Category Archives: Upcycling

5 Ways to reuse Easter Egg Plastic Packaging

You did it again didn’t you?

Despite scorning yourself last Easter for not searching out chocolate eggs with eco friendly packaging, you still have a house full of egg shaped plastic moulds lying around the house.

It’s OK. We all do it some time in our lives, and have shared that moment of sheepish guilt as we throw them into the bin come Easter Monday.

Its the kind of guilt we hang our chocolatey faced head down in shame for. Because we all know, no matter how much we love a regular bar of chocolate – which has simply been moulded into an egg for no particular reason – plastic packaging is a HUGE problem and we really need to stop contributing to it.

But don’t you worry. I made this massive error this year myself, and got super excited with a certain brand of Vegan chocolate eggs (no naming or shaming!); overlooking the plastic mould it came in. So…I thought fast on my feet to came up with a few semi useful reuses for said plastic, so that I could avoid Easter weekend sadness when I was so happily on a chocolate sugar high:

Continue reading 5 Ways to reuse Easter Egg Plastic Packaging

Sustainable party planning

Whether you’re throwing a garden party or a children’s birthday bash, maintaining your own green standards can be a lot harder than you’d expect – as the sheer amount of things you need to get ready and cater for end up taking its toll on even the most well-natured environmentalist. From getting rid of waste, to cooking to please a group, here’s a guide to more sustainable party planning:

Continue reading Sustainable party planning

Antoine Repessé: Portraits of Waste Through the Eyes of a Photographer

I’ve often wondered what all my rubbish would look like if I could see it all laid out in front of me. Though I am uber conscious about throwing things in the landfill, and avoid packaging as much as I can, I am far from the girl who can store her waste in a jar!

But perhaps if we couldn’t hide from the waste we produced, and had to live surrounded by it instead, we could see just how much we still need to cut down on.

This is something which has been beautifully presented by Lille-based photographer Antoine Repessé  in his latest project; #365 Unpacked. In 2011, Repessé stopped throwing away his recyclable rubbish and instead began storing it inside his home for this fascinating photography project. To date he has 70m3 of waste stored!  Continue reading Antoine Repessé: Portraits of Waste Through the Eyes of a Photographer

Easy T Shirt Hacks for the Lazy Seamstress

I can’t believe its already day 5 of Zero Waste Week and what a week it’s been!! I must admit, I’ve been a terrible blogger and been so knee deep in my last week of work and packing to move house, that I haven’t had much time to blog!

But it’s not all been zero waste naughtiness over here, and I’ve been having lots of fun passing all my unwanted belongings on to friends, and on sites like Gumtree and Streetbank.

However, some items – especially clothes and small reusable containers – are actually easily upcycled with a few very easy tweeks, to breathe new life into them. So, though I have been looking at things as I pack thinking “will I miss it in the year I’m away, or should I part with it now?” I’ve also found myself asking “could I use this in someway in my backpack?” It’s a travel hoarders dream!!!

My very good friend Emily recently inspired me with the idea of T Shirt Hacks; quick and easy fashion updates which don’t involve a thread or a needle. My idea of upcycing heaven! This is perfect for making the clothes I’ve been wearing all summer in the UK, new and exciting for my summery days on the road!

I had a little dig to find some examples of how Emilys hacks works in reality before I braved a pair of scissors to my clothes on my 2 weeks off before my flight, and it appears there are 100s of ways you can update a simple T shirt with no sewing skills whatsoever! Here’s just three of them:

Continue reading Easy T Shirt Hacks for the Lazy Seamstress

Packing solutions for the Green traveler

Well my lovelies, Zero waste Week is here and has already gone off with a big bang!! Some of my fellow zero waste bloggers have already shared some fabulous tips, ideas and confessions for cutting down the waste, and the activity on social media was so electric yesterday, #zerowasteweek was even trending on Twitter!!

But this week is also big for another very exciting reason: it’s my last week working at the amazing Eden Project before I pack up all my things and move back to my parents home. In less than 3 weeks I’ll be off on my round the world trip!!

After months of successful planning and not so successful saving, I’ll soon be heading off on foot with just a 46L backpack and leaving all my worldly belongings behind.

This kind of life change calls for a MASSIVE clear out, so Zero Waste Week couldn’t come at a better time! Continue reading Packing solutions for the Green traveler

Zero Waste Week 2015 – My pledge to Reuse

It’s that time of year again, when summer has reached its peak, Autumn seems just around the corner AND…it’s nearly time for Zero Waste Week!

For those of you who have been hiding behind your bins bags for the last 8 years (naughty, naughty!) Zero Waste Week is an awesome campaign to get us reducing our waste for just one week a year, in a bid to set us up with some money saving, and planet saving, habits.

This year the week will be running between 7th – 13th September, and the theme this time is one of my favourite pastimes: ‘Reuse’. What better way to be green than to save on resources and make the most of what you’ve already got?! All you need to do is sign up and pledge just one thing you plan to tackle during the week in the name of Zero Waste! Continue reading Zero Waste Week 2015 – My pledge to Reuse

How to remedy the environmental disaster that is Planned Obsolescence

We’ve all, at some time or another, rolled our eyes at our elders as they claim in dismay that “things just aren’t made to last the way they used to”. Clutching on to the same moth ridden coat they’ve worn since the 40s, or fervently plodding down the road at 20mph in their trusty Morris minors; our grandparents are the kings and queens of frugal living. Their dusty and unchanging homes are living museums of the “golden Years”; where purchases were made for longevity, and are generously cared for as though they were the last of their kind left on Earth. Continue reading How to remedy the environmental disaster that is Planned Obsolescence

One Big Reason to Start Stamp Collecting

If, unlike me, you were inundated by Valentines cards last weekend, you might have a backlog of stamped envelopes at home. If not, there is no reason you shouldn’t start  the age old tradition of stamp collecting for one big reason: charities can make money from them.

Until not long ago, any old paper items went straight into the basket next to our log burner for bulking up our winter fires, or straight into the paper recycling box. And it never really occurred to me that peeling stamps off envelopes would be of any use to anyone. But, perhaps 10 years after everyone else, I discovered that charities like oxfam, PDSA and RNIB all raise funds through the collection of stamps. All you have to do is cut them off your envelope, save in a pot and post over to your chosen charity using the address’ below. What a great way to recycle, reuse and fundraise!

Charities who receive Stamps:

RSPB: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Send loose stamps to: RSPB Stamps, PO Box 6198, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 9XT

PDSA: People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals
Send used stamps to: PDSA Stamp Appeal, PO Box 9191, Wishaw, Lanarkshire, ML2 0YB

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
Send to: PO Box 6198, Leighton Buzzard, Beds, LU7 9GW

Animal SOS Sri Lanka o Send to: Animal SOS Sri Lanka, 64 Fair Acres, Prestwood, Great Missenden, Buck, HP16 0LE RNIB: Royal

National Institute of Blind People
Sort into UK and foreign and send to: RNIB Stamp Recycling, PO Box 185, Benfleet, SS7 9BH

OXFAM
Donate to any shop, email jawhitaker@oxfam.org.uk for more info

MS Trust: Multiple Sclerosis Trust 
Send to: MS Trust, Bridge Road, Letchworth Garden City, Herts, SG6 4ET

You can see a comprehensive list, including local charities here .