Friday, May 7, 2010

Food for thought Fridays - Repurposing 'rubbish'

Out of our household of three adults and one baby each week comes a black rubbish sack of trash we put on the curb for our helpful garbage collection team to whisk away to who knows where.

We also put out a bright green recycling bin of glass jars, plastic and aluminium, and sometimes a box of paper and cardboard.

Taking a look down the street on rubbish day, I'd say it's pretty much the same story in every house in Hamilton. Some homes put out two bags of rubbish; some have two recycling bins. (Our student neighbours have two, but sometimes, when they think we're not looking, they top up our bin with the extra beer bottles that won't fit in theirs. It amuses me that they think they have to be sly about it - it's all going to the same place after all.)

When L was first born we were actually one of the homes putting out two bags of trash each week, because we had all her stinky disposable nappies to get rid of. Since I went 100% cloth, the stink has reduced and so has the rubbish.

I'd like to see it reduce more. Imagining where all that waste is going ties me up in knots, so I'm trying to find ways to repurpose items rather than sending them to the dump.

Here are a few things I've found new uses for:
Different-coloured lids have become cot toys for L.

These three icecream containers hold our kitchen scraps until we empty them into the worm farm or compost.

A peanut butter jar and leftover takeaway containers hold my frozen chicken stock.

Old ripped towels and clothes get turned into cleaning rags.

How do you re-purpose items in your home?


  1. I hate filling the rubbish bag - we have two huge recycle bins and I'm guessing it's because the last tenants here needed two. All the vege scraps go out to the compost, apple scraps, rice, bread etc all get thrown out to the birds - they even ate tuna pasta the other day. Empty food boxes get sent to kindy as do fabric scraps, so in the end we sometimes only put a bag our every second week. I'm guilty of using disposables though although we are down to one or two a week (night naps)

    that was a good idea to use lids as cot toys - couldn't get much safer!

  2. That's a good idea sending the food boxes to kindy. What sort of ones do they want and what do they use them for?

  3. I often send boxes to kindy or school too. Anything like egg cartons, cereal boxes, small boxes (muesli bars, baking powder, spices etc) and rolls from the inside of paper towels/gladwrap.
    I also give them our old Christmas/birthday cards (just cut off the front picture if you don't want them to see the words as the kids like to cut them up anyway).
    And fabric scraps/wool are great to pass on.

  4. Hi Emma! I love your organised freezer!! I really need to do more batch cooking and freeze things - I noticed your labels on your containers, what do you use so that they don't go all wierd and wet and yucky? I haven't had much luck labelling my containers. I tried putting them in large glad bags but they just don't stack as nicely! From Nikki - phil Connon's wifey :o)

  5. Hey Nikki, the stickers you see are actually from a pack I got at a $2 shop a couple of years ago. They're glossy so seem to hold up to the wet - they even survive the dishwasher - but when I pull them off they do leave a gluey residue behind. This year I bought some Tupperware freezer stickers because they don't leave a residue, but if they get wet they come off right away, which means they don't even last the job they're meant to do. Now I've gone back to my $2 shop stickers and keep putting stickers over top of where the old ones were.


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