Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I try my hardest to recycle most things that come into our home. That philosophy even extends to bringing home (rubbish) items from my work place to use at home. I'm sure my partner and my workmates think I'm slightly nutty, always asking can that be recycled?

Unfortunately the only recycling that goes on at work is paper and cardboard. Forget the rest, we don't even have a council recycling bin for cans and bottles...shame! The amount of plastic and packaging that comes in and out of our shop each week makes me want to cry, and we are only a very small business. I can't imagine how much waste is generated by a large business.

I now limit the amount of stuff I bring home to the following -
  • chook/bird food sacks - great for collecting weeds in or storing compost etc
  • the cotton string from these sacks
  • plastic treat containers with screw top lids - used to store homemade washing powder and cleaning products
  • plastic net bags
The cotton string and net bags are used to make scourers for use when washing the dishes. I'm sure if I keep collecting the string I'll have enough to knit some dishcloths as well.

Here is my little tutorial on how to make a kitchen scourer. I did a very similar post at the Down to Earth Forum some time ago.

Materials needed

Net bags - some are from work others have been saved from the fruit and veg market
Cotton string from bulk feed bags or flour bags or two strands of 4 ply cotton yarn
Size 5.5mm knitting needles

How to

Cut the net bags into 3cm/1 1/2" strips, then cut the strip once to form a long piece, tie the pieces end to end, trim the excess net at the knots, then wind into a ball.
You need about one and a half bags per scourer
Tie the cotton strands end to end (trim the knots as you go) to form a long piece of yarn. Wind two strands of cotton yarn into a ball, same length as the net yarn.

Using the net and cotton yarns together cast on 16 stitches or more and work in garter stitch (knit all rows) until the desired length is reached, cast off and work in the ends.
You might need to add more cotton or net as you knit, just tie ends together and continue on.

The finished scourer, great for the kitchen or bathroom.

I always wash them in plain soap before use, as the cotton can sometimes be rather dirty. Mine are washed weekly with the dishcloths and tea towels.

Unfortunately the plastic net will not breakdown but at least its been reused and kept out of land fill for a considerable amount of time.

Still in the recycling theme, here is my new toothbrush.

The Enviro Toothbrush to be precise. Made from bamboo and polymer bristles. The toothbrush can be composted with your normal garden waste. Pretty fancy hey!

I reuse all our old toothbrushes for cleaning etc, but there comes a time when you run out of uses for them.
Here are some other useful ways to reuse your toothbrushes and a great toothbrush recycling idea for the kids.

What unusual items do you recycle?

Hope you have a lovely day
Cheers Lisa


Anonymous said...

I don't think we recycle anything unusual, just regular stuff. Sorry, we are boring. Love the scourers and the toothbrush. I will have to see if they are sold in Canada.

Wendy said...

oh wow Lisa how cool are those toothbrushes... you share some of the greatest stuff here, bit like enviro Christmas for me visiting your blog :-)