Thursday, 2 April 2009

10 Ideas for Inspired Recycling in the Home

1. Make compost - it's really easy. It's a source of great (free!) nutrients for your garden and you may be able to get a free or subsidised cost composting bin from your local authority. For easy steps to make compost, how to make a bin, and a handy table to show what to use and how to blend ingredients see our step by step guide to composting

2. Use toilet roll tubes or rolled newspapers as pots to grow seeds. We have an easy guide to show you how

3. Make fused plastic out of old plastic shopping bags. Threadbanger has a brilliant video showing how to fuse plastic as well as video guides to making things from it such as laptop bags or shopping bags.

4. Use empty plastic soda or water bottles to protect plants from frost

5. Make yarn and knit a bag with old plastic shopping bags

6. Use old tin foil to clean your silver jewellery. This is not only a great way to recycle but it also saves you a fortune on expensive silver cleaners and gives you fabulous looking jewellery or sparkling cutlery. We show you how here.

7. Use old ties to make bags, chair seats, iPod covers, quilts. One of our readers wrote to tell us she had attacked her husband's huge (now unused) tie collection and found that ties contain a huge amount of (beautiful) silk fabric when you pick them apart. She made a collection of ipod and cellphone covers. Since then we have come across people who make handbags, cushions, skirts and shirts and even upholster chairs. Tell us if you have some interesting uses for unloved ties.

8. Wrap parcels and gifts in newspapers instead of brown paper or giftwrap. This can look really impactful and effective.

9. Use eggshells to feed plants and keep slugs and snails at bay

10. Hold a Swishing party to swap unwanted clothes with your friends. "Swishing" is a great way to combine kindness to the planet with thriftiness and have good time into the bargain. We have lots of tips to help you make your Swish a success.


  1. I think it wuld be great if Make it and Mend it posted a diary each year of things to do, because it's a special day like Earth Day, or to reflect the season. Any chance you could get one ready for 2010?

  2. Brilliant idea. Thanks very much Anne. Think we'll go ahead and do that. Have you got more suggestions for things that we should be adding? Thanks!