9 Ideas on re-using in a permaculture apartment

Updated: Jun 24

Re-using items is a cornerstone principle of permaculture because re-using items empowers us to obtain a second yield while being more efficient and reducing waste.

Here are some of the ways I re-use things in my apartment. If you have any more ideas then share these ideas below.

Community Resource

I used a free community ask and offer app to get all the plant pots shown in the picture below.

3 people in my local community helped me out with my permaculture project, all of them in walking distance from mine.

What's great is that there's no direct contact needed, I simply arranged a time and picked them off their doorstep. They were so happy to give away something they wanted to throw in the bin!

I used an app called "Freegle" which you can find on the app/play store.

Loose tea/tea bags

Soil loves rotting leaves, in fact, compost was originally called leaf mould. Tea leftovers is a great addition to your homemade fertilisers because you're replicating exactly what would normally happen in a forest. Your plants obtain their minerals from dead leaves. Have a look at this article on how to use nettle tea as fertiliser as an example of how to do this.

Coffee grounds

You can use your used coffee ground to fertilise your garden. They are a great fertilise for plants. If you have an indoor garden then add them to the top of your potting soil and they'll help the soil retain more moisture and will slowly release minerals into your soil. You also add them to a compost pile. Have a read on my article How to use coffee grounds in your small indoor, balcony or backyard garden.

Bokashi Compost

This is one of the best ways you can re-use your leftover food. You can use any kind of food whether it's meat or acidic. The bokashi liquid can be used to make fertiliser for your plants. Have a look at my article here to find out how to use bokashi compost as fertilizer.


Ever since lockdown, my cardboard boxes have been stacking up. Thankfully cardboard boxes can be made into plant pots. Just line the inside with a plastic bag and poke holes through it. Fill this up with soil and begin planting. These work great if you plant indoors or on a sheltered balcony. If they get stuck in the rain then they'll go soggy.

Toilet paper rolls

These are great for starting seedlings in Just put them face up in a tray, fill them up with soil and plant your seeds. Simply take your plants out when they're ready to be transplanted.


Tins are perfect for plant pots. You'll need to drill holes in the bottom first. If you're a plant addict like me you can never get enough plant pots.

Spice jars

I love to refill my old glass spice jars with new spice mixes.

I love nutmeg and cinnamon combo on my oats so I have a spice jar for that, or I make a premade curry or Caribbean mix and put that in a spice jar too.

You could also make dry your homegrown herbs and put them in one of these jars.

Compost bin

You could also have a kitchen table top compost bin. This is another way to re-use kitchen scraps in the home. Here are some compost bin tabletop options on Amazon.

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