Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Too good to waste

Hello. I've just got to share this, made me laugh this morning.



I like his closing statement here.
LET'S NOT THROW AWAY ANYTHING THAT'S TOO GOOD TO WASTE.



Go Hugh. Let's declare War on Waste, any waste in fact, not just food. Don't throw anything away. If you have something you don't need or want, re use it for something else. Look at what it's made of, can it be dismantled and reassembled to make something new? Can it be altered by changing the colour, or adding something to it?

If you have something you don't need or want, someone else might be glad of it. Put it out at the front of your house with a label on it, 'Free To Take Help Yourself'. Pass it on to a charity shop. Ask your library if they accept donated books. Ask your friends and family if they would like it. Turn it into cash by selling it at a car boot sale. Advertise on a card in your local shop window. Put it on one of the free recycling web sites, Freegle, or whatever. I don't personally use them but some do.

If you have something that you don't want, think of who might want it. Bedding and towels can go to an animal rescue. If you have a glut of home grown fruit or veg, swap with your neighbours. Furniture can be donated to a Home Start scheme. People setting up home for the first time would be glad of it.

Can your 'grown out of', childrens clothes be passed on to a younger family member? Can you get together with other mums and have a clothes swap?

Yesterday I dismantled one of those fabric pet tunnels which I got out of a skip six months ago. The wire inside is like a giant spring. The fabric was worn and scruffy in parts so it couldn't be sold. Carol at the Crafty Club is making our Christmas tree for the festival and needed wire coils to put inside to support the structure. I knew that tunnel would come in useful for something. I can use the best bits of the fabric for something else.

Pieces of carpet can be cut to size and used for car mats. Towels can be cut down and made into dish cloths. Tooth brushes can be used to clean awkward to get to places. Old box files can be painted and used as sewing boxes. Curtains can be made into shopping bags.

It is a crying shame to throw away anything that could be useful. I only go to the council dump once or twice a year, and whatever I take cannot be used for anything else. It's usually stuff from the garden, mainly rotting wood which is so wet it's crumbling.

Can you add anything else to the re purposing good ideas list? Let's join Hugh and not throw anything away that's too good to waste. Share your tips, and put a stop to binning useful stuff.

Thanks for popping in. Catch you soon. Toodle pip


46 comments:

  1. It would be helpful if so much food wasn't packaged, then as a single person I could choose how much I needed to buy instead of having a big bag of potatoes that is sprouting and green before I get to finish them all. Not one supermarket near me has anything other than a huge bag of sprouts to sell. There is only one of me!

    I can make curtains into shopping bags and then have unused bags instead of unused curtains. Of course someone might want the bags but someone might have wanted curtains too. Charity shops are too expensive now for many people to purchase from (me) so things will end up in landfill regardless.

    Many times people don't want other people's casts off. Charity shops send people away, I've seen it and that is before they looked at any of it.

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    1. Somebody is not a happy bunny ;o(

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    2. I'm sorry but I agree with anonymous re the prices that charity shops are now charging for items. One example recently was a bag of 5 balls of wool for £10 so out of interest I googled the make when i got home only to find that I could buy the same wool new for £9.50! I grew up in a no waste household and have always tried to reuse or pass on anything that will be useful to somebody else. So, so, very glad that the word is spreading. - Tam

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  2. Strangest charity shop comment for a while...I'm sorry we can't take books that look as if they have been read

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    1. We've had a bit of that at my shop, only "new" looking books are acceptable, drives me bonkers.

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  3. Charity shops are there to make money so can be choosy at times. My Niece donated some good stuff and went to the dump with the rest to find the CS women dumping her donations. Niece took them back and gave them to another grateful shop.
    Perhaps we just need to support 2nd hand shops.

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  4. Our local council collect recycling bags of all textiles, all the decent stuff goes to local groups for the homeless and a Home Start scheme. All the dross gets separated into type and is shredded and re purposed. We have a black collection every other week, I hardly ever have much to go out, mostly just the bones that Ben can not have.

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  5. Some charity shops can be picky - true! I've had some refuse donations (sometimes it's just that they have too much of one thing - too many books are often a problem for smaller shops) but it's worth asking around. There are a half dozen charity shops within walking distance of my flat and I can usually fine one which'll take goodies.

    As Pam suggested looking for groups which support the homeless or are involved in Home Start schemes are good. Local housing associations often may know of such group through their housing officers who help set up new tenants who may be short of items.

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  6. Actually - re that rotting wood. Think hugelkultur beds in the garden. I reckon that rotting wood could go towards feeding the soil one way or another.

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  7. Re the comment about books - I do voluntary work in a place that takes secondhand books. The vast majority of the time the books that people give are in decent condition and saleable. There is the odd time though where books are given that are way-out-of-date textbooks or I've seen a book handed in where the pages were literally falling out as I held it up and I do bin poor condition/horribly old-fashioned ones. But - as stated - most people realise that the books they give us for sale need to be in saleable condition.

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  8. I take most of my unwanted stuff to the local Greyhound Rescue charity shop as I can put it in my wheelbarrow and wheel it just 5 mins from home. Anything they don't want they sell onto a company similar to the "Cash for Clothes " places and raise money that way for the dogs. Not sure where it all eventually ends up but I think it gets sent overseas. Any blankets and bedding goes to various animal shelters as they're desperate in the colder weather for warm beds.

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  9. I am a user up of food! It feels sinful to throw it away! It helps to avoid food in plastic if possible because there's usually too much. But you can freeze. Even leftover salad can be frozen and used in soup.

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  10. I have just watched Hugh on bbc iplayer, it was shocking, I think we are pretty good, I recycle, reuse and re purpose anything we can, and certainly don't throw food away.

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  11. For Anon, I understand sometimes it's hard to think outside the box. So here are some suggestions: A) try rubbing off the sprouts, that keeps the sprouts from using up the potato. And you can do this more than once. That's how my grandparents keep potatoes year-to-year. B) boil the potatoes up, mash them, divvy them up in single serving and Freeze them for later use. You will note Ilona does this all the time with her stews. Most of us who are single or with 2 person families do this so as to not waste food or have to eat the same thing several days in a row.

    The real problem here is over consumption of goods. It's an societal wide problem. We are bombarded from the cradle not to be happy with what we have and to covet thy neighbor's goods. We are not taught to be satisfied with a warm, dry, safe place to rest our heads at night, food in our bellies and the clothes on our backs. To do that, you have to be comfortable in your own skin, know who you are and be at peace. But then, the captains of industry and the bankers wouldn't have their pockets lined with our hard-earned money, would they? And most of us, who have made a living in manufacturing or the transportation of goods wouldn't have had a job, either! Ah, the viscous cycle!

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    1. Well said Judy, the voice of reason in an increasingly mad world.

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    2. Judy, you are so right about the overconsumption of goods. We are already starting to be bombarded with advertisements for Christmas shopping, which is totally out of control in my opinion.

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  12. I love your idea about box files. It could be made to look pretty with paper or fabric. I'm going to try this thank you. Debbie.

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    1. Hi Debbie. The box files are really sturdy and strong. I removed the spring clip inside, and painted the outside. You could cover them with paper or fabric, and do the inside as well if you like. You could paint them and stencil a design on the sides and lid.

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  13. I've just watched the whole programme. I think everyone should have the opportunity to visit a recycling plant where all the rubbish is sorted, baled, and sent to factories to make new. And fancy a woman of a certain age not knowing how to use up wilting veg to make soup.

    Potatoes keep a long time, I haven't started the bag I bought last week, as I'm eating all the leafy salad and veg first. Mushrooms and salad again tomorrow.

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  14. Having worked for a small independent charity shop, I was the only one sorting mostly, I started really well, bags and bags, then grew very weary. lots of bags I think made our way instead of the tip they were that bad, stained, tatty or downright dirty. We had far too many books and childrens clothes to sell, id sort through about 10 bags and then another 10 would come through, it was never ending. I rescued anything we couldn't sell and got people from freecycle to come to the shop to pick up, so the shop was promoted, id find homes for things, give things away for free, Im glad to say in the 6 months I saved lots of lots of things and recycled them to other needy charities like adult clothing to the homeless etc. it just got too much though and I have now moved on, I still rescue things and hate going to the tip as I want to stop people throwing perfectly good stuff away, have to close my eyes. I was pleased that our charity shop priced things very low so that the clients could also benefit from things, some shops are getting expensive and the sad thing is I am getting used to seeing these prices now. going to watch the programme tonight, think it will make me angry but still interested to watch. Julie T

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Julie. I saw a programme once about people dumping their rubbish onto charity shops, and none of it was fit to sell. They then have to get it collected by the council to get rid of it.

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    2. There was lots of lovely lovely stuff though as well as the tat, just so much of it, that we didn't have an outlet or enough people buying so the storeroom just got bombarded. some lovely people even washed and ironed some of their donations, bless them. my bugbears are very large plastic toys, large jigsaws that cant be counted easily, underwear especially lovely bras that cant really be be resold, but are so expensive. Since I have moved on they have found a company that picks large amounts of stuff from the premises giving the charity a profit twice a month, this then gets sorted, sold on either to people here or abroad. lots still goes to charities like shoeboxes, homeless, bedding to local dogs homes, clients can get clothing for free etc. So the service is still there but seems less manic now, more emphsasis is now on the charity itself which is helping people get back on their feet, with foodbank counselling, chitchats, groups rather than the donation side of things. I watched the programme and was totally shocked and appalled at the waste and felt so sorry for the farm involved. one day we are going to need these people growing veg again and there is going to be nonone left to do it or know how to do it on a large scale. so sad. Julie t

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  15. What a great post Ilona. Cheers

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  16. Very good post, Ilona!!
    Everyone could curb their food waste by making meal plans, then their shopping lists accordingly after, before even going to the shops to buy the foods. This works well for busy families and does make life much simpler when there is a meal plan pinned up in the kitchen. Cooking a meal one night, and then using the left overs in creating a different meal the next day doesn`t just cut the waste on food, but also saves money! There is no reason we can`t all learn to implement my suggestions. Looking at all types of products with a second set of eyes before deciding to throw away is something else we all should learn to do. Tossing out before considering a second use or donating to a good cause just smacks of sheer laziness and careless attitude. High time to mend our ways, I`d say!!

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  17. I regularly rescue stuff out of a local charity shop bin and donate them to another charity shop who are very grateful.
    I have taken a bag of items in and then had a look round the shop. Quite often the items are on the shelves and sometimes bought before I have even left!
    Huge numbers of useful things are thrown away by charity shops and it makes me very cross. There must be a way of getting them to people who need them but can't afford them.

    Abbie

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    1. There is! My friend and I were in an upscale thrift store in an upscale area. Surprisingly, nearly all of the clothing was '80s/'90s stuff, and it was all overpriced, probably because some of the brand names. Anyway, my friend commented that they needed to have a bag sale, clear everything out, and start over with newer merchandise and lower prices.That's the way to move merchandise.

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  18. I just watched the HFW programme on catch up and couldn't believe the absolute wastage which goes on.
    I really don't understand why people are so ready to throw away perfectly good food, especially those who are old enough to know better.
    Our general waste bin is always almost empty when it's collected, the recycling one is never more than half full.
    We compost all our fruit and veg waste, coffee grounds, tea leaves etc., charity shop whatever is in good condition, re-use and recycle whenever possible and we never throw food away.
    There are so many ways to use up food that is on its last legs, I make soup, flavoured breadcrumbs which are then frozen, smoothies, all kinds of things.
    As for the parsnips not being 'perfect', my blood pressure must have been through the roof watching that. Wasting food on that scale is absolutely criminal, and heartbreaking for the growers, all that work, for nothing!
    At a time when some people are having problems feeding themselves and their children, to waste perfectly good food on such a scale is disgusting, and perhaps if shoppers boycott Morrison's, they'll realise how angry we are!

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  19. Hi.Very interesting read today,Ilona also the comments.Just goes to show everyone is different....and thank God for that...lots of sensible, proactive,caring ideas and suggestions, there!Bye for now,D.

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  20. People , use your local veg shop. Then you can have 2 carrots and 3 potatoes if you want them. We do . More difficult in supermarkets I agree. Our local Co-Op still sells certain fresh things separately, like the Fairtrade bananas and apples. I don't buy the salad bowls as I find they only keep for a couple of days. I shop every day. I don't buy frozen stuff as I don't have a freezer . If I buy fish out of the chiller cabinet ,its because I will be eating it that day for my tea. I would rather spend a bit more on the food I will eat. I don't smoke,drink, buy lottery tickets, go to the pub,buy expensive magazines, newspapers,sweets or chocolate. I know people who do all of that and cut back on their food money. It's just choices at the end of the day, isn't it?

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    1. Agree Caz. No one has to shop in a supermarket, there are independent grocers where you can buy a couple of potatoes and carrots. I think Anon at the top must have got out of bed on the wrong side.

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  21. I am in the U.S. so could not watch the entire BBC program but I watched the clip and read about the parsnips.

    Here is a link to a new-type of grocery store started in the area of Boston, Massachusetts. It takes excess food and sells it at a big discount. Some of the food is short-dated. There is only one store now but the owner hopes to expand. The owner is the former president of Trader Joe's (upscale grocer in the U.S.) so he knows what he is doing.

    http://dailytable.org/about-us/our-story/

    I shop quite a bit at church and community rummage sales. The prices are lower than at most charity shops.

    My library has shelves where they sell donated books that are not needed for the library. The prices are small and the proceeds support the library.

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    1. I've had a read of that Barbara, thanks. Looks good. I have seen similar schemes here in the UK. It's about time people started waking up to the fact that food is still ok to eat past it's sell by date. Hopefully Hugh will open up people's eyes and make them think.

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    2. I'm also in the US. You can see it on YouTube, it's in two parts. Part One: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP8_t1WRY8g&list=WL&index=11 Part Two: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbzEIdXtXpQ&index=11&list=WL It's cropped oddly, they've cut the heads of people off. But you still get the point of the show.

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  22. What a wise and wonderful post. I grew up in Post War Britain and waste nothing! Luckily, here in the U.S. it is perfectly acceptable to take out ( doggy bag) the leftovers from a restaurant meal- they are huge portions anyway. JanF

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  23. From Margie in Toronto - HFW program is not on Youtube as yet - I've been checking for it as I read about the program (everyone seems to be talking about it). In the past year I have"
    .given away all my clothes that are now too big - office wear to one friend and casual things to another
    .extra Christmas decorations are going to the office for this year's tree as last year's was a bit of a mess!
    .books that I will never read again got shared out amongst friends or were taken into the office for folks to help themselves.
    .a ton of kitchen and household items given to my superintendent who passes things along to recent immigrants or donates to the charity shops - she has a car while I don't so she says it's fair as she or her friends get first choice
    .we have recycle bins out back and you can also leaves books and/or magazines in the mailroom
    .try not to waste food at all - it's too expensive now! I'm just one person so planning meals for the week is essential and towards the end of the week I use up leftovers with a bit of an odds & sods buffet. Otherwise my freezer is my best friend (and it's only the one at the top of the fridge but it's super organized to use up as much space as possible. I use ziploc bags all flattened out so they stack well and I use square or oblong foil containers with lids for my own "TV dinners". Hate to waste food!

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  24. We have some absolutely criminal toffs in the village who every year throw out all the apples from their small orchard, (the orchard is just for display!) over the back wall, and cover them over with grass clippings, thinking nobody knows they're there. Fortunately this is next to a public footpath, so every year about this time we go there, uncover them all and put them into sacks and take them away for our birds. If any are not too far gone we use them for eating, but to be honest, after being covered in grass clippings they get a bit warm and manky. Yesterday we got the equivalent of 5 large 75 litre compost bags full. They are now spread out all over our garden for the birds to enjoy. Why they don't put them in boxes by the gate for the villagers to help themselves to I really don't know ... they're probably too posh to do that sort of thing! Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall would be aghast.

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    1. I am wondering whether you would have a "way in" to get them to do so - ie leaving those apples out for people to help themselves - if you can find a way to let them know (politely) that they aren't actually allowed to tip their apples over the wall in the first place? That is flytipping of garden waste and isn't allowed - think its illegal to do so. So - they wouldn't be taking the risk of getting caught out for flytipping any more if they just donated the apples instead.

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    2. Why don't you knock and ask if you can pick them? We do, we then make jams chutneys and cider.

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  25. If it was world war 2, you wouldn't see this amount of waste, especially food!
    I'm seething!
    I regularly eat out of date stuff, make soups/stews from leftovers and freeze loads of stuff, not deemed edible by the Supermarket brainwashed hoards!
    I've even got family giving me their unwanted foods! If I can't eat it, the hens/birds/cats eat it, or I compost it! I had a duck dinner with my friend last night, all of the meal was 'donated'!
    The duck crown 'needed' to be consumed before the 26 December and the veg, even gravy granules to me by family making way for their turkeys in the freezer! I have told them that, their will not be presents from me this Christmas that are bought, all will be made by me (some stuff re-cycled) using stuff I already have.

    I really wish that if the food is not sold by it's UBDate,that all food suppliers would offer them to everyone including charities, either at a much reduced rate or, preferably free.
    I rarely buy anything that's not reduced these days!

    SO EVERYONE SHARE, SHARE, SHARE! On all the sites, with friends,family, neighbours, strangers! It gives me immense pleasure when I can give people 'Stuff' food etc , try it!

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  26. We have lots of charity shops in our town. I used to be able to get bargains clothes wise but its got to a point where I can get new clothes in the sales for the same price as the charity shops, in my area anyway all overpriced. Did not watch hfw. Lots of people throw good food out. I do not small budget no choice but to be frugal. I get fed up watching people throw away food on TV.......whatever happened to common sense....rant rant. Ear infection making me feel horrible.....anyway having no choice in the frugal world sometimes gets me down. Oh well. I need a long walk if only my infection would go away. Ginny

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  27. DH has just upcycled an old table, some wood off cuts etc into a couter for a friend who has opened a small toy shop in a unit in town, she is delighted and we have the table , which was donated, out of our shed.

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  28. I knew I would be shouting "about time too! " at the TV on Monday night. Those poor farmers. People say they should sell the mis-shapes but most farmers are not allowed to sell to anyone but the supermarket they are contracted to.

    I think I was more upset to see older people who should know better, having no idea about waste or how to cook things. You didn't have to live in the war to know these things, rationing and shortages were in force well after the war. I certainly remember some.

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  29. I am constantly amazed by what people throw away. You don't really have to buy much nrw stuff where I live as most of your needs/wants can be found in charity shops. Sometimes you just have to be prepared to wait for a while. I think we are also very bad at recycling in the uk particularly as it is not compulsory. I constantly see over flowing bins on my street and really wonder how people manage to throw away so much.Kristel

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  30. Now don't laugh, Ilona. I have been knitting dish cloths. Have to buy the yarn, but it's not expensive. The dish cloths are nice, and knitting keeps my hands busy, but they get grungy just like anything else that you use to wash dishes. My mother used to use rags for dishwashing. I have lots of 25-year-old bath towels that are only frayed at the edges. Terry cloth bath towels are the best rags, but they fray along every cut. (Head slapping moment here). I'm going to cut up one of those towels and HEM THE EDGES and make myself a whole drawer full of dishcloths.

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  31. Max-those are my "fancy rags" that I've written about: http://ctonabudget.blogspot.com/2012/07/fancy-rags.html

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  32. My grand daughter let it slip during a family get-together, that her mother (an ex daughter-in-law) said that my husband was a "Hillbilly". This is a less than flattering term here, for someone who is odd, eccentric, frugal, poor and/or uneducated. This is because we have a "reduce, reuse, recycle" kind of lifestyle, such as yours, Ilona. I think that my husband was a little offended, so I told him on the way home, "We may be hillbillies, but we have never once had the utilities shut off because we spent the money on getting our nails manicured. (Wish I could say the same thing for the ex DIL) Love the post, and the comments. Mary Jane in Canada.

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