Friday, 31 May 2019

‘Recipes’ to Reuse Packaging - Part 1

I recently had a chat with someone who wondered how useful the Reuse Centre is to a person who "doesn’t craft”. It's an honest question from a conscientious person and one that I simply had to share because reuse is for EVERYONE! 

        So, if you...
a) DO NOT know how or lack the equipment or time to sew - "There was no Home Economics class at my high school. "
b) Get anxious at the thought of pulling out a glue gun - "I’ve burnt my fingers too many times to count!"
c) Have more DIY disasters than successes - I’ll save these for future posts๐Ÿ˜
d) All of the above
     ...Then look no further! 

Courtesy of Giphy

Craft skills are NOT needed to reuse packages for their original purpose; we save valuable resources from travelling to a landfill or piling up at a recycling facility when we use them again in our own home. 

Step 1:
Next time you finish with a laundry soap bottle and are ready to put it in the recycle - STOP! Instead, keep it to refill with some homemade laundry soap!

Step 2:
Gather these 3 easy-to-find and reasonably-priced ingredients from your local grocer. A Sunlight soap bar (or natural alternative, if preferred), Borax, and Washing Soda.

BONUS: Take the Environment Week challenge and bike or walk to get these ingredients!

Step 3: 
Follow the recipe below to cook up some fresh-smelling laundry soap that does triple duty: it saves your socks from stinking, saves money, and is an easy way to reduce excessive packaging waste.

 One batch filled 4 bottles (more than 8L of soap)! 

Here is the recipe:

Other craft-free ways to reuse plastic packages:
  • Mesh bags from produce can be reused to buy your bulk produce items next time you're shopping. Visit us at Reuse Centre if you need some.

Simply cross out UPC codes and put them in your reusable grocery bag to have handy for next time you buy bulk produce items - no need for film plastic.
Want to read more about an effort to Reuse packaging?  Loop is partnering with some large companies to sell their products in refillable containers.

So you see, Reuse is for EVERYONE and the Reuse Centre has practical items that are ready to be reused by you, no glue gun nor glitter required! We would love to hear your " recipes " for refilling containers and ideas to reuse packaging in the comments section below.

Photos and Submission by Andrea (Staff)

Friday, 8 February 2019

DIY Valentine's Decor

Valentine's Day is next week! Thursday, February 14th, in case you need a reminder of the date ๐Ÿ˜‰ I always find that Valentine's Day sneaks up on me and I'm usually scrambling to put some kind of decoration up to celebrate the day. It must be that I still haven't come out of the fog of the holiday season and the start of a new year. It could also be that it's the middle of winter and I'm in hibernation mode. This year is no different and the extremely cold weather that we've been experiencing over the past couple of weeks hasn't helped. Luckily for me, I found these really quick DIY projects that have inspired me to get crafting and get into the Valentine's Day spirit.

Photo Credit: moneyhipmamas

This is a simple and pretty way to add some Valentine's spirit to your home. All you need is a vase, some branches or twigs, and paper and glue. You can customize your bouquet by using different colored or textured paper or adding some ribbon and bows to your branches. Check out the full tutorial details at moneyhipmamas.

Photo Credit: iheartnaptime

This is another example of a very quick DIY project. All you need is an old frame, paper, and markers, crayons, or lipstick, which is what was used for this example. Don't have an old frame at home? Don't worry the Reuse Centre carries lots of frames, in a variety of colors and sizes. Check out iheartnaptime for full instructions.

Raid your craft supplies to make this heart art for Valentine's Day or year-round! ||
Photo Credit: designimprovised

The final project that I found are these cute custom heart canvases. All you'll need are some blank canvases, pom poms, doilies, foam pieces, scrap paper, and glue. The different colors and textures are so appealing. The beauty of this project is that you can use anything on hand to create your patterns or designs. You could use buttons, puzzle pieces, or yarn to create hearts or spell out LOVE. Basically, whatever you're feeling inspired to create! Full instructions can be found at designimprovised.

I'm feeling pretty excited about getting started on making these projects and getting them up in my home this weekend! If you're still looking for something fun to do on Valentine's Day check out the details for the Reuse Centre's Valentine's Day date night workshop.

Vanessa (Staff)

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Reuse Resolutions

It's 2019 - have you made a list of resolutions for the new year? If you have, great job! If you're still looking for ideas about how you can resolve to live with less waste this year we're happy to help. Check out this list of Reuse Resolutions for inspiration:

1. Reduce Food Waste
  • Try growing your own food. There are a multitude of ways that you can grow food from food scraps such as green onions, potatoes, celery, lettuce, the list goes on!
  • Meal plan so you buy only what you need.
  • Buy in bulk and create individual servings at home with reusable containers.
  • Create a "use me first" shelf or box in your fridge or pantry.
  • If you have an unopened item you know you won't consume before it will expire, donate it to a local food bank or charity.
Photo by Del Barrett 
2. Choose Reusable
  • Try to find a reusable option for the single-use plastic item you use the most. This could be a reusable coffee mug, reusable shopping bag, cloth produce bags, steel straws, reusable paper towels, etc.
  • Create an emergency reusable kit to keep in your car or bag in the event you forgot your reusable item at home. Add a reusable cup, food container, water bottle, shopping bag and cutlery, and you'll be ready for most situations!
    Photo by Goran Ivos
3. Try a No-Buy Week
  • For one week commit to buying nothing (other than food).
  • If one week was easy, try and increase it to 2 weeks.
  • Before you make a purchase, ask yourself first if you could borrow or buy this item secondhand?
4. Make a Waste Log
  • Write down all the items you put into the trash and see if there are any "repeat offenders" for one week. From there try and find a reusable or recyclable alternative for the most common items you throw away.
5. Reduce Energy Consumption
  • Replace burnt out incandescent light bulbs with LED light bulbs to reduce energy consumption. You will also need to replace bulbs less often, which means less waste.
    • Don't forget to bring your old light bulbs to your nearest Eco Station.
  • Need a new thermostat? Look into "smart" thermostats that lower energy usage by learning your habits and saving you energy and money when no one is home.
  • Unplug electronics that aren’t in use or use a power bar to turn off items when not in use. Many appliances use energy to power appliance features such as display lights.
Photo by Glen Carrie

6. Think about adding a 4th R to your waste hierarchy: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

  • Say no to single use plastics
  • Refuse junk mail in your mailbox
  • Opt out of unwanted mail and mailing lists