Here at the Stroud District Furniture Bank we love recycling and get a buzz whenever we recycle furniture. In the last year from April 17 to March 18 we have saved 115 tonnes of furniture from being sent to landfill. To put this in context this is the equivalent of 115 of the cows which will soon be back on Minchinhampton common.
Recent surveys have found that more than 60% of the rubbish that ends up in bins can be recycled. The rate we are producing rubbish is overwhelming and there is going to be a time where we run out of landfill space. In the last 30 years plastic has grown to become an essential part of modern life, we now use approximately 20 times more plastic than we did 50 years ago. The use of plastic is at the forefront of the news with the government looking at banning straws, cotton buds and single use coffee cups.
We are passionate about helping people recycle their unwanted furniture and find new homes for items people no longer want. We have even had someone get a bookshelf off us to turn it into a tortoise house for their daughter’s tortoise. If you do have furniture you no longer need, think twice before you send this to the tip and get in contact with us to organise a free furniture collection.
However we have also been thinking recently about how to re-use non furniture items in our homes. Below are our 6 top tips on reusing your everyday items and giving them a new lease of life.
1. Glass jars
Glass and metal are easily recycled, but why not cut down on excess packaging and waste by re-using them. Glass jars and old coffee canisters make great containers for bulk pantry items, desk organisers or bathroom containers.
So much of what we buy now is in plastic containers, rather than throwing these out when they are finished with, there are multiple ways to re-use them. Butter pots are ideal for freezing portions of food and plastic bottles are perfect for planting up seedlings in the garden.
3. Tin cans
Tin cans are another great multi purpose item. Once they have been washed and the labels removed they make great candle holders or planters.
A study has found that ¾ of consumers throw away rather than recycle or donate unwanted garments. If you have clothes or textiles you no longer need why don’t you organise a clothes swap party with your friends or if you are handy with a sewing machine why don’t you turn your old clothes in bunting or patchwork blankets. You could even use your old baby clothes.
Pinterest is awash with cool shelving ideas, however if you have books or even old drawers these can look great attached to the wall as quirky shelves.
6. Wine corks
Wine corks can make a great unique corkboard. Save them up and glue them together for your very own personalised message board. Also a great way to use the corks you have been saving from special occasions.
We would love to see any other ways you have recycled household items you no longer wanted. Do show us your photos on Facebook.
I will leave you with the thought that most people have already made up their minds that one person cannot make any difference in regards to recycling waste. However the average household in the UK produces 1 tonne of waste a year, if we can recycle 60% of this that is 600kg a year, if every household in just the Stroud District did this that would be 29,000 tonnes we could save from landfill each year.