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

edited 5 September 2018 at 9:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
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  • ZeroWasteWeekZeroWasteWeek Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
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    Hey kboss; thanks for your thoughtful comment and wonderful tips! I think clever use of the freezer is a great tool for reducing food waste - I'm learning all the time about foods which can be frozen to extend their lifespan. Love the grated cheese and veggies ideas.

    Who knew cress was the new superfood - it's so easy and cheap to grow!
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  • ZeroWasteWeekZeroWasteWeek Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
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    Hey RAS, I love all your ideas - We have far too much stuff too. My hubby is a hoarder of 'one day stuff' but he does actually use a lot of it, so I don't have a leg to stand on when trying to encourage a good declutter!

    It must be a real challenge with the shoes. My daughter has an issue with her feet so wears down one side of her heel in a few weeks; at least I can get those mended - you're not so lucky I guess.

    I've found that using a butcher helps us reduce waste too because we can buy exactly the amount we need AND it lasts longer. And we're fortunate enough to have a new baker in our village who makes traditional bread. Yes it's more expensive, BUT you only need a slice for a meal as it's not full of air and it dries out rather than goes mouldy which means you can still eat it in dishes such as bread and butter pudding or make into breadcrumbs and freeze...
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  • ZeroWasteWeekZeroWasteWeek Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
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    Hi GreyQueen; thanks for adding your thoughts. You're doing brilliantly with the small amount of waste you produce!

    I'm so envious of people who are good with a needle and thread - I'm absolutely hopeless. But hey, I can make a meal out of nothing, so that's something ;)

    I love that you are learning all the time - aren't we all? And I'm a huge admirer of Bea Johnson and her family too. I don't think my house will ever look like hers, but I love all the tips she shares for minimising waste.
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  • GreyQueenGreyQueen Forumite
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    Hi GreyQueen; thanks for adding your thoughts. You're doing brilliantly with the small amount of waste you produce!

    I'm so envious of people who are good with a needle and thread - I'm absolutely hopeless. But hey, I can make a meal out of nothing, so that's something ;)

    I love that you are learning all the time - aren't we all? And I'm a huge admirer of Bea Johnson and her family too. I don't think my house will ever look like hers, but I love all the tips she shares for minimising waste.
    :cool: Yeah, but I am only a so-so cook, so I guess it all pans out.

    One thing which may be of help is to know about a product called fusible interfacing. It's often known by the trade name Vilene, in much the same way as all vacuum cleaners tend to get called hoovers.

    The 'fusible' refers to the fact that one side is coated with a fine layer of heat-sensitive adhesive, which melts when you iron the interfacing onto the back of a fabric you are repairing. It's particularly useful where the damaged area has been weakened as the result of a tear.

    I'm wearing one of my favourite shirts which suffered a wardrobe malfunction on the lottie a couple of weeks ago (I caught the sleeve near the shoulder on a fence and got an L-shaped tear). Sooo, ironed a scrap of fusible onto the inside of the sleeve and with the sewing machine on a straight stitch, went neatly to-and-fro in line with the weave of the checkered pattern in a matching thread. I know where it is and even I can hardly see it, I would defy anyone to notice it casually and it will outlast the garment, now. If you didn't have a sewing machine you could have done the topstitching by hand, but I was pressed for time.

    All the fusible interfacing I own was purchased in the 1980s and it hasn't gone off. I would commend it to anyone who needs to re-inforce thin to medium weight cloth as part of a repair. HTH.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)
  • FairyPrincesskFairyPrincessk Forumite
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    I like to ask myself 'what do I have..?' before I buy anything. It isn't so much about specific tips as just getting into the habit of thinking about it. A few wins against waste recently are examples, but they aren't what is going to work day in and day out, more of a general gist--

    -old flannel pajamas that were worn in places were cut up into small cloths to use with a face toner. Not only did I save the fabric from the bin, but I save a pound or two a month on cotton wool. They're tiny so don't add to my wash loads and are easy to toss in the laundry after a single use. Pinking shears keep them from raveling, but a whip around with the sewing machine would also do. They're also a cheerful print!

    -I baked all of the jacket potatoes I had in the cupboard on Sunday this week as they were getting a bit long in the tooth. We had some for tea, some for lunch the next day. Late in the week a few were turned into potato cakes, and the skins were wrapped up. Another night, I baked the skins with a bit of oil and seasoning (oven was already hot) and those were enjoyed as well. If I hadn't seen them going off, I probably would have wasted up to 7 spuds:eek:

    -I create my menu plans on Saturday evening. I've already noted that I didn't use all of my parsnips, spring onions or cucumbers this week so next week's meal plan already features two meals to use these things up. This will not only save the veg from the compost bin, but will save me money on the shop as well.

    -The 'ends' of bottles often seem to languish--after a party or just because. Wine is put aside for soups, stews etc. Beer is relegated to the beer traps in the garden (it can also work for stews but needs to be used within a day or so). We don't drink cider but it could be used similarly.

    -Old clothes are kept for rags, quilts, patches etc. Being able to sew is helpful, but not a necessity as anyone can cut up a shirt into cloths!
  • trutru Forumite
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    Is that you Mrs Green? :D Been following you since I first saw you in the local paper. Fab stuff :D
    Bulletproof
  • edited 24 August 2014 at 9:56AM
    ZeroWasteWeekZeroWasteWeek Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    67 Posts
    edited 24 August 2014 at 9:56AM
    What a great resource you have there; really inspiring - thank you for sharing and keep up the great work. I might share a couple of ideas on my site if that's ok.
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  • ZeroWasteWeekZeroWasteWeek Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    67 Posts
    GreyQueen wrote: »
    One thing which may be of help is to know about a product called fusible interfacing. It's often known by the trade name Vilene,

    I think you might have just revolutionised my life. I think even I could manage that.

    (mind you, when I went to iron something when my DD was about 7 years old she said "What's THAT?" pointing to the iron <sigh>. That's what body heat is for, right?!)

    So glad you have given one of your favourite shirts a new lease of life - that's fantastic! :T Thanks for sharing your story. You guys are a wealth of knowledge and experience.
    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]"
  • ZeroWasteWeekZeroWasteWeek Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    67 Posts
    I like to ask myself 'what do I have..?' before I buy anything.

    That is SUCH a good reminder. A case of separating wants from needs... Something I do is wait if I think I want something, for a couple of weeks - so much of the time I find myself not thinking about it again or realising I have something that will do the job just as well...So in the end I save myself a spontaneous purchase that I never really wanted in the first place.

    Love the face cloth and potato stories :)

    I wonder if you could freeze beer in ice cube trays for adding to casseroles and stews. I know you can do that with wine...
    Official Company Representative
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  • ZeroWasteWeekZeroWasteWeek Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    67 Posts
    tru wrote: »
    Is that you Mrs Green? :D Been following you since I first saw you in the local paper. Fab stuff :D

    It is me!

    <whispers> But who are *you*? :p
    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]"
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