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gardening-girl

What do you re-use?

We had some friends in for lunch today, they were having hysterics beause I was washing out freezer bags to re-use.I thought this is quite normal Laughing They just thought I was being tight.
Good job they haven,t been here all afternoon, I,ve just been sorting out plant labels to use again.Hot water and tipex does the trick Laughing
What wierd things do other people re-cycle?
LynneA

Whenever the works canteen throws out a blue plastic produce tray, I filch it and hide it under my desk until I have a bag to take it home in.
Mutton

Washing plastic bags - totally normal. My parents always did that one too.

My mother was an avid collector of the rubber bands dropped by postmen. Our postman doesn't drop any. Sad (One use for those, plus re-washed plastic bags, was to put bags over end of holly branches to keep birds off the berries in the run up to Christmas.)

Lots of plastic milk bottles - raw material for anything needing plastic - plant labels, plant pots, plastic strips for various things, pots to put things in, tree guards, cloche. They do go brittle in the sun but last a few years.

Grocer gives away the useful blue plastic trays at times. Sweet shop occasionally gives away big sweetie jars in return for pennies to charity. Most useful for storage. (We have a themed kitchen rather than a co-ordinated kitchen. Guess the theme..... Very Happy )

Other than that just scored a whole load of wooden palettes via Freecycle - keep things off damp floors, sheep hurdles, raw material for hay racks and rough shelving. When eventually rot, then dry out and put in stove.
Sherbs

I always wash out plastic sandwich/freezer bags.

I have cunning device for drying them out. I attached a clothes peg with blue-tac to the cupboard door by the sink and I just turn them inside out and peg them up and let them drip. I find they dry much quicker this way.
Mr O

I cut up those tubes that silicone sealant comes in and use them as biscuit cutters, for pastry as well. They are empty when I cut them up mind! Laughing
Sally Too

Jam jars
Screw top bottles
Student's folders/polypockets (I'm a teacher & when their work goes I keep the folders & recycle to other students etc.)
Cardboard (for weed supression)
Flora tubs etc. for taking leftovers to work as lunches
OH is saving CDs for something techie to do with reflected light!
Padded envelopes for posting
Old cable from a dog electric fence for tying up plants next year.
Polystyrene packaging to insulate metal shelves in green house
Pots of all sorts
Rabbit hutch... rabbit is long gone - small puppy now uses the hutch as her den in my kitchen
Old office furniture..... (all over my house & made into a tree house outside... )
I'm sure there's more.............. Cool
Jo S

I'm a hoarder. I keep lots of things, fully intending to use them at some unspecified point in the future...
lottie

I save cardboard inners from loo/kitchen etc rolls for sowing seeds and planting out in roll---especially for stuff like parsnips.
LynneA

My (Welsh) grandad was the odd job man and cleaner at the Fairey helicopter factory for many years. The amount of stuff he brought back from work was admirable, though it did get on my nan's nerves sometimes.

Fibreglass offcuts became plant labels, plastic cups from the vending machines were washed and used for seedlings, discs of polarised perspex and titanium were turned into a bird scarer and foam rubber offcuts were given to my nan to make cushions.
quixoticgeek

Mutton wrote:

Lots of plastic milk bottles - raw material for anything needing plastic - plant labels, plant pots, plastic strips for various things, pots to put things in, tree guards, cloche. They do go brittle in the sun but last a few years.


I find they are perfect for freezing liquids like stocks and soups. I have even taken to buying the 1pint bottles rather than the 2pt ones as they are more useful to freeze.

I find yoghurt pots are really handy for use when painting.

I have an arrangement with a local bar to collect all their green wine bottles for my wine (still need another 24...).

My local farmers market seems to have an endless supply of blue and black small crates that stack, I think they had mushrooms in them or similiar at one stage. I have them stacked in the porch for veg storage.

J
Wentworth

We try and re-use most things that can be washed/ cleaned / salvaged but have a clear-out every so often to reduce things we will not use (take them to recycling). In addition we often find useful things we ask if we can have - recent finds include a large sheet of new perspex (for a cold frame), wooden fruit crates (destined for this years apples), off cuts of wood (hundreds of uses)...it's fun and saves a few bob.
gz

bring me sunshine wrote:
I'm a hoarder. I keep lots of things, fully intending to use them at some unspecified point in the future...


Should we start Hoarders Anonymous? Laughing

At least my dad had his hoarded stuff neatly filed, and stored in labelled marg tubs and jamjars.

btw postmens' rubber bands are now biodegradable so although they are red and easy to find, they crumble in no time Sad
Bodrighy

All the above plus cardboard boxes. Recycled by turning inside out and resizing for posting delicate items, bubble wrap my better half brings home for work....sheets of it and loads of bags, All these get thrown out by stores. Maybe worth checking ith some of them.

Pete
Tavascarow

Did anyone else see slumming it last night.
I reuse milk bottles jars loo roll tubes plastic bags (bread bags turned inside out).
& I steal bubble wrap from the fruit section at the supermarket everytime I visit for packaging eggs.
I burn most of my paper waste on the rayburn but I should be shredding it for chicken litter really.
jamsam

oh god...i cant actually ADMIT to what i hoard, but i do reuse masses of stuff!

Hoarders Annonymous would be a good plan.....i'll join!!!!
SandraR

My husband's Uncle is moving this week from the house he was born in 82 years ago - he has a life time of 'it will come in useful one day' stuff to sort. Shocked

Guess who agrees with him ? We need more space but it will come in useful one day !!
lottie

Is it more environmentally friendly to shred paper waste for chicken litter or make blocks for the fire? I do both but I suspect chicken litter then compost is the best way to go.
sean

I'd guess that you're right. When we made paper blocks they never seemed very clean burning though that may have been a deficiency in my technique/failure to dry them thoroughly enough.
sally_in_wales

I tread a fine and usually unsuccessful line between keeping lots of things to re-use, and actually re-using them successfully enough to stop them just being more clutter. I'm trying to be a bit more ruthless about putting things into the recycling rather than saving them 'in case they are useful', I suppose my goal is to get consumption of those items down to a point where we have very little surplus that needs recycling, sadly a long way off yet.
Nick

Perhaps you should stop thinking of those piles of yarn/wool/fabrics/buttons/beads/antlers/cotton reels/old curtains and so on as clutter. Perhaps it's actually insulation. You'd have to heat that space otherwise.
Wentworth

Before I left for Spain, I helped a friend to clear out the home of an elderly man who had died. He was a hoarder - we actually found a bedroom that no-one knew was there because the corridor (and the bedroom) were stacked wall to wall, floor to ceiling with īThings that'll come in one day. Strange but true. Has it stopped me 'hoarding'?.....nope. Can't resist. Rolling Eyes
dpack

im a recovering hoarder from a long line of hoarders
lottie

Seeing the stage of hoarding my mum's got to has made me much more ruthless about taking stuff to the recycling bins or the charity shop---just in case it's genetic. Smile
toggle

Nick wrote:
Perhaps you should stop thinking of those piles of yarn/wool/fabrics/buttons/beads/antlers/cotton reels/old curtains and so on as clutter. Perhaps it's actually insulation. You'd have to heat that space otherwise.


one day, i will succeed in insulating a house entirely with yarn and books
oldish chris

Re: What do you re-use?

gardening-girl wrote:
I,ve just been sorting out plant labels to use again.Hot water and tipex does the trick


I scrub mine with one of those green scouring pads.

As for jars, I've calculated that my storage cupboard can only hold 108 of them. After I've stored the maximum useful number of jars, the rest get recycled. (I have a separate hoard of metal tops).

All biodegradable stuff gets composted. (Can't have too much compost)
ros

lottie wrote:
Is it more environmentally friendly to shred paper waste for chicken litter or make blocks for the fire? I do both but I suspect chicken litter then compost is the best way to go.



I think the answer depends on what you would have done instead in each case.....

we got a paper brick maker for christmas, any tips?
Tavascarow

On the subject of reusing plant labels.
If you use a soft graphite pencil not marker pen you can use a rubber to remove the writing & also I find they don't fade as quickly as marker even UV resistant markers.
lottie

ros wrote:
lottie wrote:
Is it more environmentally friendly to shred paper waste for chicken litter or make blocks for the fire? I do both but I suspect chicken litter then compost is the best way to go.



I think the answer depends on what you would have done instead in each case.....

we got a paper brick maker for christmas, any tips?

They need to dry for a lot longer than I realised when we first got ours---I shove sawdust in the mix as well if we've been cutting wood. They aren't marvellous but I work on the principle that every little bit helps.
Green Rosie

Re: What do you re-use?

gardening-girl wrote:
I was washing out freezer bags to re-use.


But have you got an easy way to dry them? I hang them over the taps/bottles etc but they take a while and get in the way a bit.
lottie

I've got a big cupboard in the kitchen with the hot tank in---I just bung them in there after swilling them out.
gardening-girl

Usually they get put over the top of wooden spoons etc that stand in a pot by the cooker. Embarassed
Midland Spinner

I try desperately NOT to hoard stuff, 'just in case it's useful' - when my Great Grandfather died we found an envelope labelled "Small pieces of card which might be useful", and another of short bits of string.
He was lovely, but .... when he sent you a card, he wrote in it in pencil so you could rub it out & re-use it.
He had a stack of baccy tins, each with a washer, screw, nut or bolt in because his wife had objected to him keeping "empty tins" so he put something in each one in order to claim that they were useful! Rolling Eyes

Someone please stop me if I get to that stage
The things I re-use are:

Freezer bread bags, I just shake the crumbs out.
I collect newspaper from a friend at work who gets a paper - we use it for lighting the fire,
Jam jars (obviously!)
Olive oil bottles - refill from a big tub from the Cash & Carry
We had a Chinese take away about 18 months ago and the plastic trays are excellent for holding the laundry soap & washing balls next to the sink in the futility room.
Cat food or bean tins occasionally get used for washing paint brushes etc (but only if we are painting something).
Milk bottles for storing "Worm Do" from the wormery.
Loo roll inners for seed planting - also have a paper potter - have to save newspaper for that - memo to self, ask at work for more.
I keep padded envelopes for later re-use, although I usually find that the sender has put our address in huge letters all over it and when I try to re-use it there's not enough space to put an address, so I end up using so much sticky tape & paper that I might as well have used a new envelope!
Green Rosie

lottie wrote:
I've got a big cupboard in the kitchen with the hot tank in---I just bung them in there after swilling them out.


No hot water tank Sad

gardening-girl wrote:
Usually they get put over the top of wooden spoons etc that stand in a pot by the cooker. Embarassed


Not much room there Sad

But a friend has said she has a small washing line in the corner of the kitchen with clothes pegs on it - off to see if that will work.
katie

I dry my plastic bags on the legs of the ironing board when it's folded up....if you can envisage what I mean.... Embarassed
Green Rosie

What is this thing you call an ironing board Question
Barefoot Andrew

Laughing
A.

PS I can't believe people exist who don't wash and reuse freezer bags Shocked
gorbut

I have a contraption that hangs up with lots of little pegs on it that are designed for drying things like socks. I do use it for that but also platic bags. I save up the bags and wash them all togehter and then hang the peg thing over the shower rail so it doesn't matter if the bags drip. Later when they are not dripping I hang them up in the utility room. In summer I hang them outside.
gardening-girl

Godd idea Gorbut!
We,ve got one of those in the camping box, better go and find it.
OH calls it a Wishy Washy.
Green Rosie

Excellent idea - I could hang that off the overhead drying rack Very Happy
T.G

[quote="Midland Spinner"]
I collect newspaper from a friend at work who gets a paper - we use it for lighting the fire, check
Jam jars (obviously!) check
We had a Chinese take away about 18 months ago and the plastic trays are excellent for holding the laundry soap & washing balls next to the sink in the futility room. check - but more frequent
Cat food or bean tins occasionally get used for washing paint - bean tins for holes in lawn for putting green
Loo roll inners for seed planting - check
I keep padded envelopes for later re-use, Check - using a small bit of sticky tape you can stick it on and remove it it removes the writing (sometimes with a small amount of paper)without damaging the envelope too much. and reuse bubblewrap

Also turn envelopes that come pre-addressed but for something you won't be sending for inside out and re-use

I also buy one particular brand of peanut butter purely as they come in plastic pots with screw lids so are safer than jam jars to use for storing nails screws clips etc in
Ginkotree

fabric conditioner bottles from yonks ago have lasted for feed scoops if you cut them at the right angle
orange peel for fire lighter
a huge amount of the farm is made from recycled stuff that folk bring here...THANKYOU Laughing doors..work surfaces...
the compost loos are made from an old side board...mahogany, very posh..and an old bed ...oak I think..
I am lucky to have the room to take stuff from folk, use them or store,,,then when people need bits of furniture I let them have it...

I took all the wood from a man who collected it, so much there was no room for his children in the house..very sad...and he was going to be evicted...he was happy that it is all recycled down to the last bit with all sorts of uses...and the very last..to keep warm.the girls were happy to have thier rooms back..

Material to make quilts.

OOh its endless....and I am definately Recycled after all my treatments Laughing Laughing
Nell Merionwen

I get quite excited if I aquire a large cardbord box....the chickens will get a new nest box Embarassed
plastic bags, card, string, what ever I can. I also wash out freezer bags...why would someone not? Confused
marigold

Helen M wrote:
I also wash out freezer bags...why would someone not? Confused


Because they are dead cheap and life is too bl**dy short Wink Laughing .
Midland Spinner

The.Grange wrote:
I keep padded envelopes for later re-use, Check - using a small bit of sticky tape you can stick it on and remove it it removes the writing (sometimes with a small amount of paper)without damaging the envelope too much.


Oh good tip!
Hairyloon

Midland Spinner wrote:
Someone please stop me if I get to that stage

There is apparently a recognised mental illness of excessive hoarding.
Really bad cases won't even throw away their own bodily fluids.

I seem to be having a phase of being given old cookers. I'm on the third in the space of a month.
They're held together with loads of self tapping screws which anyone knows are endlessly useful, and I'm sure there is a use for all those switches and metal plates. Confused
The actual ovens are now going to be recycling bins or something like.

Not yet stripped the third one if anyone needs a cooker...
Bulgarianlily

I find the shiny drums from old dryers exciting. But that is enough confessions for one day! Shocked
Bebo

Hairyloon wrote:
Midland Spinner wrote:
Someone please stop me if I get to that stage

There is apparently a recognised mental illness of excessive hoarding.


My OH used to work for a London Borough and several times was given the task of helping the environmental health team with sorting out council accommodation that had been occupied by someone with this problem. On one occassion they had to clear out a property that an elderly gentleman had been living in for years. His daily routine was to go out and scavenge items for bins, take them back, wrap them individually in newspaper and store them away. He'd been doing this for years. Every room in the house was full from floor to ceiling. He was living and sleeping in an armchair in his hallway with a camp stove to cook on and a bucket as a toilet.
Erikht

Hairyloon wrote:
There is apparently a recognised mental illness of excessive hoarding. Really bad cases won't even throw away their own bodily fluids.


If I ever took up tanning, those would be useful.
marigold

Erikht wrote:
Hairyloon wrote:
There is apparently a recognised mental illness of excessive hoarding. Really bad cases won't even throw away their own bodily fluids.


If I ever took up tanning, those would be useful.


But you'd stink - better to save up for a fortnight in Spain Wink
Hairyloon

Erikht wrote:
Hairyloon wrote:
There is apparently a recognised mental illness of excessive hoarding. Really bad cases won't even throw away their own bodily fluids.

If I ever took up tanning, those would be useful.

Yes, but saving it up just in case is going a bit far I think.
If supplies are that much of a problem, team up with a porta-loo firm.
gardening-girl

We had to mend a tumble drier today, using bits from another one.The glass door panel makes a very good bowl Wink
vegplot

Brass .357 magnum cases which are reloaded many time before being recycled as scrap and recovered lead from the back stop made into new bullets.
Bodrighy

We hang our washed bags on a cord on the back door. We use shreddded paper for packaging along with scrounged bubble wrap and I make my own boxes from old ones cut down to size. Centres from paper towels etc are useful for packaging things like crochet hooks etc. My main problem is wood. We have a wood burner but every timne we get any wood I am there with a serious problem, sorting out what is useful for turning and what is for burning. Now I have started making dolls furniture and miniatures it is a really big problem. Fortunately managed to acquire 2 calor gas heaters from Freecycle so don't need so much wood Laughing

Pete
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