Posts tagged "recycle"

How can I reuse or recycle a LOT of pinback buttons/badges?

(Ooops, sorry for the absence – I was busy then ill because I’d been busy and also ill because I ate some tasted-fine-but-actually-bad out of date sausages. Yes.)

Right then, Nicole has been in touch asking about “pinback buttons”:

I have thousands of pinback buttons from a failed work campaign. Would love to make them over into something pretty and/or useful. Any suggestions?

I think “pinback buttons” are what we in Britain usually just call “badges” – which we have covered before. There are some great reuses on there (I love fabric covered badges) but I’m not sure if that’s an appropriate suggestion for Nicole – unless she wants to make thousands of them. The decorative pinboard pins idea might be better – since you’d use a good number on a pinboard at a time – unless the campaign failed so badly that you don’t want to be reminded of it ;)

Any more ideas for using up a lot of pinback buttons/badges?

(Photo by Ellen Munro)

Five fantastic reuses for plastic milk bottles

With their semi-rigid sides & strong handle, plastic milk bottles are very easily reusable – which is useful since there are bajillions generated every day.

We’ve had loads of great suggestions about them over the years but here are some of my favourites:

1. Pencil sorter
Mentioned as a featured link a few weeks ago, I love how neat and practical these containers are for coloured pencils/pens. Stored on a shelf, the lids could be painted the colour of the pencils to make for easy identification.

2. Paint caddy
One close to my heart at the moment because we’re decorating – plastic milk jugs make great paint caddies. 4 pint/half-gallon/2ltr bottles are best for this – cut out the panel of plastic opposite the handle, leave the neck intact for strength and cut down to about half way. The handle is easy to hold (or you could loop some wire/string around it to hang it from a ladder rung) and the caddy holds about 2 pints/1ltr of paint at a time – enough to do a fair amount of painting.

3. Foraging container
SandyM’s family use gallon milk bottles as foraging containers – widen the neck and add a loop of rope or a strong belt through the handle holds it up, leaving both hands free for collecting fruit. In the UK, our bottles tend to be long & thin, so possibly the wrong shape for this – but a great idea if you can get hold of those bigger square bottles.

4. Bird feeder
One of the original ideas for reusing them – make them into bird feeders. The how-to uses gallon jugs but the same theory can be applied to smaller ones too – I’ve made mini ones for our mini-tree from 1ltr/2pint bottles.

(I’ve also used a plastic milk bottle as a grit hopper for our chickens – same principle as the bird feeder but with stones/shells instead of food. It would be a cruel joke if they didn’t need the grit for digestion.)

5. Scoops
Cut away a wedge from the bottom to make it into a scoop – for scooping flour/grain/animal feed or other dry goods, or at the other end, as a pet poop scoop. Leave the lid on to avoid spills from the other end.

What are your favourite reuses for plastic milk bottles?

How can I reuse or recycle plastic recycling boxes?

Recycling boxesWe’ve had another suggestion from the wonderful Am (Delusion), and it’s a bit of a meta one:

As our council have changed our curbside collection from collection boxes for paper & bottles etc to now using our old black wheelie bins, I thought of what could be done with the old recycle boxes.

The council will recycle them and so they can be taken to the Household Waste Centre, however I am sure they can have some more uses!

I have managed to acquire 6 so far, as I am going to use one for storage of plant pots, another three are going to be used as large trough plant pots for my new Wildflower seed mix and another two are going to have their bases sliced off and buried in my borders to contain my very invasive poppies.

Any other suggestions?

I’m going on a mint growing extravaganza this year to sate John’s new obsession with mint teas and they (well, the rest of the garden really) would benefit from growing in troughs like that. We’re also constantly on the look out for lidded boxes as part of our ongoing quest to cat proof the cellar (aka the pee war ground between our cats & the neighbour stray: yes, it’s pleasant). But anything a bit different?

How can I reuse or recycle … French presses/cafetières/coffee plungers?

french pressWe’ve had an email from Jesse with a suggestion:

I use a French Press for making coffee in the morning, but I’ve gone through them in the past because they eventually crack.

Well, my most recent one finally cracked because of the dishwasher (my mistake…) but now what do I do with it? I’ve been searching the internet for an idea, and came across your site. any help?

We’ve had this problem in the past too (John being the clumsy dishwasher to blame here) so any suggestions? I guess as different bits will break for different people, suggestions can be for either the plunger bit or the body.

(Photo by Gerbera)

How can I reuse or recycle VHS video tapes?

Video tapeI’ve always been a film fanatic and amassed quite a collection of videos over the years until DVDs came along. Most of my pre-recorded ones were given away and the ones we recorded ourselves went to live in the attic along with the VCR itself. A couple of years on, they’re still up there.

I hadn’t thought of them though until I posted the blog on televisions a couple of weeks ago then Brian emailed to say he had a similar collection of now-redundant tapes too – and now here we are: how can we reuse or recycle video tapes?
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