recycling icon

Twice is Nice

Reuse, Repurpose, Restore

Reducing your trash begins with what you buy—and don’t buy. Borrow items you rarely use or buy them gently used. Donate or swap used items you no longer need. Buy new products that are made to last and learn to fix and restore them when they break. Seek creative and fun ways to have more for less, while reducing natural resource use, industrial pollution from manufacturing, and our mountain of trash.

Previous Action Next Action
repurpose packaging before recycling

Get Started

Step 1

Borrow or Share

Cost: Free+

bike shares contribute to sustainability

“Today’s products are tomorrow’s resources at yesterday’s prices.”
— Walter Stahel, Father of the Circular Economy

Before buying, consider if you can borrow the item, especially for things you’ll use just once or infrequently and don’t have room to store. Be part of the growing share economy for all kinds of things that you need occasionally, but don’t want to own.


Tools and Equipment

Home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes offer tool and trailer rentals to help you with those occasional jobs requiring a special piece of equipment. From lawn and garden, to cleaning and painting, to basic power tools, if you can buy it, you can probably rent it.

Tools, fishing poles, binoculars, cake pans, and wi-fi hotspots—check out these items free from the Manatee County Library of Things!


Ride Share

Owning your own bike, car, boat, or RV can be expensive, especially when it spends most of the time parked.

  • Bike – The City of Sarasota offers a bike share program with self-service bike rental locations at the St Armands Circle Parking Garage and Downtown Sarasota Palm Avenue Garage.
  • Car – Zipcar membership provides an alternative to car ownership with the convenience of a mobile app. You can also borrow a car or share your car with others through the private car share platform Turo.
  • Boat – Freedom Boat Club and Waves Boat Club provide membership alternatives to owning a boat.
  • RV – Rent an RV or share your RV with others through services like Outdoorsey, RVShare, and RVezy.


Books, Magazine, Music

Whether you’re into hardcover or digital, Sarasota County Library and Manatee County Library have a large catalogue of materials, including magazines, movies, and music, all free! Their convenient mobile apps for digital checkout mean you don’t even need to step inside the library.

Look for these free downloads in your device’s app store (library card and PIN required to access materials).


  • Cloud Library – Borrow and read eBooks and eAudiobooks (Sarasota County Library).
  • Flipster – Browse, search and download popular magazines to read offline (Sarasota County and Manatee County).
  • Hoopla – Borrow movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows to enjoy on your computer, tablet, or phone (Sarasota County and Manatee County).
  • OverDrive – Borrow and read eBooks and eAudiobooks (Manatee County Library).
  • Press Reader – Get instant access to editorial content from global and multicultural publications from over 120 countries in more than 60 languages (Sarasota County Library).


Did you know?

You can leave a book or take a book at Free Little Libraries, pint-sized book boxes popping up in neighborhoods.  Check the map or build one in your neighborhood.

Step 2

Get It Second-Hand

Cost: Free+

upcycle clothing and housewares by shopping at thrift stores
upcycle clothing by buying used





Step 3

Buy Better Stuff, Then Repair and Restore

Cost: Varies

durable tools reduce trash in landfills by outlasting cheaper versions

Say no to cheap, breakable stuff. When you buy new, buy better and more durable things, not disposable. Well-made clothes, housewares, and electronics stay out of the landfill longer, and are easier to fix and restore. Make the most out of the stuff you already own. Learning how to maintain and repair your things also generates satisfaction and self-reliance.


Buy durable products

Look for lifetime warranties and products that come with repair manuals. Avoid products designed with planned obsolescence—an artificially limited useful life or a purposely frail design—forcing you to trash and rebuy.


Learn to FIY (fix it yourself)

Be your own handyman, seamstress, cobbler, electronics engineer, jeweler, and more.

  • With millions of “how to repair” videos, there is very little you can’t learn to fix on YouTube!
  • Search the library of more than 76,000 repair manuals for electronics, appliances, cars and trucks, apparel, and household items. You can also find special tools and parts to FIY.
  • offers 250 free step-by-step repair guides for home systems, appliances, clothing, furnishings, toys, and more.
  • Get free product support on items purchased from including troubleshooting, replacement parts, and user manuals.


Support local repair shops

If you can’t or don’t want to fix your own things, there is someone local who can. Repair and reuse supports local jobs while reclaiming valuable natural resources. Supporting our skilled seamstresses, cobblers, jewelers, and electronics engineers helps keep local repair shops in business so their skills are not lost to the community. A quick search on can reveal the fix-it businesses in your area.

Get Involved

Level Up Your Fix-It Skills

Check out the Adult and Community Enrichment (ACE) course catalogue for repair and upcycling classes, like bike repair, upholstery, picture framing, sewing, and small engine repair.

Join a group for giving and receiving free stuff

Join a local Facebook Group to give and receive free stuff – search for keywords “Buy Nothing,” “Swap Shop,” “Totally Free Stuff,” “Freecycle.”

Take a Class, Volunteer, Attend an Event, Speak Up

Find out what’s happening and join in with our comprehensive community events listing.

Get Involved

Resources and More

Want to Talk to Someone?

  • UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County 941-861-9900 – Website


Ask the Expert

Be the first to submit a question related to reuse, repurpose, restore!

Submit your waste-related question to local experts. If selected, they will answer and feature your question on our FAQ. Not all questions will be answered.

1Step 1
2Step 2