HELP yourself and your community recycle, reuse, reduce rubbish and save money, starting this week as part of Planet Ark's National Recycling Week.
We have all started with recycling packaging like aluminium cans, bottles, jars and newspapers, but there still a lot more we can do around the home.
Below 25 top tips from Planet Ark for fun and easy ways to a make a positive difference at home.
Around the home
- Old CDs make funky coasters! Just stick two together and paste felt underneath if necessary.
- Make a tin can telephone. Take off the lids and then tie two coffee tins together with a long piece of string for the desired effect and kids will love it.
- Get yourself a worm farm and feed it all of your food scraps. One kilogram of worms can eat and recycle one kilogram of food every day, giving you nutritious worm castings for your plants and vegies.
- Save your corks in a jar on the window ledge. They can be used as a stamp when painting, or you could even make your own cork noticeboard by gluing them to a plank or corflute.
- Make your own gift wrap by wrapping your presents in the comic pages from your local Sunday newspaper, magazines or comics.
- Collect branches from the garden to make a Christmas tree. Have a fun time arranging them in a vase or pot and then hang on the decorations.
- Get creative making Christmas and birthday cards from old cards, postcards, photos, stamps, pretty paper and more. Your family and friends will love the handmade greetings.
- Placing bottle top or jar lids under your chairs or sofa is a great way to protect your carpet.
- Create ice blocks for your esky by filling up old milk cartons with water and freeze them.
- Put your steel bottle tops and jam jar lids into an old steel can. When the tin is half full, squash the top together so the contents are held in - then put it in your recycling bin.
- Open up the bottom of a used milk carton and plant a tree seedling inside it. The carton will protect your seedling from weather and pests, and when planted it will degrade as the tree grows.
- Clear plastic lids can be placed under oil jars in the cupboard or aerosols in the bathroom to prevent oil or rust marks on your shelves.
- Store your food scraps temporarily in an old ice cream container, before you put them onto your worm farm or compost.
- Pour old cooking oil and fat into a used milk carton or jar and put it out in the rubbish. It clogs the drains if put down the sink. Newspaper can also be used to wipe out oily pots.
- Save bread bags and other food or newspaper bags to take as doggie-doo bags when walking the dog.
- Use newspaper to line the kitchen bin. Give the bin a quick rinse when needed, pouring it out on the garden.
- Glass jars or take-away containers make great storage containers for cake decorations, leaf teas, buttons and many other things.
- Going on a picnic? Squash your cans and bottles and bring them home to recycle.
- Has your pillow gone flat? Fold it over and put it inside a new cushion cover.
- Keep old jeans to use as patches for other jeans.
- Got some old clothes or furniture that you don't want anymore? There are plenty of charity shops that do want them, so why not donate your unwanted items to your local op shop. Search RecyclingNearYou.com.au to find your local shop, and give them a call to check.
In the bathroom
- Melt the remains of a lipstick together with a small pot of lip balm - makes a great lip gloss.
- Want to keep the kids amused? Empty roll-on deodorant bottles can be used as paint pens for small children. Wash the plastic ball and bottle, then fill with paint and replace the ball and lid. When storing, keep it upside down with the lid on tightly.
- Old wet-wipe containers make great string dispensers.
- Save old lip balm pots and small toiletry containers. Refill these from your large bottles to make travelling packs.
For other recycling information, go to www.recyclingnearyou.com.au or call Planet Ark's National Recycling hotline on 1300 733 712.