Posts tagged "nuts"

How can I reuse or recycle walnut shells?

Echoing the pistachio shells that started this site, I was thinking about walnut shells recently.

It’s advised not to compost walnuts/walnut shells because the trees contain a chemical called juglone, which is toxic to some trees, plants and vegetables (especially members of the Solanaceae family – aubergine, tomatoes & potatoes) so better safe and than sorry when it comes to composting them.

Walnut shells have a number of industrial uses – a thickener in the paints & plastics industries, as a filler in explosives, and for cleaning/polishing – but less re-uses in the domestic setting. I’ve used exfoliating soaps and cleansers with tiny walnut shell particles as the abrasive element so home soap makers could use them up – but what about other reuses?

How can I reuse or recycle … rusty screws, nails and assorted bits?

Nuts and screwsCompletely out of character, I went on a bit of a tidying rampage at the weekend. Well, I sorted out some boxes in the spare room and the storage chest in the living room – that’s a rampage for me.

Amongst the random bits of paper (recycled/composted) and unnecessary household objects like two phones even though we don’t have a landline (charity shopped/Freecycled), I found various nuts, bolts and screws in various states of rusting. I added these to the ice cream tubs of random nuts, bolts, screws, washers, hinges etc that we have in the cellar and it made me wonder if we’d ever get around to using them.

We dip into the boxes whenever we need a fixing but we just don’t need enough of them to make any headway through the tubs and we tend to pick the least rusty ones when we do need something – so what can we do with the rusty rest?

(Photo by fugue, who seems to have a similar collection)

How can I reuse or recycle pistachio shells?

Pistachio nuts in a bowlOh lovely pistachio nuts. How sweet and salty your squishy insides are. How tough and protective your hard outsides are.

We’ve got a whole bowlful of the pistachio nut shells with no idea what to do with them.

We’re reluctant to just throw them on the compost heap because it seems such a waste to just ask them to rot down again (and they’ll probably take ages anyway) but that’s a last resort I guess.

Any ideas?

Best Suggestions

  • Reuse – Practical: Use them at the bottom of plant pots to help drainage.
  • Reuse – Creative: They can be made into rattles (in an old tin can or cardboard tube depending on how loud you want it) or instead of seashells wind chimes.
  • Recycle: Smash them up a bit and spread them around the garden – to start with, the sharp edges will deter slugs and snails and eventually the shells will break down into compost and feed your soil.
  • See the comments below for more suggestions and ideas