A brilliant way to reduce stuff is to re-use items that you already have or that other people no longer want and even turn them into something useful. The photo is of Stripes, a local hand-crafted teddy made from a sock. I wish I could say that I had made him, but we found him on a stall at the school fair, made by one of the creative mums. There are countless other examples, like the Morsbag group, who teach people how to turn leftover material into a useful and re-usable cloth shopping bag, using the old hand-cranked sewing machines. Let me know if there are any other good examples you know about?
Plastic packaging tubs from takeaways, ice cream, ready meals or drinks, were something I would always keep as they are useful for storing food or small toys, for packed lunches and as plant pots. Having read Jo’s post on All the Blue Day and the links, explaining more about the damage that plastic does to our health and the environment, I want to reduce the amount of plastic we use. I was gobsmacked to see how much of our food arrives and is stored in plastic. Removing plastic completely seems such a tough task.
What I really didn’t want to do was to buy new stuff, made with lots of energy and resources, to replace my re-used plastic tubs. I mean it feels bad enough that I will be throwing perfectly useful plastic containers into the recycle bin (and do I really trust that it will all be recycled?). I raided my collection of jars saved for storing homemade produce, and found these small pasta sauce jars, which work well for storing small amounts of food and have a metal lid.
These empty passata jars are ok for fine-grained items like oatbran, that can be poured out. The almond flakes would be better in a wider mouthed jar though.
I also spent a whole £2 on this Pullman blanket, which is very large and warm and will make an ideal additional camping blanket, to keep us warm when there is frost J
So I have made a start to exchange the plastic in my home for alternative materials. I will continue searching for tea caddies for my tea bags and I am planning to call in at the fish and chip shop to see if I can get some larger glass jars. I would also like to learn how to do wickerwork baskets, which may be an alternative to plastic storage tubs for shoes and toys. If you have any good storage ideas or have found an innovative way to re-use your packaging then I would love to hear about it.