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Recycle Week: Re-use, Recycle and Save Money

edited 20 September 2019 at 1:25PM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
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  • AesopAesop Forumite
    23.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I joined greenredeem, there is a referral board for it, and they have ideas on recyling, reusing, etc. Some local councils are even using their scheme and you earn bonus points for recycling.

    I have been recycling for years, long before it became fashionable. Something my parents taught me.

    My 8 year old son brings home his tin foil from his packed lunch carefully unwrapped and gives it to me and says "you can reuse this for my sandwiches Mummy."

    He has also been taught how to recycle from the age of 5, and always checks if food waste has to go in food waste recycling bin, what goes in the recycling bag, and what goes in normal bin. He knows to reuse carrier bags from home, that his old toys get sold or given to the charity shop so other children can enjoy them. Same with his old clothes.

    We save the chinese cartons and reuse them for lunches, fridge items, freezer items, microwaving etc.

    I save the empty toilet roll holders, egg carton holders, empty tubing, cereal boxes, etc and give it to my son's Beaver's group. They use the items for crafting.
    Make upto £10 a day - September 2020 £106.56

    Make upto £10 a day - best thread ever. :A

    Back to make money in the new Covid19 2020 as we are going to need it!
  • asajjasajj Forumite
    4.9K posts
    1,000 Posts Fifth Anniversary Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    Where I come from (outside the UK), recycling isn't as developed as it is here. We were taught not to waste though i.e. not throwing away food.
    When I first moved to the UK, I was amazed with the amount of staff you could recycle.

    My brother came to visit me 1.5 years ago during his school holidays and he really liked the idea. He took upon himself to take out the recycling every other day.

    We do use yogurt pots as containers for left overs. For lunch we do have cotton sandwich bags which you can wash and dry. So we never really buy aluminum foils.

    We have started using Eco Balls for our washing. It is way better for the environment and helps you cutting the costs. I'm also very happy with the results.

    I have stopped using facial wipes and opted in muslin clothes.

    Old towels are used for cleaning purposes.

    Old socks are used my partner to protect his servers - no idea how!

    I have collect pens and batteries and take them to the office where we have separate boxes for them to recycle.

    I will also give some old clothes, shoes, bags to charity shops for their rag bags. We never throw things away.

    We use old plates under the flower pots sometimes. Most importantly, we do grow our own herbs.
    At work , I have my water bottle. I fill it first thing in the morning and use it instead of number of plastic cups.
    £2020 in 2020 / £1678.62

  • AesopAesop Forumite
    23.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I've been looking at eco balls! I want one! You just reminded me!

    I have just run out of sainsburys own brand washing liquid, so I might see if I can find some cheaply to be delivered asap.

    what company do you use?
    Make upto £10 a day - September 2020 £106.56

    Make upto £10 a day - best thread ever. :A

    Back to make money in the new Covid19 2020 as we are going to need it!
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
    72.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I am passionate about recycling.
    I do it as much as I can.
    I do this so much because as I have mobility problems I have to use my car for shorter distances so I like to pay back how I can.
    I can never believe how much newspaper cardboard & PET items we recycle in a fortnight!!!
    I have more jute bags than I know what to do with~mostly freebies it has to be said.
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  • At the end of the year don't throw your 2015 calendar away. Recycle it, or rather re-use it, in 2026 which is exactly the same including the date of Easter.

    I can't claim the credit for this one, I've just seen it in a Freebie thread.
  • rdonerdone Forumite
    472 posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I've always been into recycling - was taught by my parents. When I was little (before the council did collections) we would go to the local recycling centre to drop the majority of our rubbish off.

    There was 5 of us in our house and when I left a few years a go the youngest was 15 and we would have one black bag per month to put out - everything else was recycled.

    Now, my H2B and I put out one every 2 months, and even then it's normally not full.

    Reading the above made me surprised to see how much of it I just do every day and don't really see it as recycling anymore - I love how it's just a way of life!
    My debt free diary
    Debt: £14896.33 @ 21/04/2020.
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  • milocatmilocat Forumite
    154 posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
    I grew up in a household that was obsessed with recycling and being as MSE as possible... before the internet existed! My mum was a bit of a hippie, but she has definitely rubbed off on me. Like rdone I don't think of many of these things as recycling, but they are! And I still do everything my mother did with me as a child (apart from lighting fires and polishing silver!)

    - Washing the tin foil and leaving it to dry so you can re-use it.
    - Old knickers used as rags to clean the silver / polish the mirror / clean the windows
    - Old newspapers also used to clean windows!
    - Bi-weekly trips to the tip with stacks of recyclables. However this occasionally backfired as when I was young, the tip was quite badly organised, and often you would find blow up chairs and dog toys etc lying around, and I would invariably take them home. Once I found a toy bear in the woods that was HUGE, and I took him home and my mum and I bathed him until he was good again. Oops.
    - Cardboard would be saved in small quantities to start the fires
    - Clothes were bought cheap or made, and then fixed until they could be fixed no more. I had a jumper that I loved that was more patches than jumper. Eventually they would be recycled into the patchwork blanket that I am still working on.
    - All cartons with lids are saved for batch cooking. And every Sunday was batch cooking day.
    - Walking along the lanes to pick elderberries which we then pickled and made into vinegar dressing. Which was stored in old jam jars.
    - Hessian bags to carry anything and everything. I was weirdly embarrassed by this as a child, but now have at least 3 empty ones in the base of my pram at any one time.
    - Saving wrapping paper to rewrap presents. That is probably the most cheapskate thing I do. I also frame the really pretty stuff. Somewhere I have a drawer full of used wrapping paper....

    Hopefully my little one will pick up on some of the things I do as well.
    Laura 20.08.14 ♡ Ivy 05.07.13
    "...within me there lay an invincible summer."
  • ScotinLondonScotinLondon Forumite
    357 posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker Rampant Recycler
    We recycle as much as we can. Our council bin is nearly always full.

    We re-use our take away tubs for homemade food that gets stored in the freezer.

    We wash & re-use the freezer bags too, as long as the zips are still OK. mind you, even if the zips are not working, i use those bags for freezing little blobs of garlic and ginger.

    We recycle our clothes as much as we can - charity and the rag bag boxes.

    All our small electricals also get recycled at the recycle box at the supermarkets, same with light bulbs & batteries.

    We just changed our bed frame and our old one, was collected by a local charity for them to sell. We will be doing the same with our sofas (as long as they are able to take the sofas apart).

    I didn't grow up recycling, but now as a household, we do as much as we possibly can.
  • Former_MSE_AndreaFormer_MSE_Andrea Former MSE
    9.6K posts
    I've helped Parliament Rampant Recycler Savvy Shopper! Stoptober Survivor
    Fantastic recycling everyone, thanks for letting us know. MSE Badger has handed out a few more badges :)
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  • Jojo_the_TightfistedJojo_the_Tightfisted Forumite
    27.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    More eco-friendlier approaches;

    Don't buy veggies wrapped in plastic and in trays in the first place, buy them loose (or grow them yourself) - no plastic containers to recycle, so no energy use or oil expended in their manufacture in the first place. And there is nowhere that a swede needs to be wrapped in plastic to protect it - if you've ever tried to cut one up without the use of the Biggest & Sharpest Knife in the World, you know those things are tough enough to be used as weapons without a couple of yards of plastic to hold the barcode on.

    Don't use tin foil. Aluminium mining is immensely harmful to the environment and the conditions the locals have to live in (as well as the treatment of miners) are atrocious. Avoid foil containers as well - it's more environmentally friendly for there to be reduced demand for aluminium containers in the first place, compared to the energy of production and then recycling.

    Plastic wrap and cling film may be convenient along with plastic bags, but they also have an environmental cost - stick a plate you already have on top of the bowl to put it in the fridge and eat it tomorrow. Or use paper - better than plastic or foil because it can be recycled.

    However, using the principle of harm reduction, buy tinned goods rather than foil/plastic pouches or tetrapak - at least cans can be recycled, whereas they can't. Same with choosing glass bottles, rather than plastic - yes the extra weight means increased transport costs and the impact of making the glass is a thing, but plastic is less easily recycled; not many of us have recycling bins for each type of plastic. But glass is pretty easy.

    Use loose leaf tea.Still means some cardboard and a small amount of internal packaging, but you aren't also using paper (although that can decompose in the compost bin) or, in too many cases now, plastics for the teabag. Yep, teabags contain plastic in some cases now.

    Go for natural material wherever possible - hemp is a great material, as bamboo can be - if you're not a vegan, wool is a good option. Cotton, even the unbleached varieties, is very energy intensive in areas already suffering from climate change. When something made from a natural fibre has reached the end of its varied lifespan & uses, it can decompose, rather than just sit in landfill as synthetic fibres do. The environmental consequences of leather production are pretty awful, so it's not really something to prioritise unless it's an absolute necessity; I have two pairs of work appropriate shoes, then the rest of my footwear is canvas and rubber based. Not perfect, but at least they won't all be sitting in a landfill somewhere until the next Ice Age. In a similar manner, table and chair legs are better to be wooden than metal - who is going to remove the legs from a broken sofa and take them to recycling? Better to have wood because it eventually decomposes (or can be burned in extremis - even with the environmental aspects of forestry, it's still less harmful than metals being mined, just to make the bits where the cat fur and crisp packets collect look a bit shiny when you're on your hands and knees looking for your keys in the morning.

    If you eat meat, think about whether you actually need *that much* for a meal. A whole chicken breast is enough to feed two people easily - one each is more than you need. And the demand for prime cuts means there's a lot of additional animals slaughtered - and a dependence upon intensive farming (with all the use of energy, antibiotics - and the ethical considerations) to encourage the development of oversized body parts, such as bloated chickens for the breastmeat.

    Veggies. Don't waste them and think where they come from - do you need the ones imported from overseas when there are plenty available from this country? Is it really the end of the world to have to rinse and chop/peel them when you get home? They aren't rinsed and chopped or trimmed by people before they go in the plastic - there have been massive machines using metals, oil and fuel to do that - and the odds are that you're only going to do some of it again once you start cooking, anyway.

    Sad looking veggies make brilliant soup. You don't have to add vast amounts of dairy to make them palatable, if nothing else because that muddies the flavour. Nothing wrong with cooking them in stock (and yes, I would use a blender because it increases the amount of veg consumed, seeing as you rarely have to peel something if it's going to be blitzed anyway). If dairy is an essential for you, a small portion of yoghurt or cream (if you get double cream, you can use it even when it goes a bit sour rather than throw it away) adds far more flavour than adding half a pint of single or milk, so you use less.

    Plant pots. Yeah, it's easy to have a nice row of brand new plastic pots or seed trays sitting on the side, but it's still plastic you didn't really need in the first place (you've probably got fifty other ones providing hiding places for spiders and slugs somewhere in the garden/greenhouse already); you can make starter pots for seeds by wrapping damp paper round the end of a rolling pin, tin or other such conveniently sized receptacle. Loo roll insides with a couple of strips of paper crisscrossed over the base are perfect for seeds needing deep roots, such as legumes - once they've grown enough to count as plants rather than a weedy pale stalk and a couple of seed leaves, you can plant them directly outside without disturbing the roots and the cardboard will rot down (whilst confounding underground slug attacks for long enough for the plant to get nice and strong).

    If you're reading this, you've got a computer. You don't need CDs or DVDs, secondhand or new. Download things instead. Means you won't need to buy another set of shelves to store the things on, either. Or come up with the excuse that you'll be able to make coasters or bird scarers with them when you inevitably get fed up/embarrassed by your onetime love for all things Bieber. If demand is reduced, they don't need to make them anymore.

    Assuming you have a newish (ie, non CRT) TV, you don't need to replace the DVD player; use your laptop and a HDMI lead. And nobody needs a new TV roughly the size of the sofa to watch EastEnders and three football matches a year, just because the adverts reckon there are a couple more thousand pixels on the screen or slightly more colours visible (trust me, you're not a housefly - you can't see the difference, you just think you can because they've told you that you're paying for something so much better than everybody else's - it's called bias confirmation, where you're expecting to see a better picture, so you convince yourself that the same red is a bit redder - or their favourite one, that the black is so much blacker - ignoring the other programmes where it makes no difference whatsoever because they're kids' programmes and nobody cares beyond hoping it stops soon). If it goes bang and you simply must have a new one, fair enough, but very few people over the age of about six are impressed by big tellys anymore, mainly because they've worked out by then that Peppa Pig doesn't have to be lifesize to irritate the wotsits out of anybody who has ever endured four years of the Bing Bong Song every Saturday morning from 6am.

    I know this is more of a stream of consciousness than a coherent list of things to do, but the basis of it is 'rather than repair, recycle or reuse it, do I actually want to have this stuff in the first place to have to deal with it later?' and 'OK, I want/need it, is it going to still be sat in a pit at the end of the next Ice Age (no matter how many times it's been reused in that time, it's not great that it will still be there), or will it have decomposed harmlessly in a few years after I've finished with it?'.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.
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