The last 30 years have seen staggering changes in the way that we buy and consume products. We seem to have swapped the more sane sentiments of post war Britain, such as “make it last” and “something for a special occasion” and replaced them with “buy a new one” and “have whatever you want”.

Yes, we have advanced, but surely common sense has to prevail. Do we really need to through away the 17.5 billion plastic bags we bring home a year in Britain alone? Surely not.

Reusing what we have already is both economic and environmental logic. Here are just a few ideas of how to reuse. Drop us a line with any novel reuses you have come up with and we’ll add them to the list below.

  • Carrier bags can be reused in the shops or as bin bags around the house. When they have had it remember to recycle – Tescos and most other supermarkets will take plastic bags
  • Paper bags make useful wrapping paper
  • Ttwist ties can be used to secure loose items together, such as computer wires.
  • By sticking labels over the address you can reuse envelopes.
  • Old envelopes can be used as scrap paper to make notes on.
  • By cleaning glass jars and small pots, you can use them as small containers to store odds and ends.
  • Newspaper, cardboard and bubble wrap make useful packing material when moving house or to store items.
  • Old clothes can be made into other textile items such as cushion covers or teapot cosies.
  • Packaging such as foil and egg cartons can be donated to schools and nurseries, where they can be use in art and craft projects.
  • Scrap paper can be used to make notes and sketches. Don't forget to recycle it when you no longer need it.
  • Old tyres can be given to your local petrol station where they will be recycled. Or you could make a tyre-swing by tying a strong rope around a tyre and attaching it to a tree.
  • Used wood can be used in woodcrafts for making objects such as a spice rack or a bird table. Alternatively it could be used as firewood.
  • Reuse garden waste and food waste for compost for your garden.
  • Old socks and clothes can be used for making stuffed toys for you, your kids, donations or sales.
  • Reuse plastic bottles for potting plants
  • For perfectly straight long carrots, any old lengths of drainpipe can be 1/2 buried and filled with compost

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Green Facts