recycling update

Recycling update

The first week of this month saw National Recycling Week with the plea to us all to recycle just one more thing. I know that there’s more we can do as a household to reduce waste but we’re working on it. Here are some of our favourite reuses for things before they end up in the recycling or rubbish bin:
  • We generally use cloth nappies and washable wipes for Baby D so don’t often have need for nappy sacks. When we do, plastic packaging does fine. Packaging for bagged supermarket veg (salad etc), the packaging loo roll/nappies come in, plastic mail packaging…sure it then goes to landfill but at least it gets one more use before it does.
  • Yoghurt pots make good candle moulds, or cloches for young seedlings. Sometimes we cut the bottom 4-5cm off and use it as a holder for plant pots with drainage holes in if we’ve got them indoors.
  • We use just an empty jam jar with the lable soaked off to store our toothbrushes and our dishbrushes. I like its simple rustic look. Every now and again we pop the old one in the recycling and divert a new one from its route there.
  • We once found a lovely pine bunk bed ladder in a skip. We use it as a shoe rack!
  • Old newspaper or paper bags line our food waste bin.
  • We avoid takeaway coffee cups as a rule but there’s the odd occasion where we fail. We make a hole in the bottom and use them for seedlings.
  • Tights and socks beyond repair get used for stuffing, as do tiny fabric offcuts and thread offcuts from sewing.
  • I’m right now making a mobile for Baby D out of old CDs and a metal ring that had broken off from our kitchen bin.
  • And here’s a piece of recycling art! My husband found the desk fan in a bin at his work and brought it home to see if he could fix it. Unfortunately he couldn’t but he did save some of the electronic components for his It-Might-Be-Useful-One-Day box. I saw potential for a flower, and here it is!


A few months after starting our Plastic Chauffering Service, my estimate is that on average we get a carrier bag of empty TetraPak cartons and plastic pots/punnets dropped off almost daily. So about 6 carrier bags weekly. I initially felt a little disappointed about this amount but worked out that’s about 25 carrier bags a month and over 300 per year which equates to a huuuuuge pile of plastic rescued from landfill!!