We all hope that recycling is going to make a big difference to our lives and to the environment. However, it can sometimes be fun to hold a few items back from the recycling depot and make something else out of them. We’ve got some creative ideas here that will help you to think in a different way about the things we throw out.
Bird is the word
You are probably used to crumpling up your two-litre Tetra pack juice cartons and putting it in the recycling bin. However, these cartons make amazing one-year birdhouses! Make sure you have a sturdy, undamaged carton and some equally sturdy string to hang it up with. Then, staple the top shut and cut a round hole in one side – around two inches in diameter and four inches from the bottom. You can then hang it from a branch and enjoy watching birds either nest in it or use it as a feeder.
Don’t know what to do with the plastic mesh bags that you get with onions, tangerines and other fruit and veg? Well, you can turn them into dish-scrubbers. Take off any metal fixings, gather up the mesh so that it looks a bit like a bath puff and tie it together with string or dental floss.
Wish you were…cereal?
If you like to send postcards and letters, why not repurpose a cereal box by cutting it up into rectangles, squares, circles, diamonds, or any shape you fancy. The inside of the box is plain cardboard, which is perfect for your message and stamp.
Petit Filous Nursery
Small food containers, like fromage frais pots and egg boxes, are perfect for starting off seedlings. Put a few drainage holes in the bottom of each pot, then fill it with your seeds and starting soil mix.
If you’ve had a delivery of temperature-sensitive materials, then you might find it arrived in thermal packaging, which is made by several companies. You can use these sheets, which look like a cross between tinfoil and bubble wrap, to keep your shopping cool as it travels home from the supermarket in a hot bus or car.
Tear off a strip
If you buy larger yogurt pots, you can turn them into labels for your plant pots, or for marking the spaces where you’ve planted seeds in your garden. Cut out half-inch strips from the sides of the pots, and then write the name of the plant and its planting date on the blank “inside” of the strip. Use a soft graphite pencil, as inks tend to fade out in the sunlight. Once that’s all done, simply push the plastic strip into the soil next to the plant.
Can you dig it?
You must have made a pen and pencil holder out of an old tin can? They can still look cool, in a Huckleberry Finn kind of way, or you can decorate them according to your fancies. Remember to sand down the cut rim so that it’s safe to handle. If you can’t do this, cover it up with thick tape or foam. A good idea is to stick together tins of different sizes to make an unusual desk tidy.