Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Re-Using in the Home.

Part of our Simple Life is to consume less, buy local, choose products carefully and recycle or re-use what disposable products we do buy. 

Its easy to find a second use for lots of products that are designed to be 'single use'. I keep all my toilet rolls to use in my greenhouse as seed savers. The toilet rolls can be planted directly into the garden, as they'll break down. 

I'm lucky enough to live near a Co-Op and can buy a lot of my food in bulk, using re-usable containers- Jars, bottles and paper bags. I have lots of jars at home. Lots. I buy 1L jars of coconut oil and keep the jar. These are the best jars for storing grains, flour, rice, cereals, nuts, etc in. I use smaller jars for homemade goodies- pestos, jams, marmalades, creams, etc. 

I also use jars as take-away containers. Every morning, during winter, I cook porridge on the stove, put it in a jar with sultanas, put milk in another jar and take them to work/ kindy. When we get to kindy, I pour the porridge out of the jar and into a bowl for Gigi to eat and add the milk. When I get to work, I eat my porridge out of the jar. My colleagues think I'm pretty weird, but I can live with that. 

We re-use our milk bottles by cutting the tops off and turning them into storage containers and organisers. The soaps in my bathroom cupboard are stored in a milk cartoon, I have toiletries in another, cleaning cloths in another. In the toy-space, they are used to store Gigis pencils, small toys, feather, coloured rocks, etc.  Other milk bottles have had their bottoms cut off and I use them as scoops for goat/chicken feed. Other bottles have holes punched in the lid and are used as small and light watering cans for our green house and herb spiral. 

Old clothes that can not be donated are also re-used. Some I cut into squares to use as disposable cleaning cloths. These can then be composted. Other items are cut into strips to be used in the veggie garden for staking plants. At the start of each winter, I buy three pairs of black cotton tights. I wear them every day and by winters end, they are full of holes. I usually repair the holey ones and wear around the house, but eventually the cotton 'rots'. 

This pair of tights is a few years old. They were thin, rotten and full of holes. The perfect candidate for staking some of my plants. I just cut the cloth into strips and tie the plants to stakes. Most of my stakes are sticks found in the garden. 

I remember reading once that plants should never be staked with plastic ties, only cloth ones, otherwise the ties can damage the plants as the grow. Cloth is much more yielding and most importantly- free. The other benefit is that when pulling up annuals, the whole lot can be pulled up and thrown in the compost. With plastic ties, you either have to remove the ties, or deal with plastic in your compost. Win-Win-Win

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