Tag Archives: Recycling

Spot The Difference

19 Mar

Sometime before Christmas, I was given an old drawers unit that was unwanted by our local community centre:

As you can see, it is tatty and grim-seventies in style, but functional. Exactly what I need, in fact, for my poetry collections and stationery; and I am extremely grateful to have it. My intention is to upcycle it in the summer i.e. give it a coat of paint.

The brown plastic drawers are miserable to look at and not conducive to making this housewife laugh, but I had a solution. The Hub bought me some gorgeous sticky back plastic: silver, glittery and textured. I confess, I like to stroke it, especially when I’m stressed. I have it on notebooks, backing a framed document signed by Queen Victoria, and now here:

I was really pleased with my temporary cheerful fix.

And then the Hub did this:

Yes, folks, that’s right: every time I sit at my desk, I get to look at the Hub’s ‘PENiS’.

Three guesses what I’m going to do with my next roll of sticky back plastic.

 

17 Mar

Talking of being green…here’s a great post with simple tips to make your life easier and re-use your toilet roll tubes.

 

TwistedSifter

 

Life hacks are little ways to make our lives easier. These low-budget tips and trick can help you organize and de-clutter space; prolong and preserve your products; or teach you something (e.g., tie a full Windsor) that you simply did not know before.

Most of these came from a great post on tumblr. There is also a great subreddit ‘r/lifehacks‘ with some fantastic tips as well.

 

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I Love Him But He Has To Go

19 Oct

This was my Love Potato when the Hub first left him for me:

This is him now:

I took the decision to throw him into the food recycling bin last week, but he’s still sitting on my kitchen counter.

I love my little Love Potato; how can I possibly toss him aside?

Saving The Planet = Saving Cash

17 Apr
A car boot sale gets its name from the way goo...

A car boot sale gets its name from the way goods are sold out of the back of a car. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t posted tips for a long time.  I think these bear repeating.  Just because I’m not here, doesn’t mean I can’t make myself useful.

Partly due to personal circumstances; partly due to witnessing people scrabble around in my bins for food when I lived in South Africa; partly due to a desire to save the planet; and partly due to natural parsimony, I am a keen recycler and money-grubber.  Why not join me?

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  • Wash everything except very dirty things on a cold wash; modern powders and liquids are strong enough.  You don’t need to be at 30 degrees
  • Never wash a half-load, only a full one
  • Only fill the kettle with enough water for the number of cups you require
  • Use carrier bags for indoor bins instead of buying bin liners
  • Cut up old sheets, towels, clothes, etc. for dish cloths and dusters
  • Pour unused water  into your plant pots  – better still, buy a rain barrel
  • FREECYCLE/FREEGLE!  You can give away your old junk and receive somebody else’s.  It’s a worldwide thing so there’s probably a group near you.  It’s free.
  • If you are a UK book reader there’s also readitswapit, which is great for swapping books.  All it costs is second class postage.  It’s easy to list your old books (it must be, because I did it).  My one piece of advice would be: don’t list heavy or hardback books unless you don’t mind mortgaging the children to cover the postage.
  • Use rechargeable batteries
  • Buy refills whenever possible
  • Put stale bread out for the birds
  • Save soap scraps and make your own block of soap (having said that, I’ve only managed three blocks of soap in five years, but every little helps)
  • Cannibalise furniture, appliances, etc: when we redecorated our living room, the Hub took apart our old wall unit and used the wood to make shelves in a cupboard; he also took out all of the screws to re-use
  • Defrost food in the fridge overnight, rather than in the microwave
  • Ensure leftover food has cooled down before putting it in the fridge
  • A fridge will work more efficiently if it is well stocked, but not over full or practically empty

And one more: recycle clothes.

  • Swap with friends – my friend and I estimated that on average six children (including our own) shared any one garment.   The more people you share with, the more clothes there are to choose from, and therefore the less worn out each garment becomes.
  • Donate unwanted clothes to charity shops – they will collect if you can’t carry them
  • Sell them by the bag load on a car boot sale or through the free ads
  • If you can’t sell it or give it away because it’s too old, cannibalise it: cut off all buttons, take out cords and shoelaces, then use what’s left as rags
  • Buy from charity shops, car boot sales and jumble sales – the more we do that, the less consumables will eventually be produced

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Many of these tips might seem obvious but you’d be amazed at how few people are aware of them – do your children and the planet a favour, and pass on the message!

Have you got any tips to share?  Despite what the Hub keeps saying, I don’t know it all.

Move Over

28 Jul
IMG00231

Image by buba69 via Flickr

What would it take to get you to move?

From this chair?  Lunch.

From this house?  A better house.

From this country?  A green card.

From this planet?  The dulcet tones of Captain Jean-Luc Picard.  He could persuade me to do anything.

If someone you trusted offered you $1000 to move to a different city, would that be enough?

Could I take my lunch with me?

Upon reflection, no.  That would barely cover the moving costs; especially to Betazed.

Would you need other things: the promise of friends or better weather?

I have friends; even some real ones.  Global warming will catch up in Stockport eventually, so I won’t need that.

What would they need to offer you before you’d instantly say yes?

A job.

Or if you already want to move, what would it take to get you to stay?

A job.

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Actually, I love moving house.  I love the clear-out that moving house always entails.  I like putting things into boxes, putting their contents into lists in a pretty little yellow notebook, and putting the boxes with their labels (Kitchen/Bedroom/Lounge etc) into the new rooms in the new house.

The junk gets sorted into categories:

  • Charity
  • Recycling
  • Sell
  • Garbage

And sub-categories:

  • Charity: Clothes/Bric-a-brac/Books
  • Recycling: Bottles & Cans/Paper/Green Waste
  • Sell: Whatever I Don’t Need/Large Unused Items/The Hub’s Stuff
  • Garbage: Tat/Junk/The Hub

Hmm.  Ask me the question again.

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Green Around The Landfills

5 Jun
Steel crushed and baled for recycling in a rec...

Image via Wikipedia

Whose responsibility is it to change the world?

Ours.

And what will be your contribution?

Eat less.
Fart less.
Kill all the cows.

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To be fair, I am doing my bit:

  • I reduce, repair, re-use and recycle whenever possible.
  • I swap my books instead of buying new.
  • I Freegle, Realcycle and Freecycle at every opportunity.
  • I don’t just throw cans into the brown recycling bin: I take off their labels for the blue recycling bin.
  • I turn old wardrobes into cupboard shelves and socks into dusters.
  • I buy my clothes in charity shops or accept them gratefully from friends.
  • I only boil enough water for my cup of tea.  The rest of them do without because they can’t be bothered making their own.
  • I let Stockport Homes re-wire my house, install a condensing boiler, double glazing, insulation and energy-efficient shower.  (How good am I?)
  • I use the same old jokes whenever I think I can get away with it.

I don’t think there’s much more I can do; do you?

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While proofreading this post, I realised I had read ‘save’ instead of ‘change’. 

Let’s try again:

Whose responsibility is it to change the world?

Ours.

And what will be your contribution?

Get my kids to do it.

They’ll have to take over; I’m exhausted.  I’m so busy saving the planet, I don’t have time to fix it.

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(

What A Load Of Rubbish

10 Dec
Trash bins in Regensburg

Image via Wikipedia

I’m as big a fan of recycling as the next man; bigger, if anything: I’ve been doing it since before it was either fashionable or compulsory; but I’m ready to give it all up and dump the contents of my three un-emptied wheelie bins on Stockport town hall’s doorstep.  I’m sure it would be four un-emptied wheelie bins if I had put the last one out with the others.

I have a green bin for garden and food waste; a blue bin for paper; a brown bin for glass, tins, certain plastics; and a smaller black bin for non-recyclables – the black bin is woefully inadequate for anyone’s needs and likely to stay that way until manufacturers are pressured into reducing packaging but that doesn’t excuse the town hall for getting it so badly wrong: they should either have given us all larger black bins, or emptied them weekly instead of whenever the mood take them.

I don’t often get enraged – war?  Seen it all before.  Starving children?  Pass me my gourmet meal and tell them to eat their sticks and stop whining.  But dare to ignore my bins on collection day and I swell to three times my not inconsiderable size and blister the skin of any local government official within a twenty-mile radius.

Here’s what happened:

Tuesday 30/11/10 – Midnight*

* You have to do it the night before because you can bet if it’s a minute past seven in the morning of collection day their little radar detects it and uses it as an excuse to ignore you for a month; but you can’t do it early evening because they’ll fine you for cluttering the pavement    

  • Put out full green, brown, blue bins – ensuring they are placed at the edge of the property, lids fully closed, not blocking public access but visible to blind refuse truck driver, before seven a.m.
  • Snow

Wednesday 01/12/10

  • Binmen ignore blue and brown bins on 300 Stockport streets because of ‘bad weather’ yet, somehow, the green bin truck gets through

Thursday  02/12/10 – Lunchtime

  • Bring in empty green bin, full blue, brown bins
  • Stamp feet in frustration
  • Chat to neighbour, discover neighbour’s daughter-in-law’s contact at town hall has told daughter-in-law who told neighbour who tells you that blue bin will only be emptied on 29 DECEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Once breath returns to body, get on phone to council
  • Told by very nice Ros who lets you shout at her until you calm down that you will be collected next Wednesday.  Even though it’s a full week late, accept it as a gift because you won’t have to face a Christmas garden piled high to the top of your six foot fence with detritus

Tuesday 07/12/10 – Midnight

  • Put out full black, brown, blue bins – ensuring they are placed at the edge of the property, lids fully closed, not blocking public access but visible to blind refuse truck driver, before seven a.m.

Wednesday 08/12/10

  • Watch truck sail past with the contents of every black bin on your street – except, of course, yours
  • Yodel on phone to very nice Bev until reassurances are given that full black bin will definitely be collected next Wednesday and blue and brown bins should still be collected that day because you are on the roster and they work until seven at night
  • Bring in full black bin

Thursday  09/12/10 – Lunchtime

  • Bring in full brown, blue bins
  • Get on phone to make an official complaint – politely; you’re too exhausted by the whole process to care any more.  You’d top yourself but as the same people who run the refuse collection, run the cemeteries, you’re not sure how long your smelly body would be standing there bothering your poor grieving family.  Although, as you are the only person who can be bothered to put out the rubbish and even when you do it ends up piled six feet deep in your garden due to non-collection, they might not find you until you begin to stink like your own cooking anyway.
  • Get caught short
  • Hear answer phone message as you are on the loo, telling you brightly that your blue bin will be collected on Saturday (as announced in this week’s Stockport Express – remember those 300 streets?); your brown bin will be collected on next brown bin collection date; and what’s a black bin?
  • Give up

The only good thing to come out of this sorry mess – although ‘good’ is a relative term – is that I got a short poem out of it.  The Poetic Asides prompt was to write about a group of anything:

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A Garbage Of Refuse* Collectors

The binmen of Stockport?
They’re rubbish.

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*Feel free to pronounce ‘ref-use’ as ‘re-fuse’; I won’t be offended.

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There is a poem about rubbish people of a different kind on my sapoem blog.

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I saw this on ribshackred‘s blog and I thought you might like it:

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