General ramblings

Things I re-use, Things I used to re-use, and Things I want to re-use but don’t yet…

How’s that for a snappy title..?!
Inspired by Lindsay’s great post for Zero Waste Week on Treading My Own Path, I got thinking about all the things we re-use in our house.
I take a lot of them for granted, so was quite surprised at the list by the time I’d finished!
There’s also some things that we used to re-use but don’t anymore (mostly because we have no need for them anymore) and then there’s the things that I want to be re-using, but just haven’t quite got my arse into gear with yet…

Things I re-use

  • Water bottles
    We have a whole family of Onya metal water bottles-they come in a variety of sizes, and hubby takes one to work, the kids take one each to school, and we always take at least one with us if we’re off out anywhereThings I re-use-water bottles
  • Tupperware
    This is the drawer looking pretty empty, as much of the tupperware is in the freezer, filled with meals!

    This is the drawer looking pretty empty, as much of the tupperware is in the freezer, filled with meals!

    A LOT of tupperware. In an ideal world, this drawer would be full of those lovely metal tiffin tins, and all kinds of stylish non plastic storage vessels. But it seems silly to ditch all this perfectly usable stuff, so it will stay for now, and maybe as and when things need replacing, we will investigate non plastic options. We tend to pack things into smaller tupperware boxes for packed lunches rather than use clingfilm, and I like to batch cook and freeze stuff, so tupperware is my friend 🙂

  • Baking sheets
    Hubby bought me these one birthday or Christmas, and I have to say that I love them. I have thicker silicon coloured ones that just sit on top of baking sheets for making biscuits and scones, and thinner brown ones that you can cut to the shape of your baking tins. I have an aversion to cutting out circles of baking paper to line cake tins with, so these are a total win win as far as I am concerned. I do wonder though about how recyclable or otherwise they are? And is it better to have something that can be recycled or composted (as is the case with normal baking paper) or something that can be re-used
  • Sandwich bags
    I can’t remember the last time we bought a box of sandwich bags. I wash and re-use them, and also make use of the resealable bags that the wraps and things like raisins come in, for storing baked goodies in the freezer
  • Shopping bags
    Surely everyone does this now don’t they? And I’m guessing that if they don’t, they soon will, when the plastic bag tax comes into force in England.
    Did you know you can get double re-use points and re-use an old t-shirt to make a handy shopping bag?!
  •  Coffee Cup
    I had a regular insulated mug for several years, but would always forget to take it with me if I was venturing out on a day trip, or it would be one extra thing to fit into an already bulging bag, so it would get left behind. Hubby came up trumps though with this collapsible Stojo cup, that he helped to fund in a kickstarter campaign!
    Things I reuse-stojo collage
  • Mooncup
    Not to be confused with the coffee cup. This is a reusable silicon cup that I use instead of tampons. I’ve had mine for about 5 years now, and I am a big fan
  • Clothes
    I re-use clothes by buying them all secondhand. Although not this year, following my self-declared new clothes embargo..!
  • School uniform
    We’ve bought all the uniform we need for the kids from the school’s pre-loved uniform service. Most stuff is 50p, and I reckon we’ve spent less than £10 in the last 2 years to kit two kids out for school
  • Kids Toys
    Occasionally the kids will get given new toys (usually Lego!) by family, but all the things that we have bought them have been from eBay, or from charity shops/car boots. They are not yet at an age where they attach any kind of stigma to secondhand, and are super pleased if given 50p to spend at the car boot.  And SmallSmall was incredibly excited to be given BigSmall’s old bike when he was big enough (not sure how long we can make that one last…)
  • Face wipes
    I made the switch from disposable cotton wool pads to re-usable, washable face pads a couple of years ago, and have no idea why I didn’t do it sooner! If you crochet, Wendy at Moral Fibres has a great tutorial for making your own here

Things I used to re-use

  • Nappies
    We are now nappy free in our house (yipppeeee!) but we used re-usable nappies for both of ours with great success. We did however use disposables at night, as they both tended to get sore in re-usables overnight. I struggled with this at the time, but I rationalised that it was better to re-use for some of the time than none of it
  • Baby wipes
    We used re-usable bum wipes as soon as we started using re-usable nappies, but we carried on using baby wipes for sticky hands and faces for years.
    I decided to go cold turkey during My Make Do and Mend Year, and cut up some old towels to use as flannels, and it was far easier than I though it would be!
    deo and flannels3

Things I want to re-use but don’t yet…

Do let me know what you re-use at home, and if I’m missing anything that I should add to my “Things I want to re-use” list!


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  • Reply Polytheenpam September 23, 2015 at 6:34 am

    I’m sure that this is included in bags but not mentioned; reusable cotton produce bags essential for buying loose fruit and veg especially beans. There are some options here

    • Reply Jen September 23, 2015 at 9:32 am

      Thanks Kate!

  • Reply Rachelle Strauss September 22, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Fab ideas Jen – what a great list to inspire others who aren’t quite sure how to join in. I switched to silicone muffin cases rather than paper ones and love that I no longer have a little plastic pot to dispose of. They’re also so easy to clean (and don’t get screwed up on the floor by my daughter and husband, like the paper cases!)

    • Reply Jen September 23, 2015 at 9:30 am

      They’re great aren’t they!

  • Reply Susie - secondhandsusie.blogsp September 11, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I LOVE my stainless steel straws! They’re one of the best eco purchases I’ve ever made 😀 I have no idea how to reuse/recycle plastic straws though 🙁

    • Reply Jen September 15, 2015 at 7:11 pm

      That’s great to hear Susie, thankyou! I’m not sure if I can put the straws in with the plastic recycling at the recycling centre? I’ll do some research!

  • Reply Helen Butt September 9, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    I think kids accept charity bought toys and clothes when they are older, too, if that is what they have been brought up with. My daughter was ever so pleased with the snorkel from Barnados, which has just opened up in our nearest town. It cost a grand totally of 20p, which chuffed her up almost as much 🙂

    • Reply Jen September 10, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      Great to hear that things don’t necessarily get more problematic as they get older Helen, thankyou!

  • Reply Heather A September 9, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Great discussion points here Jen and I’m with you on all of them. One thing I discovered quite a few years ago was the “wrap-n-mat”. It’s a reusable cloth to wrap sandwiches / rolls in and can then be used as a little mat when picnicking. They wash in the washing machine very well and can have a quick wipe down from day to day. The children have used them for school lunches and hubby takes one to work every day. We’ve got about 6 here that have been in use for about 5-6 years!

    • Reply Jen September 10, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      Ooh, sounds fab! I’ll google it, thanks Heather!

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