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Share with Tetra Pak your top tips for creative and original environmentally - friendly things in the home: you could win a £250 voucher! NOW CLOSED

(113 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 29-Apr-14 11:11:09

We have been asked by the team at Tetra Pak, (the world's leading supplier of food processing and packaging systems) to find out your top tips for reducing the impact your home and life has on the environment. They would love to hear the creative things you do to recycle and reduce the amount of waste your family produce.

Tetra Pak says, "you may know that our company was founded upon the principle that 'a package should save more than it costs'. Our cartons are found on shop shelves and in kitchen cupboards all over the country. They hold everyday items we all depend on, from fruit juice and milk to chopped tomatoes.

"As well as this, our cartons offer a number of environmental benefits; not only are they made primarily from wood - which is a renewable resource - they are also widely recyclable across the UK. With over 90% of UK local authorities now offering a carton recycling service, and 57% of local authorities helping people to recycle their cartons from home, recycling Tetra Pak cartons has never been more straightforward.

“In addition, the special layers in our cartons mean that they protect the goodness of contents inside for longer, reducing waste without any need for added preservatives. They also don't need to be kept in the fridge until opened, meaning they can be stored in your cupboards for added convenience".

You may also know that Tetra Pak has launched a new interactive recycling map to help you find out more about carton recycling in your area.

Find out more:

To help promote the recycling of its own cartons - Tetra Pak would now love to hear about your most creative and inventive tips and tricks for being 'green' at home.

Maybe you learnt an amazing tip from Mumsnet, or came up with your very own way of, for example, reducing food waste in your home? What’s the most creative way you've found to recycle your household waste? What family activities have you done to make recycling fun for your children? What would you recommend to other families to make recycling even easier? What everyday household objects were you surprised to find that you could recycle?

Whatever it is, please share it on this thread – add your comment and you’ll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £250 voucher for John Lewis/Waitrose.

Thanks and good luck!

CointreauVersial Tue 13-May-14 17:28:37

Clothes recycling is my thing. I buy a lot from charity shops, from eBay, or car boot sales, and am happy to adjust/take in/mend so that it suits me. I also send my second hand clothing to charity to continue the cycle.

Also, most of my "Tupperware" is recycled food packaging - ice cream tubs, pasta sauce pots etc. I have a whole drawerfull for storage of leftovers.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 13-May-14 12:46:59

Thanks for all the tips etc!
Am pleased to say Lemoncakeuk has been picked as the winner of the £250 JL voucher - well done!

DoctorGilbertson Tue 13-May-14 05:05:14

OUr local recycling is really good - moving to the area was great, as they take almost everything (except nappies but we have just got rid of night nappies so all good there too)

But the hint I read on Mumsnet which was really good was about freezing mushy bananas and then using them in cakes.

Mojito100 Mon 12-May-14 15:37:00

I send my unused food scraps and cartons home with one of the girls from work, she has a mini farm and feeds the food scraps to her chickens, the rest is compost and she uses the containers for a whole range of activities.

I also merge all the ends of my lipsticks Into one little jar that then becomes my new colour for the season. I apply with a lipstick brush. Easy.

lozster Mon 12-May-14 14:40:07

Happily my council collects practically everything I can think of for recycling. In addition I do try to get an extra use out of things. Loads of good ideas on here already but in addition I keep bottles of Marmite or tomato sauce that I can't squeeze anything more out of, and rinse them out with hot water to add to a stew or casserole. Also in the kitchen, I reuse cereal pack liners as sandwich bags or as bags to mix and shake marinade in.

manfalou Mon 12-May-14 12:20:49

Use empty squeezey tomato ketchup etc bottles to store paint in if you use powder paint.... you can mix it and keep it in an easily accessible pot.

We only cook for what we need and have little food waste.

We do seem to get ALOT of recycle but we have two bins in the kitchen, red for food waste, black for recyclable products. Our eldest now know that plastic, paper etc go in the black bin and food plus some packets in the red, if he's unsure he always asks which to put it in.

CathBookworm Sun 11-May-14 22:13:47

We have reduced food waste by shopping online, no more impulse buys and we plan exactly what we will eat each day. We have recently had a big clean out at home, meaning several trips to the local waste/recycling centre with our toddler , who even at his young age seemed fascinated that we can reuse things instead of just throwing them away!

JarOfDaffs Sun 11-May-14 21:32:37

My old / odd socks are recycled to make mittens and shoe-to-ankle snow covers for the baby / toddler in winter.

RhinosAreFatUnicorns Sun 11-May-14 20:26:38

We menu plan so have reduced our food wastage massively. Plus we have a Labrador who of course eats anything smile

My husband uses the laundry tablet containers for all his screws, bolts etc.

I never use bags when buying veg, preferring to buy them loose.

Glass jam jars are given to the lady in the village who makes marmalade.

I reuse cardboard boxes and padded envelopes when I'm selling on eBay. All clothes are either sold, ebayed or donated to the charity shop.

Other bits are used for junk modelling. Cardboard tubes are given to the dog as they are the best toy ever!

PurpleCrazyHorse Sun 11-May-14 20:17:15

I've re-used beer bottles into small vases but wrapping PVA glue soaked yarn around them. I've even made little flowers out of wire and left over bits of felt plus a button in the middle. Makes a cute and low maintenance display ideal for our boring and hardly used downstairs loo. Actual plants don't stand a chance as I forget they're there.

We also re-use baby food jars for spices, buttons, screws, goggly eyes and other small items.

I've never tried re-using a tetrapak though but Cardiff council do include them in the kerbside recycling, so they're recycled via that.

IncaAztec Sun 11-May-14 13:45:00

Maybe you learnt an amazing tip from Mumsnet, or came up with your very own way of, for example, reducing food waste in your home? What’s the most creative way you've found to recycle your household waste? What family activities have you done to make recycling fun for your children? What would you recommend to other families to make recycling even easier? What everyday household objects were you surprised to find that you could recycle?

Best way of recycling formula tins was taught to us by DD's nursery, they make them into photo albums with photos on the sides and inside. Kids love to look at them. To make recycling easier I would suggest buying those green sacks and a proper indoor compost bin. I was suprised to find out that you can recycle whole t.v.s (as told to me by the man at the tip!). I've yet to involve my children in recycling as they are too young (yet!)

TheHouseatWhoCorner Sat 10-May-14 20:50:11

My DD(6) did a recycling project for school last week.
Her idea was to turn a drink bottle into a megaphone.
I suspect that her idea won't be winning us this prize.

ataraxia Sat 10-May-14 20:45:41

I save unusual jars and tins with a metal/glass pen to re-label them

sashh Sat 10-May-14 08:07:07

A full freezer is cheaper to run than an empty one so if it's getting low I fill it with bread that will always be eaten at some point.

When I was doing a course at an FE college one day a week it was the same day as the catering students baked bread so I could pick it up for the cost of ingredients.

I also freeze milk, I don't drink it myself so have some frozen either in whole pints or in an ice cube tray, I can then put a milk cube in tea for guests.

I make pickles, the most expensive part is the jars and as I give them as presents I don't get the jars back but I can often get them on freecycle.

1amtheonewhoKnocks Fri 09-May-14 16:44:42

We always use the confidential waste that has been shredded as bedding for our little gerbil girls, they love it. Also orange juice size tetrapaks have become storage boxes for the kids' little toys and bits. They love painting them etc and it's so easy to store little bits of lego etc on them or arts and crafts bits.

Letitsnow9 Fri 09-May-14 13:29:08

We use take away style containers to grow seeds in until they are ready to be transferred outside, they are perfect and you can use them again and again

JulesJules Thu 08-May-14 14:26:30

We try and recycle as much as possible. Our area does not take many plastics for recyc - so I try and limit the number of things I buy with plastic packaging. Some of the things we can't recyc I collect up and take to the nursery class at the dds school - they are always keen for items for junk modelling and craft activities and use yoghurt pots etc for planting seeds.

I hate throwing food away, all leftover bits of bread get turned into breadcrumbs or croutons and frozen. Odds and ends of veg get turned into soup. Peelings etc go in the compost bin. We have stopped buying bagged salad and grow some salad leaves and herbs on the kitchen windowsill instead.

Our school collects ink cartridges for recyc.

hunhun007 Thu 08-May-14 13:30:00

We try to do our best with being environmental friendly.
We re-use plastic tabs after butter or yogurts in the garden, especially during spring / summer time for new seedlings (this way I do not have to buy any small pots).
We re-use all metal tins for making storage tubs (mainly covered with fabric or a coloured paper but sometimes we also make them with glued buttons or beads), which then kids sale during summer on car boot sale raising money for whatever they fancy at the moment.
When it comes to food... we still struggle and put too much to the bin but we are working on it... if we make too much we freeze leftovers for quick meal some other day... we do not feed our dogs with it, as in most cases human food is not good for them.
We also buy industrial type kitchen rolls - they are cheaper and last much longer than your standard roll you get at a superstore (we would love to not to use them at all but with a Newfoundland dog in the house this is not an option)

janekirk Wed 07-May-14 23:30:27

Large yogurt pots are used for plant growing and paint pots.
The kids love to spend their pocket money in the local charity shop, not only can they get a lot more than if they spent their money in a toy shop but it also helps them to learn the value of money.
Also picked up a cheap ssecond hand freezer to put in the garage, helps to reduce the food wastage.

ComfyLeatherChair Wed 07-May-14 21:10:47

To reduce food waste we:
meal plan
Veg that is a bit past its best gets frozen for soup, same for breadcrumbs
Leftover food from meals go to the chickens,
Peelings to the guinea pig
Everything else to the wormery

Then we use vegetable cartons and punnets to grow seeds (strawberry punnets with the lid on make great mini greenhouses. Plastic trays make great paint pots, etc

museumworker Wed 07-May-14 20:19:29

We reduce food waste by writing a meal plan every week before we go shopping - (almost) everything gets eaten. Leftovers make lunch the next day, or get frozen for future meals. We take packaging to our son's nursery and they make all sorts there with them - giant robots, cardboard christmas trees or strange child-led sculptures! We've cut down plastic bottles to use as cloches in the garden (and protect things from snails, unless the blighters crawl through the spout!)
We're very lucky in that almost everything is recycled in our borough - we have a box in our kitchen next to the bin that everything gets slung into, and that gets emptied once full into the wheelie bin outside. I've even taken an ancient computer to be recycled before, was pleased with that!

ilovereading Wed 07-May-14 13:25:45

I think Tetra Pak cartons are brilliant (and keep wondering why, why, WHY the huge supermarket chains persist in packaging so much - if not all - of their fresh milk, fruit juices, etc in that dreadful, non-biodegradable plastic?? IMO it's just irresponsible and ignorant, and I keep meaning to write to them about it - I will, in fact do so soon. I will happily spend a lot more on a fresh Covent Garden soup precisely because it's in a cardboard carton, than on an own-brand cheaper product in their plastic cartons which will still be in the gorund in a few hundred years time...).

We save all our plastic bottle tops, as Granny collects them for a charity which seems to be able to turn them somehow into Wellie boots! grin. I endlessly reuse microwave cartons/lids/pots for plants, saucers under houseplants, storage etc. Some little plastic dessert pots make good containers for child-size portions to freeze for use later. Plastic shopping bags are reused until they fall apart as bin liners etc. I often cut out interestingly-coloured/patterned cardboard from cereal or cake boxes for later use, eg, to back photos, pictures, stiffen envelopes or whatever. It is so alarming how packaging waste piles up, and sadly, it is a postcode lottery as to which local authorities will recycle what. Ours is not very advanced and still only does the basics, with limited recycling of plastics.

sarahjackjasper Wed 07-May-14 12:13:56

My kids and I recycle egg cartons by cutting them up and using them for arts and crafts eh painting and putting on googly eyes.
I also make soup using left over potato peelings and veg.
Used cereal cartons go to my eldest son who loves painting them and then cutting shapes out to give to his grandparents.

daisybrown Wed 07-May-14 09:29:05

I give all our old newspapers and kitchen towel rolls to my step-daughter for use in her class room. Cartons and plastic bottles/containers are used for home crafts, when no longer wanted they're recycled.

dragonfly63 Tue 06-May-14 19:03:04

An old tip that I find useful is to use the inner cardboard tubes from loo rolls to plant seeds in especially ones that don't like their roots disturbed when planting out as you can sow one seed per roll. If you make four vertical cuts about an inch deep you can fold each piece up to make a base and it stops the compost falling out.

Yoghurt pots make good plant pots. Plastic mesh mushroom trays from farm shops make good trays for standing pots in so they are easy to move and plastic Chinese take away containers can be used as seed trays, their lids can be used before the seeds sprout to conserve moisture and afterwards as bases to stand the trays on.

Punch holes into plastic bottles and cut the pointed end off to give a container that can be sunk into the centre of hanging baskets, window boxes and larger plant pots to get the water right to the roots of plants and stop the water running off the compost when you water.

Old net curtains can be attached to greenhouses with clothes pegs to shade plants on hot days. These can be easily removed on dull days to give more light which stops the plants getting leggy.

Net sacks that farmers sell carrots, turnips and swedes in, can be begged from farm shops and green grocers, When opened out these make great netting around crops that the birds decimate.

Halved grapefruit skins put downwards on the veg patch will form a shady damp place that slugs can shelter in, making them easy to catch and dispose of.

Without using these things that are normally thrown away I would have far less money to spend on plants and seeds.

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