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  • FIRST POST
    • dragonlily
    • By dragonlily 29th Dec 18, 5:12 PM
    • 180Posts
    • 1,543Thanks
    dragonlily
    Steps towards zero waste - 2019
    • #1
    • 29th Dec 18, 5:12 PM
    Steps towards zero waste - 2019 29th Dec 18 at 5:12 PM
    Through 2018 I have been reading a lot about the impact of our waste on the environment. I have made a couple of small changes but seeing our bulging bins at the end of Christmas isn't good! It is a little odd as once you start thinking about excessive packaging you see just how much of it there is everywhere!

    I don't think I am going to be able to completely change overnight but every little has got to help, and ironically I think old style ways of living, are well suited to doing this. If anybody else is interested in setting goals to work on reducing waste, buying more consciously and generally being fabulous in 2019 do join in. PS - I did a search for a post about this and couldn't see one, so if I have missed it, lmk and I'll move on over there

    x
Page 3
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 1st Jan 19, 11:10 AM
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    GreyQueen
    I'm an habitue of charity shops and there are often net curtains to be had for about 50p or so. I would think the ones called sheers would be better than the heavily patterned ones, as they'd be lighter, easier to sew and easier for the cashier to see the produce.

    re learning how to sew, the basics don't require a lot of time and effort to learn and you may be able to skill-swop with someone like me, who learned the basics decades ago and does them without thinking. Mebbe worth asking around your circle of friends and acquaintances? I'd hate not being able to sew as it closes off a whole world of useful and MSE activities.

    My latest thing is umbrellas. In my city, every blustery windy day sees crippled umbrellas abandoned on the city streets. I have harvested a few of these. The fabric isn't organic or biodegradable, of course, but it has the advantage of already existing, being lightweight and pretty water-resistant and makes really good re-usable shopping bags. If you don't want to work out your own method, google will show you some patterns. Most sewing patterns can be created from newspaper, sheets taped together if needed. This makes sewing a pretty economical hobby.

    You can also dramatically extend the life of household textiles and clothing by sewing, leading to less waste going into landfill. HTH.

    ETA; How to harvest an umbrella:

    1. With a stitch-ripper or a sharp pair of scissors, snip the threads which hold the tip of the ribs to the cloth, and the 1-2 polints of attatchment along the ribs. The cloth part is now held exclusively at the centre top by the spike or boss.

    2. Sometimes you can prise the boss off with a screwdriver, sometimes you can break it off by walloping it with a hammer. Sometimes it won't budge and you will need to cut the cloth around the boss.

    3. The umbrella shaft and ribs may be metal, or plastic or some and some. Try to get the metal bits off and to recycling (Red Cross charity shops can do this).

    4. If the umbrella has little plastic doo-dads where the tips of the ribs joined the cloth, it's probably a good idea to remove these in case they come detatched in the washing machine.

    5. Launder brolly cloth on your next washload and you now have some project fabric for free.

    Oh, and if you have a full-size brolly, you can slit it along one side and have a rain cape for a small child. Rainbox brolly capes and small children are a particularly winsome festival combination.
    Last edited by GreyQueen; 01-01-2019 at 11:17 AM.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • Ladykernow
    • By Ladykernow 1st Jan 19, 11:19 AM
    • 275 Posts
    • 1,133 Thanks
    Ladykernow
    I made some re usable drawstring cloth gift bags, using offcuts of cotton material. Sold some at our Christmas Fair. not many though, 25p each. I gave a lot away to friends after. I think it will take a while for people to get used to them.



    ilona
    Originally posted by Ilona
    A really lovely idea!

    • Dark Star
    • By Dark Star 1st Jan 19, 8:12 PM
    • 516 Posts
    • 880 Thanks
    Dark Star
    I use fabric sandwich bags (look on Etsy for them in the UK otherwise postage is horrendous).


    https://www.etsy.com/uk/search?q=fabric+sandwich+bags&explicit=1&locationQ uery=2635167&order=price_asc




    These can be used for any snacks, not just sandwiches & come in assorted sizes. Machine washable. Some are lined with a form of food safe plastic fabric so that if you have a squidgy egg 'n' cress type filling, then it won't be all over your handbag if it escapes from the bread...


    Beeswax wraps also available.


    Have carried my own grocery bags for years.


    Looking at stainless steel straws...


    Have a mountain of vintage pyrex for batch cooking /freezing & it can also be microwaved & bunged in the dishwasher. Which is more than can be said for the average plastic tub...


    Love Ilona's bags. 25p far too cheap!


    I tried introducing subtle zero waste Christmas gifting with useful items I had made after seeing them on Pinterest. One person asked where I bought it from, another asked what the instructions were for hanging it up... So they didn't even realise I'd made them! Items are designed to be used up leaving no waste or easily refilled. People also got "shop" gifts but slowly slowly.....more handmade bits & less mass produced shop junk next year.
    Lurking in a galaxy far far away...
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 1st Jan 19, 9:15 PM
    • 2,300 Posts
    • 8,045 Thanks
    Ilona
    I got these trainers out of a skip, wore them for a couple of years when they started to look very shabby. Solution, paint them with acrylics. I got another years wear out of them, still have them, but can only be worn in the dry, they leak when it's raining.



    ilona
    I love skip diving.
    • *Jellie*
    • By *Jellie* 1st Jan 19, 9:51 PM
    • 2,934 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    *Jellie*
    Hi all!
    I have been using fabric to wrap gifts for a few years now. Everyone is well trained and returns all the fabric and ribbons to me for reuse! I would post a picture but I can’t remember how!!
    2019 fashion on a ration 0/66 coupons
    • miss empty piggy
    • By miss empty piggy 2nd Jan 19, 12:49 AM
    • 644 Posts
    • 6,613 Thanks
    miss empty piggy
    Hello
    I started to be much more mindful about waste during the summer holidays and I have only put my bins out once since August this year - until today.

    Xmas wrapping was super crazy - but not from me. I did the brown paper and string approach. I used ink stamp letters for people's names, or old cards cut up into tags. I then embellished with little sticks with pine cones on that I had collected from the local area. They looked lovely. I did not send any cards as I found that every year I'd go to write cards out and find last years. After 3 years of doing this I decided it an enormous pointless waste of time and money. If people weren't bothered about receiving cards why was I going through the motions of sending them in the first place? Plus they just go into the bin which is waste.

    I have also switched to shampoo bars and conditioners, cut up towels for paper towels, facial wipes and antibacterial wipes. I also use a moon cup for menstruation which is brilliant.

    For packed lunches I initially used glass jars which are fine. Then I found 4 brand new make up bags in a charity shop. They work great for sandwiches. We invested in two stainless steel lunch boxes (not cheap) and I took salads, sandwiches etc to work in them which was fine in the summer but have since been bought a bamboo one for xmas so that I can put it in the microwave to heat up at work (which I can't do with the metal ones).

    I love your bags Ilona and am also planning on doing this for birthdays and Christmas. Plus I have a really long piece of voile that I used to hang as a princess-drape thing on DD2s bed when she was a little girl. I had no idea what to do with it but I think I'll make some produce bags with them.

    thanks for the great tips everyone.

    I do very much agree that it is not always easy to do this - but it is so important. Whenever I'm tempted to buy something in plastic, I just think of that poor turtle getting the straw removed from its nose and it helps me to refocus. Or, I think about the pictures of plastic floating around in the sea and it helps.

    I saw a nice quote the other day "just because we can't do everything, doesn't mean we should do nothing" - I keep this in mind when I feel like I should be doing more.

    Be kind to yourselves. x
    DFW Nerd No: 600
    • dragonlily
    • By dragonlily 2nd Jan 19, 9:59 AM
    • 180 Posts
    • 1,543 Thanks
    dragonlily
    Happy 2nd Jan - I'm off work this week and have woke up feeling even more grotty than yesterday, really full of a cold now, and a sore throat. Yesterday was lovely, and avoided any incoming items apart from some bread and crisps my mum gave us, and two squares of fabric she had got for my daughter.

    Quite a few unrecyclables found in the loft though, so didn't end up feeling very anti waste but can't do anything about the things that are already there I guess. Did find some original boxes though from toys my daughter wants to sell, so those are down and can hopefully be used to send them to their new home's in too, wrapped in brown paper.

    re learning how to sew, the basics don't require a lot of time and effort to learn and you may be able to skill-swop with someone like me, who learned the basics decades ago and does them without thinking. Mebbe worth asking around your circle of friends and acquaintances? I'd hate not being able to sew as it closes off a whole world of useful and MSE activities.
    You know I hadn't thought about this at all, but on thinking about it my two aunty's can both sew. I don't think they do it regularly but both defiantly can. They would know enough to help me set up my daughter's new machine etc. I have messaged the one who lives very close to me to ask, and have offered to help with something back. Great idea! *woo hoo while finishing typing she has said she will come round Friday afternoon - and whilst 'not an expert' thinks will be able to get her set up to use it*

    Ilona, you are so creative .

    Darkstar

    I tried introducing subtle zero waste Christmas gifting with useful items I had made after seeing them on Pinterest. One person asked where I bought it from, another asked what the instructions were for hanging it up... So they didn't even realise I'd made them! Items are designed to be used up leaving no waste or easily refilled.
    That is a score!

    Miss empty

    "just because we can't do everything, doesn't mean we should do nothing"
    I think that sums it up really well for me, being realistic if I try and go too crazy I am not going to manage this, but step by step, I could definitely improve.

    As I am off work, I am going with my daughter, my dad and his partner for lunch and a look round the shops today. It is an annual tradition as we don't spend a full day together at Christmas itself. I do have some Christmas money left but am looking to window shop today and keep that for our trip away to Devon in February half term.

    I did splurge a little yesterday, on an online course from an author I like called 'the Happiness Experience Project' https://courses.gretchenrubin.com/happiness/ . Christmas money on something for self development rather than actual items

    x
    • miss empty piggy
    • By miss empty piggy 2nd Jan 19, 8:18 PM
    • 644 Posts
    • 6,613 Thanks
    miss empty piggy
    Hope you are feeling better soon dragonlily

    I have read the Happiness project a few years ago - thanks for the link. Take care xxx
    DFW Nerd No: 600
    • SmlSave
    • By SmlSave 2nd Jan 19, 9:05 PM
    • 4,708 Posts
    • 16,605 Thanks
    SmlSave
    To those of you thinking about stainless steel straws I can recommend them! Though I would go with straight ones so you can see how clean they are.... the bent ones are more natural to drink from but I worry even after scrubbing with the little brush because I can't see!
    Boy Smllet born 23/06/2011 and Girl Smllet born 01/03/2014

    5 year challenge to pay off £20,000
    £350 per month challenge
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 2nd Jan 19, 9:30 PM
    • 8,507 Posts
    • 13,654 Thanks
    jackieblack
    Can you even get hankies anymore?
    Originally posted by dragonlily
    Yes, you can!
    My Dad has always preferred a proper cotton hankie to tissues and we’ve bought loads over the years - last place I saw them was in Dunelm last weekend, on a sale shelf alongside slippers/scarves etc, have also seen them in M&S, Tesco (F&F), Asda (George) and Sainsbury (Tu)

    Alternatively, you can make your own by cutting a square of fabric (old cotton shirts etc) and hemming all round
    Last edited by jackieblack; 02-01-2019 at 9:33 PM.
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    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 2nd Jan 19, 9:41 PM
    • 12,383 Posts
    • 238,532 Thanks
    GreyQueen
    Glad your auntie is going to come and help so quickly, dragonlily. I'm sure you'll be astonished at how easy basic machine sewing is.


    A few good tips;


    1. The presser foot (the bit that holds the fabric down under the needle) has a spring. Keep the presser foot down at all times unless you need it up to thread the needle/ remove or add fabric.


    2. When starting sewing, leave a tail of thread from the spool, and another from the bobbin, about 4 inches long and grasp them firmly together in your left (or non-dominant) hand. Pull backwards as the machine goes forwards. Sounds a bit strange but it gives the fabric a bit of tension before it gets going and is fed under the presser foot.


    3. The reverse function is very useful at the start and end of a line of stitching - reverse for a few stitches to hold the row in.



    4. When pinning two pieces of cloth together, arrange the pins so their ends face you as the cloth goes thru the machine - you can pull them out easily as you work. You can set them at right angles to the line of stitching and can sometimes machine over them without breaking the needle, but it's a bit iffy and not to be recommended.



    5. If you need to make a neat right-angle turn on a row of stitching, take you foot off the treadle and, with the needle down in the fabric, lift the presser foot and turn the cloth - you're pivoting on the needle so it's only do-able in the down position. Lower the presser foot and off you go again.


    6. If you want to make neat little corners, for example on small cloth bags, stitch to the corner, swivel and do a couple of stitches across on the diagonal (cutting the very tip off the corner), swivel and then continue straight stitching at right angles to your original direction. When you come to turn it right-side out, cut the corner across the diagonal close to the stitches first.


    When you turn the bag/ cushion/ whatever, right-side out, you can use a pin from the outside to ease the corner our, making it neat and sharp rather than clumpy.


    Have a super time playing with the new machine. HTH.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 2nd Jan 19, 9:50 PM
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    jackieblack
    So pleased to have found this thread
    I have been looking at buying a sewing machine - I used to do a lot of sewing, dressmaking and household stuff, but haven’t done for about 15 years since my antique hand Singer started mis-behaving and life got in the way...
    Now I’m on my own and looking for a productive way of spending my spare time I thought sewing might be just the thing

    I have a lot of household linens I don’t use any more but still have plenty of life in them - I’m wondering about turning some into quilts...?
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter,
    south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading

    Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur

    MFW #4
    (2018 - £866.89 OPd)
    2019
    Jan - £105.26, Feb - £50

    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 2nd Jan 19, 10:21 PM
    • 4,680 Posts
    • 39,354 Thanks
    Katiehound
    I need to find a milk-man.
    Does anyone still use them? I hope that I can find one locally as it will kind of defeat the object if they are having to drive for miles to deliver my milk.
    Originally posted by inkie
    If you put your postcode in on this website it will show if there is a local milk delivery in your area

    see post below- kept going to wrong page. Sorry...oops!

    HTH
    and mostly delivered in glass bottles!
    Last edited by Katiehound; 03-01-2019 at 2:17 PM.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
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    2018 Wombling : Entrant 8 ..6470cc+3045mm (£3.04.5) + RK £8.03
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 3rd Jan 19, 7:24 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Katie - the link doesn't work
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 3rd Jan 19, 8:11 AM
    • 8,507 Posts
    • 13,654 Thanks
    jackieblack
    If you put your postcode in on this website it will show if there is a local milk delivery in your area
    https://www.milkandmore.co.uk/:
    HTH
    and mostly delivered in glass bottles!
    Originally posted by Katiehound
    Katie - the link doesn't work
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Need to remove the : at the end
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter,
    south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading

    Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur

    MFW #4
    (2018 - £866.89 OPd)
    2019
    Jan - £105.26, Feb - £50

    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 3rd Jan 19, 2:13 PM
    • 4,680 Posts
    • 39,354 Thanks
    Katiehound
    https://www.milkandmore.co.uk/Dairy/c/Milk

    Tried to change it in original post- and it got a blip- so new post and correct web page- I hope!!

    and yes, checked it works!! Weirdly, before ,even deleting the offending colon it would not work...
    Last edited by Katiehound; 03-01-2019 at 2:17 PM.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Many thanks

    2018 Wombling : Entrant 8 ..6470cc+3045mm (£3.04.5) + RK £8.03
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 4th Jan 19, 11:32 AM
    • 8,507 Posts
    • 13,654 Thanks
    jackieblack
    I had to pop into Tesco yesterday and noticed that they had some jute shopping bags printed with a Christmas/snowy scene, SEL said reduced to half price, £1.50. When I got to the self checkout it rang up at 75p so I went back and got a few more - that’s all my gift bags for next Christmas sorted and hopefully the recipients will re-use afterwards
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter,
    south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading

    Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur

    MFW #4
    (2018 - £866.89 OPd)
    2019
    Jan - £105.26, Feb - £50

    • dragonlily
    • By dragonlily 4th Jan 19, 1:23 PM
    • 180 Posts
    • 1,543 Thanks
    dragonlily
    I can't believe it is the 4th January already, yesterday was a bit of a write off as the worst of the the cold hit

    Still bunged up today but have more energy so am hoping I am on the mend. One perk of being ill was not buying things. Although I did order on eBay a replacement strap for my trusty old brown leather briefcase as the strap broke beyond my repair skills before Christmas. £8.99 for a replacement is better than replacing my whole bag and keeps an item in service, and not in landfill.

    I have done some cleaning today, not zero waste as have been using up wipes (again bought pre my quest to reduce waste, and again now I have them think better to use up.) The bathrooms were looking decidedly not nice post Christmas and me being ill, so relieved they are done and at least I feel I have done something today. Any ideas for lower waste toilet cleaner? I am down to my last bottle of my usual stuff.

    I have also cleaned the fridge, and although had a bit of food waste, the careful meal plan of last week, and low spend food shop last week has paid off!

    Greyqueen, thanks for the sewing tips, hopefully my aunty will be round soon, and I will look at them properly once we are set up.

    My Dad has always preferred a proper cotton hankie to tissues and we’ve bought loads over the years - last place I saw them was in Dunelm last weekend, on a sale shelf alongside slippers/scarves etc, have also seen them in M&S, Tesco (F&F), Asda (George) and Sainsbury (Tu)
    Thanks Jackie, I think we should try making some

    Well done on your gift bags, they are a bargain find!

    x
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 4th Jan 19, 3:26 PM
    • 4,680 Posts
    • 39,354 Thanks
    Katiehound
    Any ideas for lower waste toilet cleaner? I am down to my last bottle of my usual stuff.
    x
    Originally posted by dragonlily
    I live in a very heavy limescale area and am also very careful with water (if it's yellow let it mellow motto!) which does not result in a pristine loo!
    TBH most of the toilet cleaners (even those that say for limescale) don't seem to be brilliant. For the last couple of cleans I have left a lot of white vinegar in over night, and then the next night some bleach. I'm not keen on bleach but this time decided it was the only way

    It was said that a cheap bottle of own brand cococola made a great loo cleaner left overnight. Haven't tried that one.

    Hope you are feeling more human now
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Many thanks

    2018 Wombling : Entrant 8 ..6470cc+3045mm (£3.04.5) + RK £8.03
    • RunningBunny
    • By RunningBunny 4th Jan 19, 7:12 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    RunningBunny
    Brilliant thread! My New Years resolution is to reduce our household waste, particularly plastic, although I actually started last year. Iím buying fresh produce from our local market and have just discovered that there is a Bio cleaning products refill shop in town too so will be using that.
    The thing Iím finding hardest is getting the rest of the family on board though - 14 year old DS came home yesterday with a milkshake in a plastic cup with a lid and - horror of horrors - a plastic straw! Our household consists of me, DH, 14 year old son and 18 year old daughter and her boyfriend and none of them seem bothered by the amount of waste we produce. Any ideas ?!
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