|A recycled toy, a fish, made from half a sock and a bit of a rattled down jumper.......|
Rhoda at Down to Earth has inspired this post pop over there to see how much of her life is also reycled! Lately I've been experimenting with daft things to do with old 'hole in the toe' socks for the local recycling charity I sometimes help out with, which don't look too bad, maybe a cat toy or a nice afternoons activity for a small child? The innard of the silly fish is rattled down wool from an old jumper we've got, the perfect inexpensive way to fill a recycled home made soft toy. We've also made a nifty recycled snake draught excluder from your dad/husbands old tie - filled with sand worked a treat! I got a bit frustrated with the online suggestions for mking these things, they were always full of 'buy two eyes' buy red felt, buy capoc for the filling - hardly ever did it say: go forth and forage around the house for excitng things like...... old buttons (for eyes), rattled down an old jumper for a filling and find someone thing old and red if you like for a snakes tongue - I'm quite a forager when it comes to making things, I entirely blame the wombles who when I was little introduced us to wombling (recycling). I mean why 'buy' the ingredients for a recycled activity - surely that defeats the purpose even though the idea is brilliant.
|Womble - from http://www.mikebatt.com/releases/wombles_info.html|
Now those of you old enough and from the UK will instantly understand the art of wombling, thesedays we call it the art of recycling. Wombles, are semi-mythical creatures, known for their capability to reuse and recycle, their motto 'to make good use of bad rubbish'. In this household whether the rubbish is good or bad we attempt to make a go a recycling everything we can, in true womble style. Given my penchant for unglamorous activities, 'wombling' suits me very well, I've often wondered about getting my own suit made.............well it would be warm? I'll stop now! Back to the recycling, aside the garden, eating and the family (of course) its my other great passion.
|Recycled hen home from an old meat cupboard|
Recycling, well as I'm often quoted, most of our 'stuff' here at home is either recycled at home, found on freegle, foraged out in charity shops (of which there are 7 in Orkney), recycling shops (2 - steptOZe yard and Re-start Orkney), heard about on the 'Bruck programme' at BBC Radio Orkney or often offered in the paper or on notice boards in local shops. We do OK here for places to both recycle, most parishes have a recycling deport or area and offer/ask goods for reusing through Orkney Freegle and you'll all find a group near you. Brilliant for offering and receiving recycled delights, check it out if you don't already belong to a group.
|Recycled fishboxes brilliant for growing plants and food in|
I have to confess, aside the children and the dog and half of the chickens, which are not recycled (although I often wonder about recycling the dog and or the children! (joking)) most of our life is powered by recycling. The new polytunnel is recycled and the wood from it has been reused in the frame, the posts were recycled scaffolding poles, obtained from a local agricultural store and cut to length, so aside from the cover and the contrete for the posts the polytunnel is entirely a recycled delight.
|A new life for an old recycled pole!|
|The ultimate efficient home recycling machine......|
We've got hens, 6 new purchased ones and 4 given from a neighbour recycled hens all of which live in a myriad of recycled homes. Hens are to my mind the ultimate efficient household recycling machine, you give them your leftover food, a bit of grass from the lawn mowing and hey presto they supply you with eggs, free fertiliser for the garden, is there another 'machine' so efficient? I guess a womble is almost as efficent, as is a compost bin comes close or a wormery but they aren't so good for eggs! Therefore in terms of food waste, we simiply don't have any, anything left over gets given to the hens, although they don't get much from this house. Egg shells are also recycled back into their food - we bake them when the oven is on and crush them up fine, mixed in with their food to return some of their minerals to them.
|Egg shells are really quickly recycled to the hens or great in the garden for prevenitng slug attacks by spreading under plants|
|Home made in a recycled jar|
We tend to try and keep and reuse all the tubs/containers which come into the house too - mainly as plant pots. Now don't they look pretty? We use milk cartons for stock in the freezer, cordial in the fridge and even to make plant labels - cut to size........
Egg boxes (cardboard) are a treasure for selling eggs in but also work as handy things for drying onions, seeds and lord knows what else. You can happily start off plant seedlings in either egg boxes or the inside of loo rolls and then just plant them straight out in to the garden. The paper will add fibre to the soil as it slowly decays leaving the plants to grow through their papery layers. I'm lucky everyone I sell eggs to always recycles the boxes back to me, when I get overloaded with them, I distrbute them to a couple of local shops which are also on the look out for boxes. Perfect.
As to the paper stuff we get in the post and that covers packets like cereals, hides inside loo rolls etc - most of that which comes in this house is kept for posting things away, lining the hen house floor, wrapping stuff in shredding for hen bedding when we run out of straw and so on. When I'm selling plants via the internet, I send off my little darling plants inside loo roll innards, they are the perfect size to not only grow plants in but in my case to send off a lovely little plant through the post - the recycled cardboard tube keeps the plant upright and safe whilst it tumbles through the mail. Envelopes and bubble wrap have thier own cupboard in this house at the busiest time of year for selling plants, that will all just vanish, as if by magic. Thankfully a few of my lovely pals keep loo roll innards for me - I'm always running out, its not uncommon for us to leave our lovely friends we've visited with a couple of bags of loo and kitchen roll innards - nor is it uncommon for them to arrive when they visit us with a bag full of them. I don't think that aint anything but inviting communal recycling - how cool is that?
Clothes, crockery, candles, shoes, plants, hats and many other delights are something in this house that generally arrive from the charity shop - as a child I hated every minute of the skulking around the charity shops that my mother did, we were on a very low budget and with a family of 4 kids, she got alot of our clothes there. These days the stigma around charity shops has vanished and rightly so, they aren't the vestages of the poor, they are now very fashionable and eco-trendy. Its very green to make sure if you need something new to wear you go on a focussed 'green recycled forage' and check out the selection in the charity shops first. I love them, my weekly treat is a gad about the chairty shops, where I got my rather fetching new hat (!) and I'm not alone in that one - many folk like my friend at this cheerful blog do this as a weekly event!
I've also recycled the childrens clothes and my own wedding dress into mini blankets for us all - we've each got one covered in recycledcut out and embroidered on hearts, made from things like old shirts, pyjamas and favourite things, the blanket part is a on old duvet with an old blanket sandwiched inbetween, we use them all the time - and they go on many adventures with us!
|My sons blaket which I always 'borrow' made from his dads shirt (the blue tartan), my wedding dress (the white lace, which was also recycled from a £5 charity shop buy), a favourite old table cloth (pink) and his first pair of trousers (navy blue)|
My favourite boots were second hand or recycled from ebay........
Wellies are a mainstay of our life and these also get recycled only when the develop a leak - into inexpensive recycled garden shoes - perfect!
And, I'll be quiet now, (I can witter on about recycing more than gardening (!)) aside recycling from shops, borrowing is another great way to find what you're needing. I think the art of borrowing is a tradition which with the way we live these days is often lost. I'm lucky I live in a rural place where its not uncommon to ask your neighbour/friend/colleague for a 'shot' (loan) of an item you only need for a while. The ladder we used for the polytunnel were both 'borrowed' and now kindly returned to their rightful owners. I didn't want to spend an excessive amount of money for step ladders I maybe use once of twice a year. Borrowing I think is a big method of 'reducing' our consumption, if we borrow, we've no need to recycle, we simply give it back with a polite thank you and maybe half a dozen eggs in a recycled box......
Thank you to Rhoda for the thought behind her blog which often inspires not only me but so many other folk - pop over and see her at http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/
What recycling do you do, why not join in?
I'll leave you with a lovely recycled tune....
I'm off to find a recycled womble outfit from ebay.......!