Save them from the rubbish bin

Barry The Sock Monkey ANL-140527-144858001
Barry The Sock Monkey ANL-140527-144858001
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THINK GREEN by By South Holland District Council’s waste and recycling officers Samantha Gibbons and Laura Simpkins

This week we are looking at re-use, which means “re-using” things that are otherwise destined for the rubbish bin. This could be for their original use or for something completely different.

Next time you are having a clear out and you find unwanted items; have a think if they could be reused.

Re-use is fantastic for lots of reasons. Re-use extends the life of items, which saves natural resources, reduces the amount of waste sent for disposal and can often save you money!

Here are some tips to inspire you to start re-using at home:

Don’t dispose of jam jars. Instead, wash them out and use them for storage. Jam jars are perfect for storing seeds or all those loose nuts and bolts you’ve been meaning to do something with.

Use reusable bags, rather than ending up with hundreds of plastic carrier bags! With shops starting to charge for carrier bags this could save you money too.

Shred your old newspapers to use as pet bedding or how about using them to make biodegradable seed pots?

Where possible, repair, or have repaired, household products such as shoes, clothes, electrical items and furniture.

Re-use items by sharing within your family. Passing items such as clothes, books and furniture on to other family members is a good way to start reusing.

Take unwanted clothes and household items to charity shops or jumble sales. You could even hold your own Swishing event, an eco-friendly clothes swap!

Re-use comes in lots of different forms; upcycling is when discarded objects are reused to create a new product, or improve an old one, resulting in an item of higher quality or value than the original.

There are a lot of inspirational upcycling ideas you can find on the internet, and here are just a few ideas you can try out at home.

Paint an old set of wooden draws in white paint and then sand them down to create an antique look. This is a great way to refresh furniture and could save you a lot of money!

Use old wine bottles as candle holders. The melted wax running down the outside of the bottle adds a decorative touch.

Use a pair of old socks to make a sock monkey! There are patterns available online or contact Laura for more details on 01775 761161.

Re-use is vitally important. Recycling is fantastic, but by re-using objects you avoid creating waste in the first place. As well as re-using your items you can also choose products which have been specifically designed to be re-used. Some great examples are re-usable canvas bags, rechargeable batteries, and real nappies.

Re-use can be really simple, and is a fantastic start to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle!

Please recycle after reading.