Hey there! Have you heard people talking about reúsa lately? It seems to be popping up everywhere as more people jump on the sustainability bandwagon. But what exactly is reúsa? Simply put, it’s the practice of reusing items and products rather than throwing them out after their initial use. This idea has taken off in places like Brazil, where reúsa shops are popping up to give used goods new life. The goal is to cut down on waste and get more use out of the stuff we buy. Reusing and repurposing helps conserve resources and reduces pollution from manufacturing new products and materials. In this article, we’ll explore the reúsa movement, where it came from, and easy ways you can embrace a reuse lifestyle. Let’s dive in!

What Is Reúsa?

Reúsa is a Portuguese creole language spoken in Cape Verde. It emerged in the 15th century as Portuguese colonists and African slaves came into contact on the islands. Reúsa blends Portuguese vocabulary with West African syntax and grammar.

Its Origins

When the Portuguese first arrived in Cape Verde in 1460, they encountered no indigenous population. The islands were uninhabited. As the Portuguese established colonies and plantations, they brought in African slaves to work the land.

With diverse ethnic groups forced together, a new language developed that combined Portuguese with various West African tongues like Wolof, Mandinka, and Fula. Reúsa became the main language of communication between colonists and slaves, and later spread as a native language among the general population in Cape Verde.

Its Characteristics

Reúsa retains much of the phonology and vocabulary of Portuguese, but its grammar and syntax are mostly West African. Nouns have no gender or number. Verbs do not conjugate based on person or tense. The syntax is subject-object-verb, unlike the subject-verb-object pattern of Portuguese.

Vocabulary and expressions are distinctly Cape Verdean. Many words come from Portuguese sea travel and the plantation system. Musical genres like morna and coladeira are part of the cultural heritage, expressed through reúsa song lyrics and poetry.

Reúsa remains an integral part of Cape Verdean identity, even as the islands globalize. Most Cape Verdeans are bilingual, speaking both reúsa and Portuguese in their daily lives. While reúsa originated through oppression, today it is a source of pride in a shared cultural history and connection to West African roots.

The Benefits of Reúsa

Reúsa has so many benefits, it’s hard to know where to begin! First, it’s an eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastics. By reusing containers, you reduce waste and your environmental footprint.


Reúsa containers are also super convenient. They come in all shapes and sizes, from small jars perfect for snacks or cosmetics to large canisters ideal for pantry staples. Once you invest in a set, you’ll have storage solutions for just about everything. And because the airtight lids keep items fresh, you can prep ingredients in bulk and store leftovers for days.

Cost Savings

In the long run, reúsa can save you money. Rather than constantly buying disposable plastic bags, wraps and containers, you make a one-time purchase of reúsa products and use them for years. Reúsa also allows you to buy ingredients in larger sizes since you have ample storage space. And there’s no waste, so nothing gets thrown out or spoiled before you can eat it.

Stylish and Multipurpose

Reúsa doesn’t just keep your kitchen green and organized, it looks great doing it. The sleek glass containers elevate any space. And reúsa isn’t just for food—you can use the jars and bottles to store everything from q-tips and cotton balls in the bathroom to craft supplies, office materials or laundry essentials.

By switching to reúsa, you gain an eco-friendly storage solution that streamlines your space, saves you money and reduces waste. For your wallet, your home and the planet, reúsa is a win all around. Now isn’t that something worth reusing?

How You Can Participate in Reúsa

Reduce What You Buy

The simplest way to take part in reúsa is to buy less in the first place. Before purchasing something new, ask yourself if you really need it. Could you borrow the item from someone instead? Or maybe there’s a reusable alternative, like using cloth napkins rather than paper ones. Reducing consumption is the best way to cut down on waste.

Reuse What You Have

Get into the habit of reusing things when you can. Use both sides of a sheet of paper before recycling it. Donate or repurpose old clothing, furniture, and other household goods. Carry a reusable water bottle, coffee mug, and shopping bags. These small acts make a big difference over time.

Recycle and Compost

When an item can no longer be reused, recycle it. Most communities offer recycling pickup services or drop-off centers for paper, plastic, glass, and metals. You can also start your own compost pile to recycle food scraps, yard trimmings, and other organic waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden.

Spread the Word

Share information about reúsa and its environmental benefits with family and friends. Set a good example through your own actions and choices. You might also get involved in local community efforts like organizing a park or beach cleanup, hosting a clothing swap, or advocating for improved recycling programs in your city or town.

Together, these small steps can significantly decrease the amount of waste in landfills and incinerators. And by making reúsa a habit, you’ll do your part to conserve natural resources and build a sustainable future for everyone. Every little bit helps!

Reúsa Programs Around the World

The European Union

The EU has been a leader in reducing single-use plastics and promoting reúsa programs. In 2019, the EU banned single-use plastics like cutlery, plates, straws, and cotton swabs. Many EU countries have implemented reúsa programs, where customers pay a small deposit for reusable containers, then get the deposit back when they return the container. Germany’s reúsa program is considered a model for the rest of the world.


China is making major efforts to reduce waste and pollution. Many Chinese cities have banned single-use plastics and straws. Reúsa programs are popular in China, especially reusing plastic and glass containers. Many restaurants and food stalls in China allow customers to bring their own reúsa food containers and charge less for the food. Some cities offer rewards or deposit refunds for reusing containers.


Kenya banned single-use plastic bags in 2017 and has one of the strictest anti-plastics policies in the world. The reúsa movement is growing in Kenya, especially reusing bags, bottles, and containers. Many Kenyans carry reúsa bags and water bottles with them every day. Local groups and businesses are promoting reúsa programs through social media campaigns and community events.

While reúsa programs are making a difference around the world, more work is still needed. Making reúsa containers convenient and affordable, educating people about the benefits of reducing waste, and passing stronger policies against single-use plastics can all help spread the reúsa movement. Every small change makes a difference in creating a sustainable future for our planet.

Reúsa FAQs

There are common questions about what reúsa is and how you can use it. Here are some answers to your FAQs:

What is reúsa exactly?

Reúsa is the Spanish word for “reuse”. It refers to the practice of using materials or items more than once, in order to reduce waste and make the most of resources. Reusing things helps the environment by conserving raw materials and reducing pollution from manufacturing new products.

What types of things can be reused?

Almost anything can be reused if you get creative. Some common examples include:

  • Plastic or glass food storage containers for leftovers or organizing small items.
  • Plastic bags as trash liners or to pick up after your dog.
  • Empty jars as vases, pen holders, or kitchen storage.
  • Old t-shirts as cleaning rags, quilt squares or braided rugs.
  • Used cardboard boxes for storage, mailing packages or craft projects.

How do I start reusing more in my daily life?

It’s easy to make reusing a habit. Here are some tips to get started:

• Choose reusable over disposable when possible. Use a water bottle instead of buying bottled water. Carry reusable bags for shopping. Use real plates and cutlery instead of paper or plastic.

• Repurpose items you already have. Get ideas online for turning old t-shirts, jars or boxes into something new. Kids can get involved in craft projects reusing materials.

• Donate or repurpose instead of throwing away. Have a yard sale, donate to a charity or repurpose the materials. Someone else can benefit from items you no longer need.

• Recycle what you can’t reuse. As a last resort, recycle paper, plastic, glass and metals so they can be made into new products. This keeps waste out of landfills.

• Spread the word. Share information about reusing and repurposing with family and friends. Work together as a community to reduce waste and help the environment. Every little bit makes a difference!

Reusing materials is an easy way for all of us to minimize waste and do our part to conserve resources. Make reúsa a habit and encourage others to do the same. Our planet will thank you!


So there you have it, the basics of reúsa. Now you know that reúsa refers to the practice of reusing and extending the lifecycle of products, reducing waste and promoting sustainability. It involves conscious consumption, repairing, sharing, and upcycling. Start looking at the world through a reúsa lens. See opportunities all around you to reuse things creatively. Share what you learn with friends and family to spread the reúsa mindset. Little by little, our actions can add up to make a big difference. Reúsa reminds us that we all have a role to play in caring for our planet and each other.

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