Re-using plastics is the best way to reduce the use of recycling.
Here are a few handy tips:
- Cut your large plastic drink bottles in half and use the top halves as little greenhouses (tops off) for the seedlings you are growing in your veggie patch. Cut or drill holes in the bottom halves and use them as pots to plant seeds or seedlings in.
- Another option for your plastic bottle halves is ‘self-watering’ pots. Add water to the bottom half and turn the top halves upside down, add soil or potting compost to it and then fit it into the bottom halve so that the water keeps the soil/compost moist.
- Tear up paper and cardboard into small strips and layer them in your compost heap. The cardboard and paper will breakdown slowly to make a good organic compost.
- Make seed trays from your egg boxes. Grow seedlings by adding seeding compost or good soil to each egg section, then plant the seeds of your choice from the McGregor’s seed range. Once the seeds have germinated, you can plant the whole egg carton or split the sections and plant them separately. The carton cardboard will be biodegrade when it is in the soil.
- Don’t just crush up your aluminium foil and put it in the bin. It can be cleaned and re-used.
- Jam jars can be re-used in many ways. Remove labels and clean them thoroughly. You can sterilise the glass by putting them in the micro-wave for a minute (ensure you remove the metal lid!). They can then be filled with your homemade jams or pickles. Large jars make great airtight containers for your dried foods.
- Other uses would include to get your children to paint the jars and fill them with trinkets cut a slot in the lid and use them as money jars.
- You can also use them as pencil/pen holders.
- Think about using wine bottles as candle holders.
- A more creative option for wine bottles may be to build a wine bottle wall or fountain…….search online for examples!
- Don’t throw bubble wrap away, because you are sure to need it to wrap something fragile in the future.
- Even old carpet, rugs and blankets of natural materials are useful; they make good weed mat in your garden.
- Old tooth brushes are very useful for cleaning hard to reach places like around your taps.
- If you have plastic bags, and they are clean, take them with you next time you go to the supermarket and use them again.
- Always rinse out the items and containers before you put them in the recycling bin. This will avoid contaminating the whole bin with food or other residues, and it will prevent your recycling bin from smelling and help prevent attracting rodents, flies or other pests.
- Before you put anything in your recycling bin think ‘is there something I could use this for?’. Think creatively.
Stay safe and look after the planet.01 March 2024