Friday, February 22, 2008

Waste Less, Be Creative. Part II

In part II I’d like to focus on creative part of being green. Certainly we can’t buy all eco, organic and green stuff. What to do in those cases? Well, as an eco person I found myself rather creative in finding new ways for non-recyclable things.

Let’s have a look at some creative ideas.

Protect car seats from muddy or wet clothing (it’s good for newspapers, as recycling them it’s not recommended).

Stuff in leather shoes to preserve shape (it’s better than using shoe trees made of wood, or plastic. Newspaper is also a good deodoriser).

Stuff in wet shoes overnight to dry and deodorize.

Crumple and place in suitcase for couple of weeks to remove stale odours.

Stuff hats to keep their shape.

Stuff leather handbags in storage.

Wrap around candle bottoms so they'll fit holders tighter.

Cover store windows when remodelling.

Dampen and spread over window-panes before painting.

Use to dry and polish window after washing.

Stuff under doors and in cracks to stop cold wind fromcoming in.

Use as a bounce reflector when taking flash photographs or use to reflect sunlight into shadow areas.

Sharpen pencils by rubbing the point on newspaper.

Spread out between garden rows to discourage weeds.

Use to wrap green tomatoes to ripen.

Cover plants during a frost.

Use as a mat for wet darkroom photographs.

Put under car wheels when stuck in snow, mud or sand.

Shred and use for packing breakables.

Wrap and store Christmas tree ornaments.

Crumple (no colours) and place in plastic containers to eliminate odours

Other everyday objects
Transform a plastic ice cream tub into a flowerpot.

Turn used tires (not steel-belted) into children's swings or other playground equipment.

Plastic soda bottle uses: Make a disposable funnel from the top half Cut a scoop from the bottom half, Or use the bottom half as a plant "greenhouse."

Other eco using
You can even make your own packaging peanuts! Use real popcorn, and the recipients can sprinkle it in their garden for the birds.

Plastic grocery bags make excellent small trash can bags and are great to take with you for cloth diaper and/or accidents for babies and toddlers.

Paper grocery bags are a cheap way to cover schoolbooks.

Toilet paper rollers make great craft items.

Good heavy foil can be washed and reused time and time again.

Worn out clothes can be used as rags or saved for quilt squares.

Newspaper is great for cleaning windows and mirrors. You can also use newspaper if you have indoor pets.

Leftovers: Stop throwing them out. If you don't want them the next meal, freeze what is left after a meal. Use on those days you don't feel like cooking, or make a soup or stew.

Boxes make great storage containers, mailers, and play towns for the children.

Plastic milk jugs can be used to store water in for sudden power outages, water for plants, etc.

Small plastic water or soda bottles are great for freezing water in and taking with you on a shopping trip. This saves a lot of drink purchases while you are out.

Old mouse pads can be cut into sections to make coasters.

Last words
Only the imagination is the limit, but I’m pleased to hear other tips for converting non-recyclable things into eco stuff. Feel free to post the as a comment.

Set yourself a challenge of not how much you can recycle but rather how little you can throw away. Remember how resourceful the older generations were in wartime collecting piece of string and anything they can put to good use.

The point I'd like to add is, don't be afraid to take packaging back to the shop or supermarket where they came from. This is a real pain for the store but it will send out a message that they really need top think about reducing waste and excess packaging.

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