My idea for 365 (actually it has been pointed out that it will have to be 366 as it’s a leap year!) Ways to Change the World seems to have been met with some enthusiasm and I’ve been posting away on Instagram.
I’ve ummmed and ahhhed about doing a weekly round up of the photos, and have decided that I will, at least to start with. If it’s met with a tumbleweed of apathy I may grow bored of it quite quickly, but I thought it would help those who aren’t on social media to follow along too.
- Number 1 is an easy and obvious one to start:make the switch to a reusable bottle and ditch the single use plastic!
- Number 2 is recycling Christmas cards-every year we pick our favourites and cut off the fronts. The big ones are used to make ‘new’ cards ready for next year and the little ones make perfect gift tags. Any others can go in the special collection boxes outside many of the supermarkets.
- If you treated yourself to any ‘posh cheese’ over Christmas, the wax outer is very handy for fire lighting (as are fir cones!)
- Number 4 of my#365waystochangetheworld is never ever ever ever throw away a pair of jeans!
According to Lucy Siegle’s recent article in The Guardian on ethical jeans, global denim production is about 4 BILLION metres a year, using vast amounts of water and pesticides, not to mention questionable working standards for the garment makers.
You owe it to the planet to get every last ounce of use from these ultimately versatile trousers. Patch them, and patch them again, and then only once they are beyond further repair, Upcycle them! They can be used for patchwork quilts, rag rugs, bottle bags and so much more ????
I love to unpick the pockets and save them (I’m eyeing one of these ones up to use a patch!)
There’s a link to an old post with loads of jeans upcycling ideas here if you need any inspiration
- Number 5 in my#365waystochangetheworld is the humble tin can!
Who knew a tin can could change the world?! Cover them with ribbon, old magazines, retro comics or pretty fabric and you can use them as pen pots, vases, plant pots and more ????
- Save all your veg peelings and butt ends to make your own #zerowaste veg stock!
I have a bag in the freezer where I pop all the peelings and any other bits. When it gets full I dump the whole lot in the slow cooker and cover with boiling water and leave it to simmer overnight. In the morning I strain it, portion it up into old jam jars and then freeze what I won’t use straightaway!
If you want to have a go, I have a couple of tips:
•go easy on the cabbage leaves! They can be overpowering and if you aren’t careful your whole stock will smell like old farts. Also if you put in red cabbage you will get purple stock (which might actually be quite fun)
• The stock is quite concentrated so you only need a bit (say 100ml for a litre of soup). Dilute with water to achieve the volume you need.
• Commercial stock is quite salty. This isn’t, so you will need to up the seasoning!
It’s such an easy and cheap way to get good quality veg stock. I blogged about it a while back and there’s a link here for anyone who wants more info!
- If you live in a hard water area you can use charcoal blocks as natural water filters instead of the cartridges with all that plastic and packaging. We’ve been doing this for over a year now and haven’t had any issues with limescale in the kettle (or no more than we did with the ‘normal filters!) If you aren’t quite ready to give up your beloved water filter cartridges, then do remember you can recycle them – I think most Boots stores have a bin for them ????
Several people asked me where I got these from, and these ones are from Nigel’s Eco Store (you can find them right here)-we ordered them online. The great thing is that when they need replacing, they can just go on the compost heap.
Numbers 8 and 9 are already up on Instagram. You can find me on there @makedoandmendlife, and I’m also tweeting them (@makeandmendyear) and sharing them on the Facebook page, so you can follow along if you want to!
Do let me know if you like the idea of this weekly round-up and whether it’s useful/inspiring or dull as dishwater.
Some other people have already taken on the challenge-it’s been great to see Recycle for Your Community posting their own tips to Facebook, and I’ve had some people sharing their tips with me on Twitter 🙂
I also had another idea yesterday-I was taking part in the new #ecofriendlyhour on Twitter (it’s every Friday 12.30-1.30pm if you want to join in!) and the guys at Remade in Britain asked how they could get involved. I thought it might be quite fun to have ‘guest posts’ every now and then, from some of our favourite eco-champions. Do let me know who’s ‘Ways to Change the World’ you would be keen to see, and I’ll see if I can persuade them to join in.
Finally, the January issue of the newsletter went out yesterday, so check your in-boxes if you haven’t already!
As well as a catch up of what’s been on the blog, there’s other Make Do and Mend news, and a monthly What’s On Guide of all the Repair Cafes, Swishes etc happening around the UK. If you run any reuse and repair events, and want to be included in next month’s guide, do leave a comment below, or e-mail me (jen at makedoandmend-able dot co dot uk).
If you love the sound of the newsletter but haven’t signed up yet, you can do that very thing right here.
Have a very lovely weekend everyone 🙂