Posts tagged "packaging"

How can I reuse or recycle personalised wedding favour boxes?

We’ve had an email from Rosey:

We just got married (yay!) and while we tried to keep the waste to a minimum, we have ended up with about 100 personalised wedding cake boxes leftover. Not sure how that happened! They’re just card but I’d like to reuse them anyway but didn’t know what to do since they’ve got our names and wedding date on them. Any ideas?

Are they pretty card (unlike the boring white ones in the picture)? If so, the non-customised bits could be reused for any general craft purposes. Although like with wedding dress we discussed a few years ago, it would be nice to use it for keepsakes rather than just … I don’t know, very fancy shopping lists ;)

Could they be turned into postcards for wedding present thank you notes – or used to make a “thank you kit” (a couple of small photos and a note)? A friend of mine sent out cheap USB storage keys with lots of photos from the day on them – candid snaps from friends as well as official ones – and a cake/favour box would be the perfect size for that.

Or to be super cute, how about splitting them between the two of you and writing each other messages for your future anniversaries – predictions of what will be or “IOU” promises for the long distant future?

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle big plastic (animal/bird) feed bags?

Over on the Suggest an Item page, Emily asked:

Would anybody have any ideas for reusing the bags that stock feed comes in? They are some sort of plastic and not recycleable.

Funnily enough, I had this on my to-do list already as I’m starting to be overrun with the things too – and I’ve only got six small chickens, so I can’t imagine how many are generated by people with lots of animals/birds. (Mine are the heavy-duty flat plastic types – we’ve covered the woven plastic type ones before.)

The things I already do with mine:

  • refill them with bedding & litter when cleaning out the coop. I bag it sometimes rather than tipping it all into the compost heap so I can give it to friends/family as fertiliser. Such a lovely gift! ;)
  • use them to line the wooden planters I make. (I do this with some hesitation for fruit/veg containers as I don’t know what plastic it is so there may be some leaching issues.)
  • use them as rubble sacks – they’re not quite as strong as actual rubble sacks but still pretty useful

I also know some people use them to “waterproof” ceilings of hen/duck houses, and I have a plan to build up the floor in our coop, and will cover it with these bags to make it easier to clean. Away from chicken stuff, I’ve seen people using opaque bags as weed barriers around trees.

Any other suggestions for ways to reuse them? Or any advice on recycling?

One thing I would say, as ever, is try to reduce your collection of them – look to see if there are any paper-bagged alternatives. If you’re storing the feed in a dry place, the paper getting damp shouldn’t be an issue. The heavy paper could be composted or recycled. Any other advice?

Reusing, recycling and upcycling links – and a video

It’s been a while since I’ve featured some of the wonderful reusing, recycling and upcycling links I’ve spotted recently. So, without further ado…:

  • Drinks can pop top lampshade I love this lampshade made with drinks can pop tops – it’s like modern chainmail :)
  • Drinks can bottoms necklace The other end of the cans – a great reuse since so many crafts using the pop tops or the sides of the cans, but I’ve not seen many using the stiffer curved bottoms.
  • Fake shell-like pendants from bubble wrap Following on in the “you’d never guess what this necklace used to be” line, this tutorial shows you how to make shell-like decorations for jewellery from bubble wrap.
  • Old jeans into placemats I think I’ve seen something like this before but it’s still a great idea – denim placement from old jeans, using the pockets as cutlery/napkin holders – cute!

(Bench photo by Kindall)

How can I reuse or recycle Ariel Gel Dosing Devices?

Granny Cain emailed about Ariel Gel Dosing Devices:

Enough!! I now have enough dosing devices for each child in a classroom…. but what to do with them? Tried poking a hole through the side, adding twine and making a bird feeder, but it kept flipping over. Needed some technical refinement… too much for my puddle brain. So folks please help me out!

I hadn’t heard about these dosing device but by the looks of it, they’re the new version of ye olde washing powder dosing balls but according to the only tiny picture I can find of them, more of a bowl than a ball, and apparently it “contain[s] an integrated soft plastic sphere”, whatever that means. (Is that right?)

Firstly, it’s obvious but since “reduce” is the most important thing to do, it’s worth repeating: really try not to collect any more. Liquid laundry detergent has a far bigger carbon footprint in packaging and transport costs – the gel is supposed to be a bit better on both accounts (and does promote itself on the idea that it can be used effectively at low (below 40C) temperatures) – but still.

As for the stash that’s already been collected, I’m struggling for ideas – either on how to make them into a bird feeder or anything else – since I’ve not actually seen one in the flesh — so over to you guys! Any reuse suggestions or recycling ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle little pudding pots?

We’ve had an email from Debbie:

Any ideas what we can do with individual microwave pudding pots from the supermarket? They’re plastic.

First up, as always, reduce if you can – I know those puddings are convenient but it doesn’t take that much longer to make your own with a microwave (for example, a syrup pudding only takes about five minutes from scratch and there are plenty of “chocolate pudding in a mug” recipes out there). Or, if there is more than one of you puddinging and you *have* to buy one, getting a bigger single pudding instead of lots of little ones – the overall amount of packaging will be slightly less, and the bigger pot will be more reusable.

Bringing us neatly onto reuses: any suggestions? I suspect there will be considerable overlap with yoghurt pots – but the ones I’ve seen are a little more shapely than those so that may allow other reuses.

The little ones are fine as seedling starter pots (make holes in the bottom for drainage), or as little paint pots. They’d make dome-shaped jelly moulds for individual jellies – or for making your own microwave puddings! You could also cross the plant pot/dessert mould ideas over and make dirt puddings ;) Any other ideas?

As for actual recycling, does anyone know what number plastic they are? From a bit of Googling around, I think they’ll be number 5, polypropylene – but I’ll check next time I’m at the supermarket.