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Upcycling /recycling or reinventing the wheel?

(27 Posts)
MawB Mon 30-Dec-19 12:14:47

I am hugely amused - in a cynical sort of way - at how my AC and others of their generation are embracing eco- friendly actions as if they had invented them
For instance DD was massively impressed by “how clever” her high-flying City lawyer friend had been, cutting up last year’s Christmas cards to make this year’s gift tags.
Ahem? Excuse me?
When they were babies (over 40 years ago) I and my friends did that using pinking shears (because of course we made our children’s clothes too ), punching a hole in the corner and not only using them ourselves, but doing them into packs of 5 or 10 to sell at the church Christmas Bazaar.
What else qualifies as “nothing new under the sun” ?

tanith Mon 30-Dec-19 12:20:38

Wrapping presents with brown paper and string, very NOW it seems 🤣

Nortsat46 Mon 30-Dec-19 12:33:46

How about all the advice, all over the internet, on the BBC website, in magazines and newspapers on using up leftovers.
For goodness sake, I (and most other GNs) have been making soup with the turkey bones, bubble and squeak, pies and all manner of things with leftovers for decades.
And chutneys and jams with gluts of fruit and vegetables.

Tesco sent me an email yesterday about using up cheese and not throwing it away! I DO NOT THROW CHEESE AWAY.

Who has these mountains of leftovers anyway ?

Elegran Mon 30-Dec-19 12:50:50

Time there was a different campaign urging people "If you think you will only eat a quarter of a kilo of it, don't buy a kilo and then throw out three-quarters. If you over-shopped by mistake - use it up, freeze it, or give it away to someone who needs it." Same with clothes and many other things.

It is yet another first-world problem that for so many the only solution they can think of for over-supply is to throw it away. Never mind, in the next few years they will learn all kinds of lessons in thrift.

ginny Mon 30-Dec-19 13:06:07

Re-usable bags. As a child I took the same shopping bag to the green grocers every week. All the veg were tipped into it as they were. No extra wrappings.

Fernbergien Mon 30-Dec-19 13:13:23

Making tags from cards
Buying roll of labels to stick over unused firms envelopes
Keeping wrapping paper to reuse
Keeping back buttons from worn out clothes
Making breadcrumbs from bits of bread
Grating cheese and freezing it
Keeping frozen cake pieces to put in trifle
Many more if you think about it.

Calendargirl Mon 30-Dec-19 13:17:34


Yes, I too had the Tesco ‘Don’t throw cheese away’ e Mail.
The idiots who throw good cheese away will be the ones who have heart failure at the thought of eating a bit of cheese one day past the use by date. Give me strength!

cornergran Mon 30-Dec-19 13:25:03

Interesting conversation here yesterday. One of ours spotted a Facebook comment about making gift tags. 'Err, Mum, didn't you used to do that? Blimey, you're fashionable now!". You have to laugh. grin. '

janipat Mon 30-Dec-19 13:26:27

I haven't had the cheese email, but am amazed at the people who will dump their 24 month aged cheddar because it's one day past the use by date. For goodness sake it's already over 2 years old, do we really think another day, or week, even month is going to turn it toxic?

NfkDumpling Mon 30-Dec-19 13:29:52

I do wonder if the rise in food banks is partly due to younger people not knowing how to use up left-overs. I was astounded when a young friend opened a tin of baked beans, dished up half for her offspring - and then threw the rest away (she did rinse out and re-cycle the tin!).

How much are they taught in school now about cooking and using everything?

lovebeigecardigans1955 Mon 30-Dec-19 13:30:25

The old phrase, 'Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs' comes to mind.

Or 'I was doing this when you were still chucking up rusks' is another variation.

Calendargirl Mon 30-Dec-19 13:34:21

I so agree janipat.

Teaching some good, basic cooking and housewife/househusband skills would equip our young people so much better than certain elements on the curriculum. We all need to eat and manage budgets.

ginny Mon 30-Dec-19 13:36:45

Anyone else spend the summer with the toes cut out of your school sandals so that they would last until you had new shoes for the new school year?

dragonfly46 Mon 30-Dec-19 13:41:09

Deposits on bottles, using the milkman, very little plastic in my young days and could not afford plastic toys anyway. My favourite presents were books so I suppose that did mean a few more trees being cut down.

Labaik Mon 30-Dec-19 16:22:25

I'm pleased to see little repair shops popping up [heck; can't remember what they're called]. People with expertise in various things meet up every couple of weeks and you can take broken things to them to be repaired. Maybe they're called repair cafes? I think it's a great idea.

Yehbutnobut Mon 30-Dec-19 16:40:43

Talking of that Labaik The Repair Shop is now one of my favourite programmes

BlueSapphire Mon 30-Dec-19 17:34:06

I have been cutting up my Christmas cards (with pinking shears!) to make gift tags for as long as I can remember. And grating cheese and freezing it, along with nearly every other idea above.
I do buy the big packs of cheese but only because it works out cheaper, then cut it into smaller chunks (ie, the amount I would normally eat in a week), wrap them in foil and freeze them. The same with butter as well; divide a large tub up and store in individual boxes in the freezer.

NfkDumpling Tue 31-Dec-19 13:05:02

I hope someone has the idea of opening a Dolls Hospital. There was one near me when I was little and I took my favourite doll there to have an eye operated on when her eyelid got stuck.

sunseeker Tue 31-Dec-19 13:12:03

But isn't our generation the one which has caused all the pollution and ruined the earth for future generations?

I always smile when someone younger tells me about the new "recycling hack" they have discovered, only to find it is something I have been doing for years!

Grammaretto Tue 31-Dec-19 13:23:37

I agree wholeheartedly about all this egg sucking but what saddens me is when DD trusts the facebook advice more than mine. sad

I never bought rusks for her but always baked crusts in the slow oven. I found she's bought a packet.

Sell by dates are a useful guide but sniffing the milk is even less wasteful. We now use returnable glass bottles again.

Is it truly so awful to put different babies in the same cot? Are there some microorganisms which thrive now in the mattresses?

As for baby wipes!! We always used a damp flannel for faces. and another for bottoms. It was sterilised along with the terry nappies or boiled.

I really am a grumpy old woman.

There was a Miriam Margolyes comedy on Radio 4 yesterday which was capturing the funny side. Charlotte and Lilian
It could have been called "How to milk an almond", grin

Penygirl Tue 31-Dec-19 13:26:40

I agree that many of today’s ‘new’ ideas are simply good practice that many of us have been doing for years but I also think our generation should accept some of the blame for this throwaway society. Yes, my gran always took her shopping bag with her - but did I? We had milk delivered in reusable bottles when I was younger, but I found it easier to buy from the supermarket in plastic bottles., etc.

Elegran Tue 31-Dec-19 13:42:40

Many of us continued to get milk in reusable glass bottles an d to carry a fold-up shopping bag in our handbag. Should we too meekly take the blame for the profligate habits of a later generation?

sunseeker Tue 31-Dec-19 17:35:34

The only reason I stopped buying milk in glass bottles from a milkman is because most milk rounds were stopped - we had no choice but to buy in plastic bottles, but somehow it is still our fault!

Elegran Tue 31-Dec-19 17:41:00

The roundsmen who did continue went over to plastic bottles too, and still use them.

NfkDumpling Wed 01-Jan-20 12:33:29

I’ve always taken bags shopping with me as I lived next door to a lady who washed out her poly bags and re-used them. I felt so guilt if I didn’t do the same where possible and the guilt stuck. I still hoard ice-cream boxes and coffee jars!