Couch at The Oasis at Regal Oaks Apartments in East Charlotte
Go Green

There are lots of innovative things you can do to help reduce your rubbish – check out some of the tips below to get started.

Making use of your mountain of plastic bags:

  • Use them as bin liners.
  • Place them in the bottom of plant pots and hanging baskets - they act as great drainage systems.
  • Children can use them for carrying PE gear to school.
  • Scrunch them up to surround items when you're packaging as an alternative to bubble wrap.
  • Use them in the garden to hold your grass cuttings and hedge trimmings before transfer to a compost bin.
  • Use them when packing for a holiday to keep dirty/wet clothes and shoes away from dry clothing.
  • Use them as 'doggy doo bags' when out walking your dog!
  • Some supermarkets recycle plastic bags, so you can return plastic bags to them.
  • Re-use washed zip lock bags for sandwiches and snacks rather than using plastic wrap.

Ideas for recycling paper:

  • After children's drawings and paintings have been displayed for a while they can be used to wrap presents - this also makes the present special.
  • Discarded A4-sized paper can be cut and stapled together to make notepads. Alternatively, if you save five reams, it will cost you about $5 to get a print company to convert this paper into 'proper' notepads.
  • 'Use the envelopes you receive in the mail a second time by placing a new address label over the last address. I call this the OMT System ("One more time system"). Old envelopes can also be used for scribbling down shopping lists, to-do lists, and notes.'
  • Resealable envelopes can be reused many times: 'My daughter takes one to school when she orders her lunch. The envelope has all details written in felt on the front and the money sealed inside. She brings the envelope home and we use it again until it gets too shabby.'
  • Old calendars, colorful pictures, etc. can be used to make your own envelopes. You can unstick a used envelope and use it as a template for making envelopes.
  • Old rolls of wallpaper can be used for childrens' drawings.
  • Junk mail can be used as scrap paper, or as bedding for pets.
  • Cardboard cartons can be used to collect paper for recycling, instead of plastic bags (even breakfast cereal cartons are good).
  • SPCA and pet shops appreciate old newspapers.
  • Toilet roll centers can be recycled - they're made of cardboard.
  • To fill in a rainy day get a paper recycling kit and get the kids to rip up old used paper to make recycled paper, it can be great fun.
  • Old magazines are appreciated by:
    • Doctor and dentists' surgeries
    • Motels
    • Friends