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14 October 2014

5 steps to Recycling at Home

We know how important it is to recycle, but do we honestly do enough? I know we definitely don’t (or didn't). We have made a few changes to make it super easy for us to sort our rubbish, and make sure things go where they should go! Here are the steps we took, and the ones you should think about taking too;

1. Understand– Each council/authority treats recycling different depending on the facilities they have  locally, so the best starting point do a bit of research! Most information can be found online, of course!  If you’re in the UK the Recycle Now website is a pretty good reference. Put in your postcode and it will give you information on what you can recycle at home, it also shows you a map with all the recycle points close to you! BUT, I've found it isn't 100% accurate, it had a glass point missing that is in the car-park of our supermarket; so keep your eyes peeled too. If you are lucky to have a recycle bin provided at your home check what can go in there. Our recycle bin, for example, can take paper, most plastics and metal, but it wont take glass.



2. Organise – Once you’ve found where your recycling goes, you should have a better idea how you need to split your waste up; then it’s time to get organising. You might want to get a new kitchen bin, one that's split into sections to make sorting easier (http://www.homerecycling.co.uk/ has a good collection). I decided it would work better for us to make space in a kitchen cupboard and use two canvas bags (one for our green-recycle bin, one for glass), along with our regular waste bin. Take some time out to put a system in place where you rinse your tins, jars, cans and bottles before sorting. Squash what can be squashed to make extra room. Who’s responsibility is it to do what? Someone does the dishes, the other sorts out the recycling each day? How often are you going to visit your recycling centre? It’s mainly glass that we need to take away from the house; Glass is heavy and I’m weak so we take ours whenever we go to the supermarket.
3. Do it! – You might need to make tweaks to your new routine as you go, that’s fine! The whole point of planning your recycle routine is to make it easy for you. If you can see a short cut, take it. The most important thing is to stick to a routine and don’t let things build up. Do the little bits as you go. Rinsing out a tin of beans, removing jar lids and crushing plastic bottles takes no time at all. You will barely notice the difference.

4. Re-Think – Once you’ve got your recycling routine down, you might want to start thinking about how you can reduce your waste altogether. Although plastic is widely recyclable its production takes up 8% of the worlds oil in its production so why not use a sports bottle instead of buying bottled water? Shop at your local market to avoid excess food packaging. Carry a re-useable bag. Re-use glass jars for home-made pickles and jam. Opt-out of junk mail, switch to online bank statements and bills. Take clothes to charity shops. Use yoghurt pots as plant pots. Start to compost your food scraps. There are so many little every day things we can change that all add up! We're working on having a more reduce-it mindset.

5. Bask - In your awesome environmental awareness and pass your knowledge onto friends and family.

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13 October 2014

Explore.


I have always really sucked at satin stitch, but I'm pretty happy with how this turned out! Although its a little wonky if you look up close. I freehanded the whole design other than tracing a circle for the outside of the planet. I regret using a dark colour for the lettering, I think a gold colour would have looked a lot better. I couldn't face unstitching it though! This will eventually go on our living room wall... when we actually get around to putting stuff up on there.

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11 October 2014

5 Ways to Re-Use an Old T-shirt

Oh man, there are so many ways to reuse an old t-shirt. Obviously, the first thing you should think do with used clothes is donate them to a charity shop, but if they're stained, torn or worn out you can still make use for them! Even if you get one extra use from it, it’s better than binning it straight away. If its too destroyed/stained/gross to use for anything that will be put on show, use it to clean your windows, polishing shoes or for stuffing in rag dolls. But if you just don't wear it anymore, how about trying out some of these ideas:


1. The Rainbow Rug - I am so in love with the way this looks, but even Meg over at Mama Liberated where I found this idea admits that its tough! It'd be perfect for a nursery or craft room thought, I think it''d be worth the stress and time you'd need to dedicate to it! (Photo via Mama Liberated)

2. Baby stuff -
          Leggings/Tights  T-shirts generally are a light jersey-stretch material which is perfect for making baby stuff. You can get templates and guides from a few places online, the one I used is here! All you’ll need is a sewing machine, thread and elastic. This method is perfect if the t-shirt is stained as you can position your stencil around these marks, or use more than one to give a two-tone look.
               Tiny Baby Hat - I found the easiest tutorial over at Small Fry, it literally takes 5minutes! I made a couple and I'm going to embroider initials onto the front, or maybe sew on a felt design? You could tie it differently, or add a pompom! There isn't anything much cuter than a baby hat.

3. Tote bag I'm a firm believe that you can never have enough tote bags. I have loads, but I need more. There are a few tutorials around to make t-shirt tote bags, I really love this one! No sewing means it's super quick. I made it last week and I know it's going to be the perfect market shopping bag to fill with fruit and veg. This one is super cute too.


4. Braided Basket - And, my absolute favourite the braided basket! I am in love wit how this looks. It seems a little more complicated that the other ideas but I'm definitely going to give it a go! I was thinking I could make a couple of smaller versions to use as plant pot covers! I think that'd look great. (Photo via Corner Blog)

5. Pup Toys  Eva loves toys that she can destroy and I love not having to pay for those toys that she loves to destroy. There are a couple of things you can do with an old t-shirt; The easiest is to cut the whole thing into three strips and plait it, tie knots in each end or stitch them shut. The second, stitch the bottom of the t-shirt closed, put in a couple of treats and tie the arms in a knot; it keeps Eva occupied for ages. Instead of treats you could put in a tennis ball, or a squeaky toy; whatever your pup likes!

I can't wait to make some of these. Have you ever made anything from an old t-shirt? I'd love to know what you made and how it turned out!
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