Uses for old pillows

January 17th, 2009
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I (finally) replaced my pillow recently and wasn’t sure what to do with the old one. In years gone by, it would have just been dumped unceremoniously into the bin as they can’t be put in with kerbside recycling

This time around it found a home keeping Niki the Wonder Dog a little more comfy. She’s certainly enjoying the added luxury in her dog bed and I saved a few bucks by not having to buy a special cushion for her.

Pillows are rather a bulky product and often filled with synthetic fibers such as polyester. Based on changing a pillow once a year, hundreds of millions of pillows would head to landfill in the USA alone each year.

Most manufacturers state the life span of synthetic fill pillows is six months to two years. Foam and latex pillows last from 5 to 10 years. Whatever the life span, something needs to be done with them once they’ve reached the end of their useful life.

In preparation for re-using pillows, it’s a great idea to use a pillow protector so that the polyester stuffing doesn’t get soaked with a year’s worth of drool :). It’s also a good idea to wash the pillow first before repurposing it. If it’s really far gone and the casing is ripped, you can just wash the filling in a bucket.

Some folks have found a variety of ways to re-use pillows; here’s few suggestions.

- Use the stuffing to make a new soft pillow firm (might save a few bucks)

- Your local animal shelter may be able to use them (check with the shelter first)

- Keep to one side as packing material for your next move

- Use as stuffing in toys

- Use as stuffing in throw cushions

- Stitch the sides and ends together of multiple synthetic fibre fill pillows to make a quilt. Put a nice cover on it of course :).

You don’t *have* to buy synthetic pillows either – there’s quite a few more earth friendly pillow filling alternatives available – many of which you can just compost when you’re done.

6 repurposing tips isn’t really much of a selection, and I’m sure there’s a stack of other great ideas out there. Do you have some uses for old pillows you’d like to share? Please add your suggestions below!


Michael Bloch
Green Living Tips.com
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