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The Great 'Are you a re-user - what items do you reuse for max value?' Hunt



  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,968 Forumite
    Homepage Hero First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    We use the tube from toilet rolls and kitchen rolls to start our stoves instead of buying fire lighters, also use collected news papers to start the stoves off.
    We have several builders who we have made friends with who are happy to drop off at our house old broken pallets and wood off cuts from building projects to use on our stoves.
    We use ice cream tubs for storing home made meals in our freezer.
    We flush our down stairs loo with rain water from the water butts we have just outside our back door. We also water all indoor plants with rainwater not tap water.
    We feed cooked potato peeling to out hens and ducks.
    We compost all the hens and ducks staw and hay not to mention their droppings too!!!
    We fill the hens and ducks water bowls with water from the water butts too.
    We recycle all of our egg boxes and the ones that have seen better days and are getting rather tatty are used to start the stoves.
    We cut up old t-shirts and use them as dish cloths or dusters.
    We keep all our xmas and birthday cards (picture side) to use for shopping lists and for making notes on.
    We collect jam jars from the neighbours recycling containers (with neighbours permission) to use for home made jam and chutney.
    We made 2 nice table cloths and 2 chair covers from a duvet cover which we bought at a car boot for £1.
    That's all I can think of for now.

    Happy recycling everyone x
    **3.36 kWp solar panel system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solaredge Inverter **Biomass boiler stove for cooking, hot water & heating **2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing - **Hybrid Toyota Auris car **1 ex-battery hen - RIP Pingu, Hoppy & Ginger ****Hens & Ducks**** chat thread.
  • DaveTheGeordie
    DaveTheGeordie Posts: 222 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    edited 16 January 2013 at 11:37PM
    Do not buy bubble wrap! Go into most supermarkets and hunt through the fruit and veg you will usually see sheets of bubble wrap (especially in the apples or any fruit that can bruise easily). They are usually very clean and do not pong - I have got loads and loads this way and nobody objects.:D

    Nice! :T

    I use plastic bottles, generally larger (2L or 3L sizes) for vegetable growing and gardening. Cut them in half and use them for bringing up younglings outside; acting as mini greehouses and element shields. If you use the top end you can water through the bottle top.

    Similarly, use the top ends over weeds and spray through the lid - stops you spraying and killing non-weeds.

    Last year I also made some Blue Peter-type work, self watering plant pots by cutting a pop bottle in half. Then turning the lid upside-down and sticking it inside of the bottom half. Then upside-down top half of the bottle gets filled with soil and the bottom half with water.
    You can use a couple of different methods to encourage drawing water up. I made four in total last year, 2 from each method. One way is to just drill holes through the top of the pop bottle. The other is to drill a hole in the lid and stick a piece of string through it, into the water. I didn't invent these. I got them off a how to site, both methods worked well. This year I'll combine both and enjoy more tomatoes.

    I compost pretty much most organic matter, thin cardboard, teabags and paper. I have a bin and a can crusher in my back garden. That will take a while and several bins to be worth the petrol trip to the scrap merchant but it's environmental and profitable with a bit of patience.

    I have full carrier bag of candle leftovers. I do plan to melt them all down into molds. I just need to get round to making the wicks first.

    Bit bampy also but since I started drinking cheaper pop I rarely get coke zone codes now, so I pick cans and bottles up and put their codes in if they will go through, then put the physical plastic/aluminium in the outside recycle bin.
  • Bread bags/any suitably sized plastic bags ie that catalogues, etc come in through the post get used as nappy bags.
    Outer wrapping paper from chippy gets used as painting paper as long as theres no grease on it, once painted this is then used as wrapping paper to wrap presents for grandparents! Also I flatten out any plain paper that comes stuffed in parcels and use for this purpose too.
    Cut the pictures off old calendars/greetings cards/wrapping paper/etc for my son to make greetings cards with, buy cheap card blanks from Poundland and give him a pile of pictures and a glue stick and this keeps him happy for ages.
    Old boxes/bottle tops/yoghurt pots/etc go in a big tub and on rainy days my son dives in and makes all sorts of 'models' with these, again he is kept amused by this for hours! Or donate such items to your local nursery/infant school - they are often on the lookout for such things.
    I also reuse most of the things others have mentioned, why wouldn't you?? (I'm not sure about replacing toilet paper with a towel though - although I do use old flannels to dry babies bum, but this is after cleaning it with a wet wipe!!)
  • Few ones for dog owners:

    I use any old or odd socks as toys for my dog. He adores them being stuffed with scrunched up newspaper and is happier to be given these than a soft toy. Although, rather than throwing away old soft toys my niece gives them to me for the dog to play with. We also use empty cereal boxes to hide treats in for the dog when we go out, gives him something to do by working out how to get at them.

    Any leftover vegetables from dinner are given to the dog as part of his tea (no onions though as they are bad for dogs). I think he likes a bit of variety to go along with his dog biscuit!

    We used a carpet cut off as a boot liner for the car. It was a nightmare getting dog hairs off of the original boot liner so we cut around this using the new bit of carpet, which can then be easily removed for cleaning.

    Old rubber gloves are used as part of the car cleaning kit. They easily remove dog hairs from the boot - just scrape them into a little pile and then hoover up.

    I agree with someone else about old bath towels, great for drying off wet dogs after a rainy walk!
    2013: Interflora Vouchers, Christmas Decorations, NNUK goody bag, thermos flask, macwet gloves
  • Has anyone mentioned the little containers that hair dye rubber gloves come in - useful for any and everything, drawing pins etc, put a few grains of rice in for a cat toy, ...
    You never know how far-reaching something good, that you may do or say today, may affect the lives of others tomorrow
  • Helping to organise a fund raising fair and have an empty one of these I am going to fill with sweets and use as a 'guess how many sweets in the jar' game. Any other ideas on re-using things to raise money would be great other than the tombola/bric a brac ones which I am already doing.

    Our playgroup does a very popular stall, "jar hoopla". Empty jam jars filled with all the wee bits and bobs people donate (mcD toys, rubbers, little stocking filler toys) and top up with a few sweeties. People pay a pound and throw hoops at them until they hoop one. Everyone wins one jar for their pound. By filling with donated goodies you only need to pay a few pence for a couple of sweeties and the rest is profit.
  • Riq wrote: »
    I often use a towel to wipe my bottom so I can put it in the wash and save on toilet roll.

    You can get 4-5 toilet stops out of a single hand towel. Bath sheet and you can probably manage a week.
    Eeeeeewwww :eek:
    Blessed are the cracked for they are the ones that let in the light
    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. Member #35 Butterfly Brain + OH - Foraging Fixers
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  • Hi there

    In addition to all above I re-use butter papers. I fold them neatly, keep them in the fridge and re-use them to grease baking tins, trays etc. The residual amount of butter left on them is perfect for these jobs.

    I also freeze half of lemons after juicing. Once they are frozen they are easier to zest with a grater.
  • Really picked up some great ideas from this thread!! :) Thanks
    Love reading the oldstyle board...always something to learn!
  • *All junk mail envelopes and paper go on a clipboard in the kitchen for shopping lists or for the girls to use as scrap paper working out algebra!

    *The small 'pump-action' bottles hair serum comes is are washed out and reused for travel or gym bottles refilled with shower gel, shampoo and conditioner - much less fiddly than tiny bottles with tops.

    *Old duvet covers are used when teenaged daughters have friends round for a movie, they know they must go on the cream carpet first if they want to have tortilla chips, salsa and popcorn. Makes cleanup easy, duvet gathered up by four corners and shaken outside, if anyone has spilled salsa it gets washed.

    *Big washing power boxes used to store folded newspaper on the shelves, or the girls rolled up chart paper for college.

    *Toilet rolls cut and used to wrap around wrapping paper to keep it together.

    *Newspaper gets put down on kitchen counters for anything 'messy' ie.girls cake making, OH curry making (I don't like my kitchen counters being stained with turmeric!) or big veg prep, just be careful your best knife or favourite peeler doesn't get rolled up and tossed out along with the peelings, as has happened in our house!
    No buying unnecessary toiletries 2014. Epiphany on 4/4/14 - went into shop to buy 2 items, walked out with 17!

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