Saturday, September 4, 2010

What's in your recycle bin?

Over the past year we have been trying to reduce the packaging and rubbish that comes into the house but we still manage to fill our recycle bin most fortnights for collection!!

To try to work out were we can cut our packaging or find new ways to reuse the things we are putting in the recycle bin we tipped a fortnights recycling on the floor in the kitchen and we sorted it (well the kids did - thanks kids).

Nearly sorted now.... milk cartons, tins, glass, plastics, paper and cardboard...

Now for the tough work.... what can we do to reduce the amount of these entering the bin in the first place - or if we can't reduce it how can we reuse it!

The glass jars we already keep for jams and chutneys etc... the best way to reduce the number of jars we are getting we will try to preserve more things next year.  I would like to try some tomato paste this summer and maybe some curry pastes.

The tins we put into the recycle bin... the kids suggested plant pots...  but I think the best way to reduce these is to bottle our own tomatoes this summer - as the majority of cans we generate are from canned tomatoes.  This is a little scary though - if we had 1 bottle of tomatoes a week that's 52 bottles of tomatoes for the year.  I might have to hit the op shops and clearing sales for more preserving jars.

Last summer we bottled cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums and pears - as a result we have not bought (much) tinned fruit this year.

We have recently changed to milk cartons - what can we do with all these.  We use some for growing plants - but I am not sure what to do with the rest - maybe some tree guards or even use them as "bricks" to build a cubby house for the kids on the back deck.

And well, plastics - we have been trying to reduce the amount of plastic that enters the house but it's hard.  We have reused some of the plastic bottles as little "mini-glasshouses"  to protect seedlings in the garden. More recently I have been saving bread bags and other clean plastic bags and are going to a plastic weaving evening next week - that should be great.  I love the idea of making stuff out of rubbish.

What's in your recycle bin?  Can you reduce it? Can you reuse it?

Remembering that the three R's are REDUCE REUSE and then RECYCLE.

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