Archive for the "sports" category

What can I reuse or recycle to repair the mesh on bicycle panniers?

Good friend of Recycle This and The Really Good Life, Su, has got a question for us:

Bicycle panniers – mine have a really useful stretchy mesh pocket on the outside, unfortunately now more hole than mesh. Any ideas on repairing them? The actual pannier part is absolutely fine.

The summer before last, I bought some mens’ shorts for myself and since I don’t have things down there in need of containment, I removed the “netting” layer – that wouldn’t have been pretty but would have fit the bill perfectly – stretchy white mesh. (I ended up using it in the greenhouse to store bulbs.) Can anyone think of anything else in the same vein to reuse instead? Heavy (so they won’t run) nylon tights maybe?

Another idea which is less reusing/recycling but still repairing: could you crochet a flat mesh from a plastic twine using a variant on a string bag patten? I used to make a version of this bag from all sorts of different yarns when we were short of shopping bags – makes up very quickly because it’s so much hole :)

Any other ideas?

(Photo by arifm)

How can I reuse or recycle horse hair?

We’ve had an email from Bea:

I’ve always put my horse’s tail and mane clippings on the his manure heap to compost down but I recently wondered if I could use them for something else instead. I’ve heard of horse hair mattresses but don’t think I have enough for that!

According to Wikipedia, horsehair is/has been used “for various purposes, including upholstery, [artists & shaving] brushes, the bows of musical instruments, a hard-wearing fabric called haircloth, and for horsehair plaster, a wallcovering material formerly used in the construction industry and now found only in older buildings. .. [It is also used in] the crafts of horsehair hitching, horsehair braiding, pottery, and in making jewellery items such as bracelets, necklaces, earrings and [hair clips].” I think the latter group is more appropriate to reuses at home – but the former group might provide inspiration on where you could pass it on — for example, if you had a stables and generated a lot of horsehair, a local old-fashioned upholsterer might be interested in it.

You can compost it of course (as Bea has been doing) and some people use it (along with human hair clippings and anything similarly bit-ty) to discourage slugs from delicate.

Any other ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle waterproof clothing?

The wonderful Alice in Blogland sent me an email last week:

Thought of another recycle that I could use some help with!

I’ve taken some waterproof trousers, jackets and cycling gear from someone who didn’t want to just dump them in landfill. I thought there would be
loads of things I could make with them – my ideas so far are a pair of rainlegs, a pair of gaiters made from the bottom of some waterproof trousers, a rucksack cover like this, a waterproof bike saddle cover and maybe a waterproof hat.

Can anyone come up with any more ideas? And does anyone know how I can seal the seams for things which need to be really watertight?

I think we’ve talked about the watertight seam question before – but if anyone has any new suggestions, please do feel free to add them.

As for things to make out of them, if I still used my bike, I’d probably want a waterproof hat/helmet cover – with a peak at the front to protect my glasses a bit. I also like the idea of gaiters as my trousers always puddle-soak.

As it is though, I rarely have to leave the house in the rain so if the waterproofs were made from a neoprene type material, I’d probably use some of it, along with a bit of expanded polystyrene foam, to make a bath pillow – much more my speed now ;)

Other ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle a broken plastic sledge?

We were walking in the woods down the road the other day when we got a bit overexcited – there was a plastic sledge in the undergrowth under a holly bush! We’re far too grown-up to buy a sledge for us to play with but a found one? weeeeeee!

When we pulled it out, we found why it was under there – the plastic runners had snapped off and there were just holes the length of the sledge in their place. Cue two disappointed faces. We left it where it was because we were on the outward swing of our walk and forgot to pick it up on the way back – but we might go pick it up again if we can thing of a good reuse for it.

The plastic looked too thin/brittle to warrant a repair job to be reused as a sledge but that doesn’t mean it has to head for landfill.

The first reuse idea that springs to mind is the ubiquitous planter – I can always use new planters. The holes were only about 1cm across – some crocks or a bit of liner would stop the soil falling out but provide adequate drainage – but I’d be a little cautious about growing food in there because it’s unlikely to be decent quality plastic and may leach all sorts of stuff into the soil.

What else could I do with it instead?

How can I reuse, upcycle or recycle synthetic England flags?

Our good friend Tim posted this question on Twitter yesterday:

Anyone have good craft ideas for a synthetic England Flag? There may be lots of them on the streets or landfills soon

There certainly will be! A4-ish size car ones, towel sized ones, super-sized ones… a whole lot of squeaky synthetic white fabric with a red cross on it — all of which will be instantly discarded as soon as the team are knocked out. (I’m speaking from experience about the disappearing – the photo was taken on our old estate by John during the last World Cup and they all disappeared the day after the losing match.)

Of course it would be great if everyone reduced – didn’t buy as many (if any) or kept them to reuse for future events rather than buying new each time but that doesn’t seem to happen.

So any reusing, upcycling and recycling suggestions?