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Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

Recycling Ideas for Different Waste Type

Most of us grew up with the notion of protecting the environment by recycling. Recycling can lower the amount of unsustainable raw materials used to manufacture products. This helps bring down the amount of waste filling up landfills and the consumption of valuable resources.

Below are some fun recycling ideas to help you get started in saving the environment:

Jean drink coasters

  • Old pair of jeans
  • Strong adhesive or glue for fabrics

A lot of people have a number of old jeans which are damaged beyond repair but they just can’t let go of. Of course, they can’t be donated but you also don’t want to throw them. Instead, you can turn them into a stylish drink coaster.

  1. Cut the jeans into long strips.
  2. Roll the strip into a coil while gluing the insides.
  3. (Optional) Make your coasters stand out by using fabric paint to add colour. You can also sew buttons to the sides.

Shirt throw pillows

  • Old shirt or sweaters
  • Pillow stuffing (polyester, synthetic, foam)
  • Sewing machine and thread

Apart from jeans, you may also have a number of unused t-shirts or sweaters in your closet. A good way to recycle them is to turn them into throw pillows. They can add a stylish and chic look when placed in your living room or bedroom.

  1. Plan the shape of your pillow. You can either turn it into a traditional square shaped pillow by cutting away the sleeves or leave it as is for a more interesting shape.
  2. With a sewing machine, seal the waist opening of the shirt or sweater.
  3. Fill the pillow with the stuffing of your choice.
  4. Sew the opposite opening close.
  5. (Optional) The fun part of this project is to be able to customise your recycled garment. Paint on some graffiti, pin a stylish button or sew in some buttons to add character to your pillow.

Wooden pallet rack

  • Wooden pallet (This can be of any size)
  • Box of nails for wood
  • Hammer
  • Nail removal tool

There are numerous furniture DIYs you can make out of a wooden pallet or crate. By removing and attaching the planks of a pallet, you can make a functioning spice rack, magazine holder or a simple organiser.

  1. Plan the final shape of the rack. You should have a clear idea on the number of sections and what you want to place in them. For example, spice racks should have numerous small sections. On the other hand, magazine holders must have a few large sections. Spice racks are usually 30 inches wide and 5 inches in height. Magazine racks on the other hand are 50 inches wide and 11 inches in height.
  2. Remove about half of the planks on the pallet when creating a spice rack. For magazine holders, remove about two thirds of the planks. Make sure there is a large gap between the remaining planks still attached to the pallet.
  3. Separate the planks to be used for the bottom of each section. Cut them into appropriate sizes where they can fit into the middle of the pallet. Nail down these planks from the front.
  4. Attach the planks to the back of the pallet. Nail the back planks and ensure they are parallel to the ones at the front. Nail them to the bottom plank and the middle beam of the pallet.
  5. (Optional) A good way to make your recycled pallet stand out is by applying some wooden varnish.
    1. Sand out any imperfections on the wooden surface before placing the first coat. Brush away the dust and dirt on the pallet.
    2. Mix one part wood varnish to one part turpentine. Apply this mixture onto the pallet.
    3. Let the coat dry overnight.
    4. Sand the surface of the pallet with sandpaper. Wipe away the dust with a dry cloth.
    5. Apply a second coat of wood varnish only and let it dry overnight.
    6. Gently scuff the surface by with sandpaper.

These are just a few examples of the many things you can do with non-biodegradable wastes. If you are planning on collecting any recyclable materials, always place them in the appropriate skip bins when disposing of them. Check with a refuse company to know what type of bin is suitable for wooden, metal, plastic or glass waste.

About the Author

Anna Francesca is an avid writer, who enthusiastically explores about consumer passions as a catalyst for lifestyle and enterprise opportunities. She currently writes for Book a Bin – is a global specialist in on-line booking of refuse disposal services


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