Posts tagged "recyling"

How can I reuse or recycle the nets you get around wine bottles?

Long time Recycle This friend (and very frequent commenter!) Anna has a question about the protective sleeves slipped around wine bottles:

Any ideas what to do with the plastic nets they put for wine bottles for protecting them when you buy one?

I don’t drink wine so I had to turn to my friend Google to see what those nets are like – some have big holes and look foamy, whereas others have smaller holes and look more like the thin plastic netting you get garlic bulbs in (a smaller version of orange/onion nets). I think the former are to provide some “bounce” protection while the latter just keep all the big bits of glass together in the event of a breakage. (Please correct me if I’m wrong about those assumptions.)

Either way, the first suggestion has to be reduce if you can: if they only add the netting at the shop after you’ve bought the wine, don’t let them: either take an old net to reuse or throw caution to the wind and just go nude ;)

As for reusing them for other things, the thinner/smaller holed nets can be filled with bird seed to make your own bird feeders, filled with the ends of old soap bars and hung on an outside tap for garden clean-up, or bunched up to make washing scrubbies.

I’d be tempted to throw a few of the foam type ones in with our reusable shopping bag stash for when we go to the supermarket for a big shop – they could cushion glass jars and other glass bottles to save them clinking together all the way home. Opened out flat, the foam ones would also be useful as cushioning under heavy plant pots (so they’re less likely to damage/dint the surface they’re stood on) or between occasionally use crockery to save that knocking together too.

How do you reuse or recycle those nets?

How can I reuse or recycle poker/betting chips?

Inma has emailed us about betting chips:

Hi! I’ve found a lot of chips to bet, and I wonder if anyone has some use for them.

There was a fad for playing poker with betting chips a few years ago and all the shops were stacked full of them as cheap/easy Christmas presents – so I bet (ha!) there are lots of unwanted ones lying around people’s houses.

As is just about always the case, the first suggestion should be to pass them on if you can: gift them to a charity/thrift/op shops or jumble sale, or sell them yourself at a car boot sale/garage sale.

If the set is too depleted for that, I’ve seen them used for various little craft projects – turned into keyring fobs or wine glass charms, or for smaller ones, used to make fun costume jewellery (drop earrings, necklace pendants, or even oversized ring decorations).

For bigger projects, I’ve seen basic coffee tables customised with dominoes or Scrabble tiles – I wonder if betting chips could be used in the same way… They could certainly be used to decorate photo frames or other items for a poker/betting fan.

I’d probably throw a couple into our tool box just in case I ever needed something like these plastic discs but I’m not sure what I’d use them for – perhaps, if they were thin enough to open cans of paint (a painter I used to work with recommended using 2pence coins instead of screwdrivers so I’m extrapolating from that), or instead of bits of paper to level up wobbly furniture.

Has anyone else got any crafty reuse/upcycling ideas? What about other practical suggestions?

What are your green goals for 2012?

I hope everyone has had a cracking start to 2012. I feel a bit bogged down catching up on everything leftover from 2011 but other than that, it’s been good!

One of the things I’ve been struggling over all week has been my first Recycle This post of 2012. At this time of year, I usually set myself a green goal or two for the year – and invite everyone else to set one as well. Something that, with a bit of focus during the year ahead, will become a lifelong reducing, reusing or recycling habit.

In 2010, I wanted to curb my addiction to cheap clothes – it took a while and an additional quota-based challenge in 2011 but I think I’ve cracked it now. Last year, I aimed to reduced the amount of food waste & food packaging waste we generated and while we haven’t been perfect in that regard, I think things have improved a lot.

This year though I can’t think of anything that feels like such an obvious crunch point for me/us. We’re not perfect by any means and are still working on improving our habits in a number of different areas but nothing feels like it’s an obvious “we really need to do that to be greener” thing this year.

I suspect it’s partly because we’ve been at this for a while now, have addressed the low hanging fruit and now I’m being blind/have rationalised away our biggest problems areas. I’m going to think very careful about that sort of thing for inspiration over the next few days but while I’m doing that, I’m asking for a bit of inspiration: what are you guys planning to do (or not do!) to make your life greener in 2012?

How can I reuse or recycle old mattresses?

Old mattresses in a yellow skipA suggestion from the skip down the road:

“Hi, I’m the big yellow skip down the road that you keep eyeing up every time you walk past me. The people at the house next to me must be having a clear out or something but no, sorry, that cool chair that’s been in the garden for a couple of weeks isn’t in here: they must have taken it back into the house. You should so get the broken standing fan out though – the white metal bits that cover the blades will make good hanging baskets: come and see me tomorrow and I’ll make sure they’re waiting for you.

Anyway, the reason I’ve acquired an email address and developed some sort of fingerish appendages so I can type said email, is to check if you, or any of your dear readers, know what can be done with the two mattresses that are now nestled inside of me. You see, they’re quite knackered and a little manky so I doubt they’d be good enough to give away to actually sleep on but if anyone has any other suggestions, that would be great.

Thanks, love and hugs,
Skippy the Skip

PS. Call me!
PPS. Also, no asbestos.

What’s greener … to buy local non-organic veg or ship in organic veg from around the world?

Vegetables on a chopping boardMost of the vegetable stalls at our local farmers’ market don’t advertise themselves as organic (possibly just because they’re not Soil Association-approved organic) – but most of the labelled organic veg in the supermarket has been shipped half way from Africa if not further afield.

I suspect this is a better-for-self versus better-for-planet question but I’m not sure – since the pesticides etc on the non-organic veg are damaging the environment in countless different ways anyway.

We can’t always go to the wholefood/organic shops in the city centre that offer local, organic produce (albeit at a price) and my own organic garden veg are currently just seedlings being eaten by slugs, so what is the better alternative?