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16

The mantra of Reduce - Reuse - Recycle is one of the most common in environmentalism/sustainability. The mantra and thus logo distils the essence of: Reduce what you use, reuse what you can, recycle what you can't [reuse] In other words, your primary responsibility to the environment and to the generations to come is to minimise your use of the world's ...


14

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 think this is around 10-20 times. They're also bigger so that's not even 10-20 shopping trips unless you only ever buy a little. I know I've had a few hundred uses ...


12

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 items like wingnuts, earrings... Use fancy socks for wrapping presents - tie a ribbon round the top Put stones inside and use to hold down bird nets or apple ...


10

Technical terms To partially understand the process of draining batteries it is important to know some technical parameters: voltage - Battery operated electric devices need certain minimal voltage level and current to work correctly. As a battery is being drained the voltage drops down. In some batteries the voltage goes down very slowly during most of ...


10

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 entirely new object. AFAIK industrial reuse of plastic food packaging isn't done anywhere because of the risk of bacterial contamination. Many plastics are ...


8

It's very unlikely: all the modern chargers I've seen have an automatic cutout that prevents over-charging, by monitoring the batteries' voltage, and stopping the current when it reaches a certain level. As rechargeable batteries reach fully charged, the voltage rises relatively quickly, and the cutout gets activated. If the batteries were exceptionally ...


8

I prefer to cheat - I use the disposable bags brought home by my housemates. One way or another our household seems to accumulate enough plastic bags that there's rarely a shortage, and if there is my workmates could easily fill it. So the simple option would be to look for a source of plastic bags that you can re-use. My local supermarket will happily ...


8

You can use old nylons as Stuffing for pillows/cushions Polishing or cleaning cloth (no worry that you'll make scratches, plus it's great for attracting dog and cat hair). Hanging storage to dry unions As a filter in a drainpipe (e.g. to keep any leaves out of your rain barrel) Protection cover for fruit (this one is not from personal experience, but I've ...


8

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 than Ikea-level new stuff. That's mostly because I can't bring myself to build with MDF or other cardboard-like materials, though. Your first choice should ...


8

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 for uses of charcoal as a soil amendment. You can collect (cool) charcoal in a plastic bag until you have a volume worth doing something serious with. Because ...


7

I've rebuilt two single-battery operated appliances in our home to a "battery juicer". I'll describe one of them here to explain the idea, the other one is remade in a similar way to this one. Both of them operate happily with half-drained batteries and I've reached the balance of incoming half-drained batteries and draining them almost totally in those ...


7

This only addresses part of your question, but this question could be answered with a whole book. Homebrewing Biodiesel I do want to clarify that biodiesel is not only a potential "industrial" reuse for used cooking oils. Used cooking oil can be processed into biodiesel by a modestly savvy do-it-yourselfer at home, with a simple processor that you ...


7

FYI - you don't have to have a spinning wheel to spin small to moderate amounts of yarn. A hand-spinning spindle will work great, is much less expensive to buy and far less complicated to make, and is also very portable. I spun great yarn using a top whorl drop spindle for a couple of years or so before I finally (mostly) moved on to using a spinning wheel. ...


7

I've used them as ties to fasten tomato bushes to trellises. They work pretty good for that. Curious to see what others come up with.


7

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 purchaser of the goods (second hand) is to be responsible for a share of that impact based on the proportion of useful life remaining. For example, if there exists ...


7

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 animal repellent so some gardeners will gladly take it (altough others say there is no proof for the effectiveness). Hair is an organic material that can be ...


7

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 (tricky in an apartment though, unless perhaps you have a balcony that gets rained on) for watering them, as that won't contain the salts that tap water does. More ...


7

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 plastic (polycarbonate), with a thin reflective layer (usually aluminum), and a protective acrylic lacquer. CD cases are usually made from polystyrene and DVD ...


7

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 squeeze them together relatively firmly. Leave it in the soap dish / on the shelf and they will dry that way. The next time you shower/bathe, you'll have a ...


7

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 sell second hand... so they have the ability to profit not only on the original sale, but subsequent sales as well. The vast majority of companies, though, fire ...


7

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 same business and another one are mentioned on this website. The similarity between glass and ceramic materials might mean there are ways to use them in a ...


6

That's great to have a constant source of yarn - from your pet. I saw a lady who knitted items for sale using her dog's fur. I've been studying about spinning wheels and how to spin only in the past few months. I've come to the conclusion that a spinning wheel is actually a sped up version of a drop spindle and it's also a lot of fun to spin with. Since ...


6

I've had good success with the following system. All you need are two stronger plastic bags with handles: Bag one: non-handled bags 'roll and rip' style produce bags from the market bread bags ziploc bags anything else without a handle Bag two: handled bags plastic grocery bags mall shopping bags (think h&m or something — attached handles rather than ...


6

This is one of those economics things. Small towns often have very cheap landfills. Glass in the landfill is not particularly harmful, it's just bulky. The uses mentioned above glass is essentially competing with either gravel or sand. So it has to be roughly the same price. If there is a reasonable dumping fee at the landfill then glass doesn't ...


6

If you're a gardener, you can use them as slug bait. Another use I've found for them is making infused vinegar for cleaning. Stuff a few peels into the bottom of a big jar and fill it up with any kind of cheap vinegar (I use apple cider,) then let it sit for a day or two and you've got a non-toxic cleaner with a comparatively bearable smell. Apparently you ...


6

Use them to line the bottom of a pot for drainage. Line a walk way. Fill in a pot hole. Treat them like gravel.


6

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, but are more repairable and upgradable. My case and power supply are 17 years old, though most other components are newer. Upgrades to keep a machine working ...


5

You can also "wash" the grease to remove meat bits and smoke flavor and use it for soapmaking. Even if you can't get all the smoke scent out, bacon-scented anything is in style these days, so the bars might still make good gifts. ;-) Here is a link to a process for rendering tallow that should also work for bacon grease. The basic process works by ...


5

Sure you can. Bring it up to heat and let it bubble and simmer for a bit, skim off any scum that floats to the top. Then break out a good sized funnel and some cheesecloth or paper towels, line the funnel, and slowly strain the still-warm oil into a holding container. You can then use this oil for survival candles. Just remember to keep a decent supply of ...


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