to our ‘Pooh Corner’ feature:)

  2. Peter says:

    Further to the above, I have tested the links I added in my first post and they do work… but still erratically. I think some attempts are going via Mars. If you see a message about ‘nodes’, then that’s a case of ‘no nodes is bad nodes’ and I am really sorry. I have sent an urgent request to the IT gooroos to try and resolve it all asap. Apologies if you need a few attempts to access until we’ve sorted it. Meanwhile if you need any uses for torn out hair… we of course keep all that my wife gets using the number 3 comb for me and the boys, and we’re told it’s good to lay around plants to scare away deer. How it works with cats, slugs or foxes I’ll need to check:0

  3. Sarah says:

    hah! We do have working, flushing, clean toilets indoors too so you can still use those….

    The strawberries in there are the tiny wild ones and we needed to keep them separate from the larger ones further down the garden. I’ve seen salad grown in similar containers, or toilets used like hanging baskets with things trailing over the sides. You could use a bath as a bog garden, or drill holes for drainage and use it as a raised bed, same with the top part of sinks.

    @Peter: Yes, cut hair is fab against slugs and snails and it does compost down eventually. Any chance of a link to Ethics Trading in Pooh Corner?

  4. Peter says:

    @Sarah: By all means, but better than Pooh Corner (that’s just a link on the site and blog for anything numbers 1 & 2 related that still makes my twins giggle). In fact anyone is welcome to a listing on the Junkk diRE:ctory if they do nice things by the planet that also helps the public/consumers. Even commercial (for now:). email me at info[at] and I’ll send a proper invitation to upload.

    Mrs. G, sorry to hijack your site! I don’t think you are on there either so feel free to get in too!

    ps: we’re delaying the newsletter to give the IT guys a chance to root out the gremlin, but do get your plastics idea up next month. You are in with a chance at present… trust me (no I am not rigging it as I am dropping out as a judge because some familiar names have entered and I am preparing the entrants list – just… not that many yet).

    pps: I have now uploaded the composting idea using an old dryer drum, and will be making a combo lawnroller/composter out of a dual system soon. Re-reuse!

  5. Ohh, that’s pretty cool! I wish I’d thought of that before we threw out our old cracked toilet.

  6. Mrs Green says:

    @Peter: I’ve now changed the link, Peter – sorry to hear of all the difficulties with your site; things like that are so frustrating. I’ll enter the comp again, but I think I deleted all the photos from my computer as I’d all but given up!
    Don’t worry about ‘hijacking’ the thread – it’s all in a good cause and it’s great to see us all supporting one another.

  7. Peter says:

    @Mrs Green: Tx for your patience and graciousness, Mrs G:)

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