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14 votes

How many times do you need to use a cheap re-usable bag to offset its impact?

The cheapest reusable bags round here are made of the same plastic as disposable bags. In this case the number of uses required is simply the ratio of the weights. Without getting the scales out I ...
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12 votes
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Mismatched socks? What to do with hundreds of them?

Just about anything you would normally do with rags, but these ones are already in tube and bag form: Use for washing, polishing and cleaning - just put your hand inside Use to keep stuff in - small ...
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11 votes
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Is plastic food packaging 100% reusable?

There is a difference between reuse and recycling. Reuse is using a container again without major modifications. Recycling is transforming a container into its core elements and using that to make an ...
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8 votes
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What are some ways to affordably furnish a temporary apartment?

Your best bet is already-made second hand furniture, both on environmental grounds and cost. I've been building my own furniture using basic DIY skills for quite a long time and it is rarely cheaper ...
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8 votes
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How can we dispose or recycle hair clippings from barber shops?

There is a market for human hair: Hair can be sold to people who create wigs or hair extensions. There is even an online calculator to determine the value of your hair. Apparently hair is a good ...
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8 votes

How do I get rid of numerous small pieces of charcoal?

You are talking about black gold that has a value of AU$40 per 25 litre bag in my area. I would suggest either selling it or putting it back into the soil. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biochar ...
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  • 2,744
7 votes

Reusing or recycling old CD's and DVD's

TLDR: CDs and DVDs can be safely reused or recycled as long as you don't heat them. Specialized recycling companies can recycle them for you, but this may cost you money. CDs and DVDs are mainly ...
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7 votes
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How good is it to reuse water from plant pots?

In my experience plants suffer in the long term from accumulation of salts in the soil, so fresh water would be better than reusing the water. Even better would be to get hold of fresh rain water (...
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7 votes

How to account for environmental impact of second hand goods

The market value of the goods is often indicative of the remaining useful life of the goods. If you know the environmental footprint of the product when new, it seems reasonable to assume that a ...
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7 votes
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How can I reuse or upcycle used, leftover, tiny bath soap bar bits?

I'm not sure about donating leftover bits... But for recycling/reusing, what I normally do is grab a new bar, and at the end of my shower/bath, get both the new bar and the small used piece(s) wet and ...
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  • 186
7 votes
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Reuse or "dollar vote"?

Interesting question. The second-hand market is only relevant to companies that engage in it. Tractor manufacturers, for example, often have dealerships that sell new, accept trade-ins, and thus ...
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  • 2,744
7 votes
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How can ceramics be recycled?

Recycling ceramics is possible, but it looks like it is still rare. This is an example of a business crushing bathroom porcelain into fine clay to then melt it again in a kiln and produce tiles. The ...
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6 votes

How can ceramics be recycled?

Use them to line the bottom of a pot for drainage. Line a walk way. Fill in a pot hole. Treat them like gravel.
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  • 383
6 votes
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How to get the most out of computer hardware before it becomes obsolete?

There are some differences began the situation for laptops and desktops, as well as some common solutions. Desktop machines obviously use more resources in manufacturing, and may use more electricity, ...
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5 votes

Are there any uses for used up hair elastics so they don't end up in landfill?

I use them to close bags in the kitchen and I use them to tidy up my cords behind the TV.
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  • 61
5 votes
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When buying beer is refilling growlers better than recycling bottles and cans?

Even ignoring energy used in transporting canned/bottled beer to stores, you can save significant amounts of energy. Since a growler is reusable many times, I'll ignore the energy cost of making it (...
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5 votes
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How to fix plastic (acetate) glasses frame?

After reading carefully about the question on internet and how other have fix their glass' frame, It is known that acetate frames (or any other thing made of Acetate) can be "melt" using Acetone. You ...
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5 votes
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How to clean a reusable plastic coffee cup, such as KeepCup?

Wash it in a dishwasher once every month or two. I own a Contigo mug, and once had similar problems with the plastic/rubber lid. I found some tips on their website, but ultimately found that if I ...
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5 votes

How can I extend the life of mobile phones that can't be used in my country anymore?

Not all developed countries are phasing out 2G. Here in The Netherlands for example several major providers still support 2G and say that they will continue to support it for the coming years. You ...
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5 votes

How many times do you need to re-use cloth napkins to offset their impact?

Traditionally in household use, a cloth napkin was used a week. Hence monogrammed napkin rings, so you would get your own at hte table next time. This however is an aesthetic decision. Another ...
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5 votes

Why is so much railroad steel not recycled?

The old rails are certainly reused frequently here in the UK - they start off being used on high-speed lines. When they're too worn for that they get reused on low-speed lines, and then again on ...
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5 votes
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Keep my hands warm while working on a laptop?

I use a pair of wool fingerless gloves. They don't impair dexterity and even though they leave fingers exposed they cover enough that my entire hands remain comfortable.
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4 votes

How to account for environmental impact of second hand goods

What you are asking is generally referred to as the 'allocation problem'. There are a number of allocation methods that are often used in assessing the environmental impact of a product or service, ...
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4 votes

How to avoid planned obsolescence when buying a second hand smartphone

Every modern manufactured item has a limited life. The trick with buying a second hand phone is to get the most recently produced second hand phone you can get. Some issues with phones: Depending on ...
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  • 3,207
4 votes

How to benefit from air-conditioning water

You certainly can use it as water to grow plants. But better not drinking it, since it can host bacteria in the long run. There is good stuff about it here: http://www.slate.com/articles/...
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  • 1,365
4 votes
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How many times do you need to use a cheap re-usable bag to offset its impact?

Summary: According to this independent study if you look at global warming potential, for a sturdy LDPE bag you need to use it at least 4 times, for an even sturdier non-woven PP bag with inserts it's ...
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  • 14.1k
4 votes

How to sustainably dispose of or break down used cooking oils?

You can compost the oil / grease if you have the room. It's just not as easy to do as most kitchen waste. Oil tends to make your compost pile anaerobic, so its gets smelly and can attract vermin. But ...
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4 votes

Is the drain-off water from water purifiers fit for gardening?

I collect water in a bucket using extension feeder pipe as shown in figure. I reuse the water released from system for daily household cleaning purpose. I checked the TDS value at all stages and it ...
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  • 193
4 votes

How to start sustainable living in UAE?

There are lots of small things you can do. The list is potentially endless and really depends on what you consider to be 'small' effort. But to give a few examples: Always carry a sturdy reusable bag ...
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3 votes
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Recycling video (VCR) tapes in the UK

I found this webpage of a company in Bristol called "Environmental Media Solutions" where they say Environmental Media Solutions are able to recycle 78% of tapes, 100% of CD’s and DVD’s and their ...
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