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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Andrea
    • By MSE Andrea 6th Jan 08, 11:22 PM
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    MSE Andrea
    The Great ‘Recycle and Reuse’ Christmas Things Hunt
    • #1
    • 6th Jan 08, 11:22 PM
    The Great ‘Recycle and Reuse’ Christmas Things Hunt 6th Jan 08 at 11:22 PM
    What's it about?

    This week the Woodland Trust launched the Recycle Now campaign to collect enough Christmas cards to raise the money to plant 24,000 trees. Alongside this what are your tips for recycling and/or re-using Christmas goods?

    To add your ideas please click reply.

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    Last edited by Former MSE Wendy; 08-01-2008 at 8:27 PM.
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Page 1
    • geordie joe
    • By geordie joe 6th Jan 08, 11:32 PM
    • 8,399 Posts
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    geordie joe
    • #2
    • 6th Jan 08, 11:32 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Jan 08, 11:32 PM
    keep your unwanted gifts and give them to someone else next year. Just don't give it back to the person who gave it to you!
    • HugoSP
    • By HugoSP 7th Jan 08, 7:04 AM
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    HugoSP
    • #3
    • 7th Jan 08, 7:04 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Jan 08, 7:04 AM
    When I was young 30 years ago, our family used to reuse wrapping paper year on year. This probably stems back from the war where the production of such goods was banned to direct resources to the war efforts.

    Now we use it to light the fire, as our local council don't want us to put it out for recycling.

    Apparently by Christmas 1944 Britain was desparately short of these things.

    The obvious candidates for reuse are:

    Christmat decorations. We didn't buy any this year

    Artificial Christmas trees. I see no harm in using real ones provided they are recycled or used as firewood afterwards, but we like our fibre optic tree as it saves us the great lightbulb hunt!

    Presentation cases that we get wine, or other gifts in make great organisers to put stuff in - we used one such item in our bathroom.
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  • milly70
    • #4
    • 7th Jan 08, 7:13 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Jan 08, 7:13 AM
    i always recycle xmas cards,the children and i turn them into gift tags or hand them into the supermarket bins that they supply at this time of year
    • earthmother
    • By earthmother 8th Jan 08, 5:17 PM
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    earthmother
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 08, 5:17 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 08, 5:17 PM
    All our cards get saved and turned into new cards, decorations, calendars etc.

    This year we've started saving the paper too (an idea from one of the mums at school - she managed to stock a whole craft table at the school fayre with her collection).

    The good uncrumpled stuff (not that much in a house full of small children, but anyway ...) will get used for small pressies and crafts, the crumpled and torn paper will be shredded for packaging in the bottoms of hampers etc.

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    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 9th Jan 08, 9:32 AM
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    Primrose
    • #6
    • 9th Jan 08, 9:32 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Jan 08, 9:32 AM
    All those scented & Christmas candles which are given as gifts never fully burn down properly and most of the wax gets wasted. Does anybody know where you can buy new wicks so that all the wax from these candles can be melted down, amalgamated and new candles made?
  • wicknwax
    • #7
    • 9th Jan 08, 10:10 AM
    • #7
    • 9th Jan 08, 10:10 AM
    Ebay sell lots of different size candles wicks
  • mikeywills
    • #8
    • 9th Jan 08, 10:38 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Jan 08, 10:38 AM
    Most of our christmas cards get cut up and stuck on pictures by my daughter, or any nice relief ones get cut out and used as gift tags for the following year. All family and friends ask where we got our lovely gift tags from.

    I do generally burn most of our paper waste on the fire, as the ashes feed the vegetable plot. Far to useful to waste, and more economical than recycling.
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    • jsknight100
    • By jsknight100 9th Jan 08, 12:11 PM
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    jsknight100
    • #9
    • 9th Jan 08, 12:11 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Jan 08, 12:11 PM
    I am a bit confused about recycling xmas cards. I have a paper collection from my local authority so am I correct to put my xmas cards in the recycling bin? Or should i give them to the woodland trust?
    • MissG
    • By MissG 9th Jan 08, 1:49 PM
    • 857 Posts
    • 587 Thanks
    MissG
    All those scented & Christmas candles which are given as gifts never fully burn down properly and most of the wax gets wasted. Does anybody know where you can buy new wicks so that all the wax from these candles can be melted down, amalgamated and new candles made?
    Originally posted by Primrose
    What would be the easiest way to melt down the old wax, I have a candle or should I say wax that I haven't got around to scraping out of its gass holder . I would rather reuse the wax than bin it, its a lovely chocolate scented smell.
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    • freespirit
    • By freespirit 9th Jan 08, 4:50 PM
    • 65 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    freespirit
    What would be the easiest way to melt down the old wax, I have a candle or should I say wax that I haven't got around to scraping out of its gass holder . I would rather reuse the wax than bin it, its a lovely chocolate scented smell.
    Originally posted by MissG
    It is probably paraffin wax you have, so best not to use any cooking bowls for this... Use a 'double-boiler' or bain marie, which is a pan of gently simmering water with a large glass bowl placed on top. Melt the wax in the bowl then pour (you could use an old glass jug instead, which makes pouring much easier). You can get soya wax/beeswax/palm wax or paraffin wax and wick from ebay or other online places, e.g.- thorne beeswax supplies and full moons cauldron. Personally I don't use paraffin anymore, it's not all that healthy. Good luck and have fun
  • gb57
    Paper tends to get torn, but those pretty bags are way too expensive not to be saved and reused (time and again), ditto undamaged bows.

    Put tree lights and decorations away carefully and reuse year after year (always done when I was a kid - no money in our family).

    Most of my decorations are holly and conifer cut from the garden and decorated with some red bows (always reused). This is a cheap and cheerful way of decorating the house which I have done for the last 20 years. I have had the same artificial tree for 24 years - and it still looks good - packed away carefully each year.

    If you really want a real tree, would it work to buy one with roots and keep it in a pot outside all year?? Has anyone done this?
  • mary43
    All cards either get re-used to make cards for the following year or get recycled back to Woodland Trust or other charities.
    Wrapping paper, if we're careful, can either be reused as wrapping or used for christmas cards.
    We;ve had an artificial tree for years, plus artificial greenery.......decked out with a few gold baubles it fits the bill for us and we dont have to worry about buying another tree or more decs the following year.
    Empty wine bottle (bound to have a few) get rinsed out........fill up with some cheap bubble bath, stick a label on and a ribbon and thats another pressie for someone.
    Unwanted or unsuitable pressies are either passed on to someone else (not the person who sent them) or given to the local charity shop.
    Chocolate/Biscuit tins...............paint with enamel paint and fill with home made mince pies the following Christmas.......decorate the lid with something festive cut from an old Christmas card - or cover the tin with paper, christmas or anysort and use for storing bits and pieces.

    Can't think of anything else at the minute
    • sams247
    • By sams247 9th Jan 08, 7:31 PM
    • 997 Posts
    • 3,027 Thanks
    sams247
    When my son was a baby he got a pine needle in his eye and we have had an artificial tree ever since. Now he's 22 we decided we'd go for a real tree this year, we bought a tiny little things (less than 2 feet tall) and decorated it carefully, as it has roots and is a living thing. We are now adjusting ti to the cold and it goes out into the garden next week. Hopefully it will stay with us for a few Christmases yet
  • schoolfundraiser
    Fancy boxes/get the kids doing it
    Shoeboxes covered in torn up christmas wrapping paper bits - papier mache style look great with a coat of varnish.

    About three layers of torn up bits - as artistic as you like. Use PVA glue (Early Learning Centre does it in washing up bottle sizes I think) watered down a bit. Paste the box in small areas, stick the bits down and paste over them etc. You will need to do it a side or so at a time to allow it to dry without sticking to the table or whatever.

    When doing the lid don't add so many layers that it won't fit!!!

    It will look really wonky while drying but will straighten out as you do all the sides.

    I store my Christmas Decorations and unused Christmas cards in mine.

    If you don't have any shoe boxes you can use such as crisp boxes and make a new lid out of scrap cardboard and sellotape. BUT allow room for the paper layers or it won't fit.

    If you don't want the expense of varnish it will be OK without as long as it doesn't get damp.
    Last edited by Former MSE Lawrence; 05-01-2009 at 11:38 AM.
  • schoolfundraiser
    Pressie wrap ribbon curling and otherwise
    Apart from the craft bit you can use it for plant ties - go on brighten up your tomatoes next summer!

    I also had a gift plant which was wrapped in cellophane ( haven't worked out how to use that yet) and loads of lovely RAFFIA which is definitely being used for plant and other ties.

    and a set of seagrass boxes tied up in lovely wired tartan ribbon which I may use to cover a cheap photo frame. It has already been used for a thank you fruit hamper for the school office staff but I requested both the hamper and the ribbon back - how cheap is that!
  • Will_Tingle
    What would be the easiest way to melt down the old wax
    Originally posted by MissG
    In a mettle bowl, over a pan of boiling water.

    DO NOT be tempted to mealt directly IN the pan - the wax will combust if it gets too hot.

    Breaking the wax into little bits before attempting to melt it will speed the process up (and therefore use less gas/electricity).

    If you were carfull not to spill any, you could melt the wax over your veggies while you boil them - make use of that waste heat!
  • Will_Tingle

    If you don't want the expense of varnish it will be OK without as long as it doesn't get damp.
    Originally posted by schoolfundraiser
    An extra cote of PVA will do the trick - although water soluble when wet, it tries waterproof (or at least very water resistent)
  • Will_Tingle
    Put tree lights and decorations away carefully and reuse year after year (always done when I was a kid - no money in our family).
    Originally posted by gb57
    Is that really a "no money" thinmg to do - It's never occured to me that X-mas Decs are disposable, I thought everyone used them year after yaer?
    • salbie
    • By salbie 9th Jan 08, 9:42 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    salbie
    We have had the same Christmas tree in a pot for the last three years, and one before that for 7 years. (Had to leave that one behind when coming to the UK) Ours has grown considerably, and won't be getting a new pot this year. I do have to remember to water it loads all year.
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