Posts tagged "latex"

Green Halloween: How can I reuse or recycle Halloween masks?

With Halloween at the weekend, the shops are full masks and costumes at the moment.

To keep this blog reasonably rant free, I shalln’t go into my feelings for a) the sudden importing of Halloween as a large scale holiday and b) the rise of shop-bought fancy dress outfits and costumes (isn’t half the fun making it yourself and it being a laugh rather than perfect replica?). Whether I like it or not, Halloween is big business nowadays and that means that come next Monday morning, there will be a lot of masks facing brief visit to the dustbin on their way to landfill.

The cheapest sort are face-only flimsy plastic, held on with a thin piece of elastic. They’re seemingly intended for one time use before tearing at a weak spot. The more expensive specific-character ones are often latex or thicker plastic.

Of course, there is an obvious “reduce”: don’t buy them in the first place or keep it and use it again in the future – but people rarely go as the same thing year after year. But what about reuses or recycling ideas?

Has anyone remodelled an old mask to use for something else? I teach drama one evening a week and wanted some masks in the summer to use as a basis for making Japanese Noh masks – I didn’t need them in the end but having something already modelled around a face shape would have been useful then.

Or what about using them for moulds for something? I’m not sure the plastic of the cheap ones would be strong enough for repeated uses but you might be able to use them for something… any ideas?

I doubt many theatre groups would want the a raft load of horror masks unless they were doing a halloween spectacular – and they might be too scary/too adult for schools to want them – can anyone think of anywhere else that might need some en masse?

(Photo by creativedc)

How can I reuse or recycle swimming caps?

swimming-capWe’ve had an email from Jennie:

Can you recycle swim caps?

It’ll depend on what the caps are made from but the answer to actual recycling is probably no. According to Wikipedia, they can be made from latex, silicone or lycra: silicone is recyclable, but not collected widely for recycling while latex and lycra (spandex) aren’t recyclable on a large scale yet.

If they’re still in good, usable condition, the best thing to do would be able pass them on to someone else who can use them for their original purpose – through a charity/thrift shop maybe, or through your local pool.

And what about reuses?

(Photo by coudron)

How can I reuse or recycle weather balloons?

weather balloonLucia of JBLarts has sent us a bit of an obscure one:

Such a strange thing, you may say, but I have a good quantity of meteorological lattice balloons: any suggestion on what doing of them, apart fulling them with air to make huge balls to play with in a big garden? Huge snow/lattice-men?

I tried to cut the lattice to use it in some other way, but it was not so easy to maintain the form of the cut pieces.

Any ideas?

I don’t think I’ve ever seen one so I can’t really offer any suggestions. Anyone else got any ideas?

(Oh, and on the subject of balloons: we’ve covered deflated helium ones in the past too.)

How can I reuse or recycle used disposable Latex gloves?

Latex glovesA few weeks ago, we had to pick up John’s car from the garage after a service/MOT and while we were breathing in lungfuls of carbon monoxide waiting for the mechanic to finalise all the paperwork, I found myself staring at a big box of used disposable gloves near the counter. I don’t know how long the pile had been accumulating but there was a scary amount of them apparently just about to go in the bin.

Once I got back into the open air and my head stopped swimming from all the fumes, my first thought was “how could I recycle or reuse them?”.

I’ve only used latex gloves once – to provide grip when removing my now defunct tongue piercings – and I don’t think I’d have liked to have used dirty ones for that — but my tongue piercing fondling ones were clean after use and have been kept in the cleaning cupboard if we need them for any dirty jobs.

I guess there will be some overlap with rubber gloves – but the thinner Latex may restrict – or inspire – other uses.

So suggestions?

(Photo by Capgros)