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Zero Waste Week - tell us your best upcycling and re-use tips

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Zero Waste Week - tell us your best upcycling and re-use tips

edited 5 September 2018 at 10:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
202 replies 48.4K views
Former_MSE_AndreaFormer_MSE_Andrea Former MSE
9.6K posts
I've helped Parliament Rampant Recycler Savvy Shopper! Stoptober Survivor
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edited 5 September 2018 at 10:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
What's it about?

3-7 September 2018 is Zero Waste Week, a national awareness campaign encouraging householders and businesses to rethink waste as a resource and reduce the amount we send to landfill.

For 2018 MSE Rhiannon has blogged on her Zero Waste morning routine

Rachel Strauss, founder of ZeroWasteWeek, posts on this forum thread under the username ZeroWasteWeek. Please make her welcome :)

Use this thread to chat about all things zero waste.

What to do

We're looking for your best tips and advice for re-using, up-cycling, savvy non-waste shopping and general creativity when it comes to not wasting packaging etc.

How much money do you think YOU save by not wasting things and how?

If you can post up photos even better!
Could you do with a Money Makeover?


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Replies

  • SailorSamSailorSam Forumite
    22.8K posts
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    I can't think of an awful lot of waste that i have.
    When i hear people complaining 'cos the binmen are only coming every couple of weeks now, i think well they could come here every couple of months and it wouldn't be a problem.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
  • ZeroWasteWeekZeroWasteWeek Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    67 posts
    That's a fantastic achievement, SailorSam; just imagine the difference it would make if everyone needed a bin collection only every two months! What would your top tip be for someone who wanted to reduce landfill waste?
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official organisation representative of ZeroWasteWeek. MSE has given permission for me to post. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to [email protected]"
  • SailorSam wrote: »
    I can't think of an awful lot of waste that i have.
    When i hear people complaining 'cos the binmen are only coming every couple of weeks now, i think well they could come here every couple of months and it wouldn't be a problem.

    Same goes for me....I only put mine out once a month & then its only about 25% full
  • One of the very best ways of recyling / upcycling / or whatever you want to call it is to join your local recycling group.
    Every area has one......Freegle, Freecycle etc etc
  • Former_MSE_AndreaFormer_MSE_Andrea Former MSE
    9.6K posts
    I've helped Parliament Rampant Recycler Savvy Shopper! Stoptober Survivor
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    For anyone who doesn't know about Freegle have a look at our Freecycle and Freegle guide.
    Could you do with a Money Makeover?


    Follow MSE on other Social Media:
    MSE Facebook, MSE Twitter, MSE Deals Facebook, MSE Deals Twitter, Forum Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
    Join the MSE Forum
    Get the Free MoneySavingExpert Money Tips E-mail
    Report inappropriate posts: click the report button
    Point out a rate/product change
    Flag a news story: [email protected]
  • Former_MSE_AndreaFormer_MSE_Andrea Former MSE
    9.6K posts
    I've helped Parliament Rampant Recycler Savvy Shopper! Stoptober Survivor
    ✭✭✭✭
    Just bumping this up as we've moved it from the Green and Ethical board :)
    Could you do with a Money Makeover?


    Follow MSE on other Social Media:
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    Report inappropriate posts: click the report button
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    Flag a news story: [email protected]
  • ZeroWasteWeekZeroWasteWeek Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    67 posts
    Thanks for adding to the conversation, Firefox. I find Freecycle brilliant; it's a great way to rehome things that perhaps don't have value, money-wise, but are really too good to throw away.
    Thanks for the reminder :)
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official organisation representative of ZeroWasteWeek. MSE has given permission for me to post. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to [email protected]"
  • edited 22 August 2014 at 5:20PM
    kboss2010kboss2010 Forumite
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    edited 22 August 2014 at 5:20PM
    The biggest waste and moneysaver for me this year has been my new rule of not throwing away food.

    If I buy veg and it doesn't look like it will be used before mould sets in I chop it up and freeze it.

    Perishables like milk, cream, yoghurt etc go in curries and sauces. If I have yoghurt to be used, dessert will be fruit and yoghurt.

    I don't drink much milk so I buy UHT unsweetened soya milk to drink as it will last over a week open in the fridge and it's only 80p per L compared with fresh milk at £1-£1.50. It has a slightly nutty flavour but the texture is the same as semi-skimmed.

    Leftover dinner portions are lunch for the next day.

    Bread is frozen in slices for toast or buns are thrown in the food processor and frozen as breadcrumbs.

    As soon as I buy a block of cheese (usually YS) it gets grated and frozen to be used in sauces and to make cheesy beans on toast. Last week I got 750g of cheddar cheese for £2.50!

    I use half the amount of meat for recipes and bulk meals up with veg and lentils.

    I use half a tin of beans or chickpeas in a recipe and freeze the other half for use in something else.

    I re-use jam and sauce jars for storage containers for everything from lentils to sewing bits and pieces to LED or candle lanterns (see Pinterest for jar and wine bottle upcycled lamp ideas)

    Plastic packaging that most councils don't recycle (yoghurt pots, fruit trays etc) is good for growing herbs and cress on your windowsill (according to my women's health magazine this month, cress is a new superfood!)

    Fruit nets (like the ones you get oranges and sweet potatoes in) are good for wrapping around sponges to use as scourers.

    Use a countertop compost bin (free from most council recycling schemes) - since cutting down on throwing away food I've realised that a lot of what filled up my bin was all the inedible parts of my fruit and veg!

    I've also saved on bin liners as food waste starts to smell quickly so I'd often find myself putting a half-full bin liner into my wheelie bin just to get rid of the smell. Now with my small countertop caddy I can empty it when it's full (usually once or twice a week) and my general kitchen waste only needs to go out once a week or less.
    "I want to be a glow worm, A glow worm's never glum
    'Coz how can you be grumpy, when the sun shines out your bum?" :D ~ Dr A. Tapping


    I'm finding my way back to sanity again... but I don't really know what I'm gonna do when I get there :p
    ~ Lifehouse
  • RASRAS Forumite
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    The best way to reduce waste IMO is to reduce the amount you buy. even so I have "too much"

    I tend to re-use as much as possible but have a few sticking points; I tend to bust out the sides of shoes before I wear the heels down for example. Have found a wider fitting style, so hopefully that will reduce the problem. And by sticking with one style I even have a left and right from different purchases that are wearable as a pair.

    Clothing and shoes tend to go from work/neat to casual to home only to allotment wear before ending up on the compost heap if they are degradable. I drag the knicker elastic out when I dig the compost in.

    Buying from the independent butcher and greengrocer means I buy less and avoid a lot of packaging. So I end up with less hitting the compost bin and less hitting the waste bins and probably less leaving my purse.

    At the moment (very busy time of year) I am buying some ready made meals. I really notice how much this increase the amount of packaging I have bought. I try to select those that have plastics that my council recycle, although I accept that is not the real answer.

    I alsotend to buy decent bread. I prefer it but I find that stuff cooked by the Chorley process goes off quickly. The more solid loaves last long enough for me to eat them and becasue I enjoy them, they are more likely to get eaten.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • GreyQueenGreyQueen Forumite
    13K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    SailorSam wrote: »
    I can't think of an awful lot of waste that i have.
    When i hear people complaining 'cos the binmen are only coming every couple of weeks now, i think well they could come here every couple of months and it wouldn't be a problem.
    :) I'm the same. One small carrier bag-worth of non-recyclables out every 2-3 weeks. Recyclables outnumber waste 4:1.

    Everything which can be repurposed in-house is, then first-refusal to family and friends, charity shop if appropriate, thereafter offer on Freegle, and then and only then recycle.

    Am in the process of unravelling an partially-damaged and too-small handknit sweater, which I shall skein, handwash and then wind into balls when dry ready for a craft project. Clothes are mostly secondhand anyway, but are repaired and demoted through workplace-leisure-allotment with a few saved for decorating. When they have gone beyond all hope they're laundered, de-buttoned and then go to charity for ragging. Trimmings/ zips etc are saved and re-used. I shall darn a pair of socks tonight, because they're perfect bar a soon-to-be hole in a certain spot, and I can double their lifespan by darning now.

    I try not to waste any food but if it rots, it goes to the compost Dalek on the allotment (via 2nd hand bicycle). Am eating a meal whose major consitituents are h.g. spuds and runner beans which were dug up and picked today and came down in a hessian sack. Am cooking h.g. beetroot atm, too. Tomorrow the beetroot skins plus the bean strings (I eat the potato skins and all) will be wrapped in a bit of newspaper and back up to the lottie.

    I'd like to be as good as this lady http://www.zerowastehome.blogspot.co.uk/ but have an awful long way to go before I get there.

    One thing I do to avoid energy waste is use the oven for several things together/ in close sucession, such as the bread I will bake, following a batch of flapjacks. When I cook pasta or rice, I bring to the boil and then turn the power off. Have got my gas cooker usage, which inc the kettle for my frequent cups of tea, down to 6p a day for this past quarter.

    A lot of this stuff I learned at home as a child from Mum and Dad, other bits and pieces I'm refining as I go. Always lots more to learn.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)
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