Homestead Recycling: Important Reasons Why You Should Be Doing It

Homesteading is all about being frugal, saving money, and being resourceful. So it only makes sense that homestead recycling plays a large part in your day to day activities also.

Have you ever stopped to think about how much the average person wastes each day that could be repurposed or saved for better use later? If you haven’t, go take a ride to a local landfill! Be prepared though! It is quite a disappointment when you see what people consider trash!

The local landfill

But you as a homesteader do not have to fall into that category! And do not fret, you won’t become a hoarder either, I hope. No, instead, let’s talk about some great ways to start reusing what we have, reducing the waste we make, and recycling everything we can instead.

Think Outside the Box

Being a homesteader means we must be creative sometimes and think outside the box. But how do we do this? This is where homestead recycling comes in.

Have you done a remodeling project recently, say a new kitchen for example? Did you replace that sink that was too small? Do not throw it away! Use it for an outdoor kitchen, or hook it to a water hose and use it near your vegetable garden to wash produce as you harvest.

Find out the many reasons why it is so important to practice homestead recycling on your homestead and get tips to get started doing so too.

That old Formica kitchen countertop can be turned to a craft table or a countertop elsewhere. And those old cabinets can be used in a shed or a garage.

How about that dresser you could not wait to get rid of? Can it be turned into nesting boxes in the chicken coop? Or how about using those drawers to hang on the wall for nicknacks? You have just started homestead recycling!

Dresser to nesting box
We turned these two dressers into nesting boxes.

Homestead Recycling Means Using Natural Items Too

It is not just household items that can be reused. Vines, tree branches, and stumps can all be reused. Think about ways you can put them to use again for your homestead recycling project. Check out my DIY Herb Rack I used to dry Tarragon or watch the video here!

I have made bird feeders from a hollowed-out stump, and the birds love it. I have made fencing for my edible garden with cut branches from our woods. And I have quite a few wreaths I made when we removed some old woody vines from the woods next to my home.

Wreaths I made from the vines in our woods
Wreaths made from vines we cut in our woods

Be creative, use up what you have. Think about another purpose for what you have on hand.

Use Your Skills You Have Learned

If you have skills in welding, wood carving, construction, and others, reusing and recycling is even more advantageous. Using your skills means there are even more possibilities for that “scrap” we tend to make and find around the household.

If you can weld, for example, why not take those 3 pieces of leftover rebar and make a teepee stand with a hook to hold your Dutch Oven over an open fire so you can cook outside. Or turn that old trailer gate into a grill surface for outdoor cooking with your cast iron pots?

Open fire grate
We turned a trailer gate into an open grate to cook on.

If you have a decent skill at carpentry, why not turn those pallets into a compost bin or a fence around your vegetable and herb garden. Pallets are a great homestead recycling resource for any homestead and really deserve their own post!

Compost bin and fencing
Our pallet 3 bin composting system and fencing made from long branches.

Repurpose Things as They Are

Not everything needs to be adapted completely or disassembled to be used when homestead recycling. Some items can be used just as they are but for a completely different purpose.

A great example is a swimming pool. I had a big above ground pool for years when the kids and grandkids were here. However, after they moved we stopped using it. Then the pump went bad. It sat for awhile in the back yard.

Swimming pool turned into a fish pond
We turned the pool into a fish pond

Now with some ingenious thinking, it is a catfish pond. We added a small floating aerator, some plants in pots that are weighed down with rocks, a few catfish and voila! A pond. I even have baby frogs hatching in there and recently somehow a few lily pads showed up.

Another recycled project we did was to turn an old washing machine drum into a small fire pit. We simply removed it from the washing machine, placed it over rocks and added sticks to burn, It is going on 1 year and still holding strong.

Firepit made from a washing machine drum
We recycled our washing machine drum into a firepit

Final Thoughts on Homestead Recycling

There are so many creative ways to practice homestead recycling on the homestead. You just need to use a little creativity and think outside the box. Do you have some ideas to share? Share them in the comments below! Feel free to add an image too!

In the meantime feel free to download my Homestead Recycling Ideas FREEBIE below for more ideas of ways to start recycling on your homestead!

Homestead Recycling Ideas freebie image


  1. So many neat ideas! I admit I’m not creative in seeing things in a new light with a new purpose. It’s something I could work on and find some new projects made with “old” things around the garden. I’d love to have a produce wash stand; need to find something to make a sink out of.

    1. Author

      You can make a produce sink out of a reclaimed kitchen sink, an old washbasin with plumbing attached to a water hose, or even just a bucket on a stand with a small table next to it and bring over the garden hose.

  2. Ok, I’ve done the firepit and the produce sink, I want to do the pond! I have the pool and can buy the aerator but where do you get the catfish? All I can find is super expensive.

    1. Author

      Go fishing! That’s what we did!

  3. What great ideas, Annie!

    I am so with you on reusing and recycling things as much as possible, and I actually love the look of upcycling things.

    Thanks for the great list and for sharing with us on the Homestead Blog Hop!


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