Some great ideas to conserve, recycle, reuse

Collated from the many many practical ideas shared by the members of the group on Facebook! (edited)

  • Use old toothbrushes for cleaning stuff. Toothbrushes are great for cleaning around faucets and sinks, light fixture plates, windowsills, etc.
  • Take your own bag while shopping. Always keep  cloth bags in your vehicle. If any plastic covers come in – collect them (the unmarked ones) & give them back to your local grocery shop / vegetable shop.
  • Store printouts/papers which are blank on one side to make grocery/vegetable lists and list of things to do while going out on a shopping trip.
  • While refilling the RO, the ‘waste water’ is stored and used for watering house plants, mopping floors and cleaning the car etc.
  • Have all appliances at 4* or 5* rating, well maintained so that the efficiency is high. Have a 9kg washing machine which means no waste of energy/water doing small loads. Try to keep some of the appliances in off mode, rather than standby.
  • Do away with wrapping papers for the unending num of birthday parties kids attend. We colour newspaper using crayons (kids do it) and wrap gifts in those. We also sometimes write save trees all over for thick skulls who think we are cheap!!
  • For the potlucks in our community, we ask people to bring their own plate or get the donne and green plate and their own water bottle.
  • Trying to keep our belongings to a minimum by trying to reduce the storage in our house. Since the house has a lot of inbuilt storage, we try to keep one shelf in every room empty so we know as soon as we feel the itch to fill up space. Less time spent searching for things, less maintenance across the house, and we know exactly when a new thing has enetered the house.
  • Plastic boxes used to parcel food used for small plants. Use fish-tank water for my garden. Collect rain water for my fish-tank.
  • If you know beforehand that you are going to pack food, carry your own containers to the hotel, this way you can avoid using plastic containers. If its a regular order in, I actually return the cleaned box next time they deliver.
  • When your bathing soap comes to an end, do not throw it away, for you can smudge it up with your next fresh soap on the spot where the brand name is embossed!
  • Resuse old sarees/dupattas, dress material to turn into curtains, cushion covers, use newspaper gift wraps, newspaper decorations.
  • Water plants with water used for sterilizing bottles, etc.
  • Recycle both plastic bottles and newspapers to make accessories, can paint on plastic bottles and use as decor or pen/brush holders.
  • Plastic carry bags can also be recycled to make accessories or home decor.
  • Buy recycled products ONLY!
  • Collect the soap water from washed clothes and use it to swab the house and clean the staircase outside. The soap helps remove all the grit and grime and at the same time we save on precious water.