Reuse, recycle, reinvent


I’m a sucker for saving rubber bands. Can’t throw them out. Even the little purple ones that keep the asparagus bundles together! I do reuse them… ahem.. on special occasions.

What do you reuse? Wrapping paper? Newspaper? The back of envelopes? Twist ties from the bread bags? Does it save you money? Or just make you feel you are helping the planet? A woman attending one of my workshops sliced off the ribbons on new garments (the ribbons that secure the garment to the hanger) and saved them for card making! She was kind enough to let us all laugh at her (as we all held onto our own dirty recycling secrets).

I’d love to know: what are you silly, clever or not-sure-why recycling ways?

13 responses to “Reuse, recycle, reinvent

  1. I must admit that if I get mail and the stamp hasn’t been franked, I soak it off and re-use. Saves a bit on postage.

  2. Fast food paper bags. I’m obsessive about them. I don’t “collect” them, but I do reuse them for the organics bin. Hell of a lot easier than newspaper! I was just grocery shopping and picked up a free one on the ramp as I went downstairs – score!! 😀

    That said, my collecting of paper napkins is probably a little out of hand. They do get reused, but not nearly as quickly as the afore mentioned bags, and I do have a bit more than “a few too many”, I admit. But I don’t buy paper towels, so I guess they save me money, albeit not much, as I would only buy the generic cheapies. Coffee Club napkins are better than any cheap paper towel!

    I’ve always been a saver, and my mum tells me I was also a kleptomaniac in my younger days. I think it’s safe to say the OCD has always been there, but it has progressed through the years.

    Oh and BTW, I’m keeping the sugar and sweetener packets for weeks when the budget is not so flush. And if you ever need a moist towelette, just give me a yell.

  3. Stamps, napkins, paper bags, sugar and moist towelettes! I think there’s an opportunity to save heaps of cashola and they are great environmental efforts. Thanks for sharing Natalie and Kay.

  4. Hi 😀 What an interesting question. We could all garner some tips here 😉
    I too cut off the ribbons from garments. I’ve used them bunched together to make tassels at the end of a crocheted rainbow. Very pretty they are too 😉
    Looking forward to reading what others recycle. Have a good day 😉

  5. The plastic bags you get from the grocer. I try and avoid using them when possible but if I need to use them at the fruit shop I save them at home to contain small amounts of rubbish. For example tonight I made spag bol – the ‘meaty’ mince tray, the onion and garlic skins all went into ‘fruit bag’ and into the wheely bin.

    Hubby also uses ‘left over’ serviettes, keeps them in his pocket instead of a packet of tissues.

    PS those purple asparagus bands are good quality and worth keeping.

  6. When I lived in Tonga and had to collect my mail from the GPO, there were no rubber bands coming into the house, and how I missed them! I had visiting friends ‘import’ them from Australia for me (plus Tim Tams). Back in Australia, I still keep all rubber bands — of course they’re useful — but you can have too many. Every few months I pick out the fat red ones and return them to the post office to be re-used. They do look at me strangely.

    Used stamps can be collected and delivered to 130 Little Collins St where they’re sorted by volunteers and sold to philately traders to raise funds for various charitable projects. http://wr.victas.uca.org.au/commission-for-mission/ucaf/sammy-stamp/

  7. Plastic supermarket bags, reused to send clothes to charity, or clean up the cat litter tray, or take vegies from my garden to work. Not sure what we will do when they disappear altogether. Have to buy them I guess.
    Used to save camera film canisters, but now I have gone digital I can’t do that. I liked the clear plastic ones because you could see what was inside.
    I buy ice cream for one and sometimes keep the plastic container it came in – they look pretty. I like to keep containers I can happily throw out, to mix paint in, clean paint brushes, mix seeds before planting, even sort jigsaw puzzle pieces.
    The tops of some medicines are medicine “glasses” and can be used to measure out medicines in future, or weed killer (dont get them mixed up :-). The former in the bathroom cabinet, the latter in the shed.
    Used to be common to keep margarine and butter containers for later use, but now the plastic cracks almost before the contents are empty.

  8. My seven year old daughter has discovered scrapbooking and loves to use my paper cutting punches. To save the good paper and cardstock we practice on cereal boxes and any other light cardboard packaging. Sometimes these even have cool pictures and lettering that she wants to keep. I have a bright pink box dedicated to keeping said packaging in ready for use. Even I can get a little carried away with the punches if I am watching tele. Our family love her cute and creative ideas.

  9. from dining out n take-aways: serviettes, sugar packs n plastic cutlery
    from shopping: paper n plastic bags, wrapping paper n stuffing
    from gifts: nice wrapping paper n ribbons
    from food bought: jars or bottles that r not oily
    from the mail: envelopes, A4 or bug enuf flyers for meals

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