Clever Ways to Upcycle in Your Kitchen

Every single minute, 120,000 aluminum cans hit the recycling plant here in the U.S. 

While we’re ALL for recycling, there’s a way to take it a step further and give many tossed aside items a new purpose in your home – and that’s through the power of upcycling!

Your recycling bin, garbage can, and heck, even the compost pile are a goldmine of items just waiting to be reused. From empty food containers down to old banana peels, everything has the ability to be repurposed, and it’s easier than you might think.

Read on to learn how you can transform your household "trash" into treasure, all while saving time and money in the process.

Food Jars

Let's start out with an easy one: food jars! Chances are, you’ve recycled your fair share of marinara sauce jars in your day. We’ve been there – actually, we’re STILL there – but instead of sending them on their merry way to the recycling plant, we’re here to help you extend their lifespan.

Glass food jars and containers are truly the ultimate storage item, making the upcycling possibilities endless.

Glass jars can be used for things like:

  • Containers for condiments, homemade sauces and jams.
  • Vases for flowers. 
  • Storage for refrigerated produce to extend their lifespan.
  • Unique drinking glasses that will wow visitors.

Just a warning: there’s a high probability that you’ll end up with a couple kitchen cupboards entirely dedicated to old jars waiting to be reused. But hey, you can never have too many glass jars in our opinion!

Aluminum Cans or Tins

Yep, we’re talking about all those empty Energy+ cans that you’ve hopefully (fingers and toes crossed) been recycling! 

While aluminum cans can be recycled an infinite number of times, it doesn’t hurt to give them a new life before they get reincarnated into a fresh can. Here are a few creative ideas:

  • A planter for your herbs.
  • Storage for kitchen utensils, pens, pencils, or other household items.
  • A container for homemade candles.
  • A DIY bird feeder.

Check out our TikTok for a clever way to turn old Riff cans into candles. We call them *drumroll*... can-dles! Pretty genius, right? 

Cardboard, Banana Peels, and Coffee Grounds, Oh My!

While cans and jars are typically the most common thing ending up in the recycling bin, there are still endless possibilities for the smaller items.

Here are some ways you can get creative with everything from product packaging to food scraps.

  • Egg cartons can be used as planter to grow seedlings in.

  • Cardboard boxes can be reused as gift packaging. Hint hint: a great way to reuse those Riff cold brew boxes.

  • Banana peels can be transformed into nutrient-rich fertilizer water for your houseplants. Check out this tutorial on upcycling your banana peels before they head to the compost pile. 

  • Coffee grounds can be reused as a natural cleaning scrub or a skin exfoliator.

  • Empty condiment bottles like ketchup containers can be transformed into a pancake squeeze-bottle for the perfect pancakes.

  • Leftover lemon peels are the ideal ingredient for an all-purpose kitchen cleaner.

    As you can see, the possibilities are truly infinite when it comes to upcycling at home, and an item’s lifespan is only limited by our imagination.

    Let us know if you have any other creative ways to repurpose household items and help cut down on waste!