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If you thought about reducing your contribution to the plastic pollution, but didn’t know where to begin, here’s a great challenge to join and start off with:

Take the Plastic Free July challenge!

 

Take the #PlasticFreeJuly challenge and #ChooseToRefuse #SingleUsePlastic!

Take the #PlasticFreeJuly challenge and #ChooseToRefuse #SingleUsePlastic!

 

Plastic Free July is a global yearly challenge where millions of people give up single-use plastic during the month of July.

It aims to raise awareness of the amount of single-use disposable plastic items in our lives and challenges people to do something about it.

Plastic Free July provides resources and ideas to help reduce single-use plastic waste everyday at home, work, school, and even at your local café.

 

You can choose to commit for a day or the entire month or forever.

You can target the top 4 worst plastic items: plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic straws and plastic coffee cups, or #ChooseToRefuse #SingleUsePlastic altogether.

You can make changes at home, at work, and in your local community.

 

Whatever you do, start today! Make the pledge now.

 

#Reuse  #Reduce  #Recycle  #ChooseToRefuse  #NoPlastic

 

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Oopsie, another bag full with used tea bags...

Oopsie, another bag full with used tea bags…

I drink at least 2 litres of tea a day. I use 3 teabags to brew 1 litre. That’s a minimum of 6 teabags per day.

So that 200 teabag bulk offer is probably what I go through per month.

Accordingly I have a lot of used teabags to do… well, what with? Read on for some useful tips.

 

What to do with used tea bags

 

Used tea bags belong in the garden.

A used tea bag is still full of nutrition. It is nitrogen rich and can be used like a fertiliser. Tear open the bag and sprinkle the tea into your pot plants or around your garden.

Line plant pots with old teabags, especially around the drainage holes, before filling them with soil. The tea bags retain water and nutrition.

Tea is a must-have for your compost, as it counter balances all the carbon-rich materials.

The caffeine in the tea is just as much a stimulant for your garden inhabitants as for you and has a great effect on earthworms: They will work and breed faster.

 

Used tea bags make great sponges.

Apparently adding used tea bags to your dishwashing water helps to break down grease and food stains.

You can use the tea bag itself to preclean dirty pans and trays. Be careful not to break the tea bag, as it works wonderfully to wipe up that grease, and simply throw it in the bin, instead of having to rinse your kitchen sponge with a lot of water. In addition, the tannins in the leaves will prevent the oxidising process, preventing rust.

Similarly, freshly brewed hot tea bags can be used to preclean windows. The tea’s tannic acid will leave the glass sparkling clean.

Scrub your dark leather shoes with a damp used teabag. Tanning leather involves tannin, the tea can add a new shine.

 

Used tea bags capture bad odour.

Place dried old teabags in the bottom of your kitchen bin to absorb liquids and odours.

Wash away odours from your hands: Rinse your hands with water and a brewed tea bag to remove odours of onions, garlic, fish and other foods.

If you’re a smoker or have an ashtray out for guests, put a wet tea bag or the leaves from a wet tea bag into the ashtray. When you or your guests ash in the tray, the wet leaves will hold the ash and absorb some of the smell from the smoke.

The antibacterial contents of tea bags will help neutralize the odour in your litter box as well. Just sprinkle the dried out contents of a brewed tea bag into the kitty / rattie litter.

 

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Plastic Bags: The Ocean's Deadliest Predator.

Plastic Bags: The Ocean’s Deadliest Predator.

I cannot remember ever buying a plastic bag.

But we started early with the whole environmentally friendly idea in Germany.
I was a teenager when we had the green revolution and I always used proper bags or at least reusable shopping bags.

Then I moved to the UK where they still gave away free plastic bags in the supermarkets.
We used them as our bin bags and still accumulated so many that I regularly brought a whole bunch of them back to the supermarket for recycling.

Then I moved to South Africa. Here plastic bags are flying around on the streets and get caught in barbwire on every other house where they form a grotesque flag waving our own waste at us.
The cashiers don’t even offer me a plastic bag anymore, they know by now that “we really shouldn’t use them, they’re so bad for the environment.”
Although plastic bags cost something, be it ‘only’ 50 cents, I see people buying them for one item, walk out, take the item out of the bag and throw the bag on the street.

It’s so easy to never buy a plastic bag ever again and save a fair share of money:

Simply use a reusable shopping bag. Any bag can do really, practical are a backpack or shoulder bag.

At least reuse the plastic bags you already have. It’s surprising how long they last. Always keep one folded up in your pocket, you never know when you might need it.

Even without buying plastic bags ever, I still get them given at so many places that I never run out of bin bags.

Everything is packaged in plastic too, so I never run out of dog poop bags either.

I do a weekly MOOP Swoop and pick up so many clean and intact plastic bags that my dog poop bag pile never gets depleted.

It can take 100 years for a plastic bag to break down, but it never disappears: It only disintegrates into toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and PS oligomer.

Please! Don’t buy plastic bags!

#Reuse #Reduce #Recycle #ChooseToRefuse #NoPlastic

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Juice bottles: Cut the head off, drill some holes in the base - for some practical flower pots.

Juice bottles: Cut the head off, drill some holes in the base – for some practical flower pots.

 

The shape of these juice bottles is actually ideal for flower pots:

– The diameter of the bottle is about 10cm, a standard size for flower pots.

– The base is raised into a punt and gives the ideal points to drill drainage holes: As they are raised, it ensures there will always be a bit of water in the very bottom.

– The top bit can be used as a greenhouse roof to protect seedlings from weather and mice.

 

How to make flower pots from soft drink bottles:

With a pair of nail scissors, cut the top bit off.

You’ll have to cut round, that’s why it’s easier with nail scissors. Follow a line on the bottle, it’s hard not to cut skew.

Depending on the length of roots the plants will grow you can keep the bottom bit quite tall or cut it down to a standard size.
Because the plastic is see-through, you can leave a wide rim above the ground level which keeps in all the mess.

Drill drain holes in the base of the bottle.

Hold the drill steady, it’s easy to slip on the plastic. Drill about 5 holes around the centre point of the base.

Depending on the water consumption of the plant you can drill large holes so the earth will drain well or small holes to capture water.
If the plant likes wet feet, you can drill the holes higher up.

Drill ventilation holes in the top bit of the bottle.

Hold the drill even steadier, this is a slanted surface. Drill about 5 evenly spread holes in the shoulder of the bottle.

You can use the remaining  bottle tops as mini greenhouse roofs. They fit very tight into the flower pot and won’t easily come off.
Depending on the humidity preferences of the plant, you can drill large holes for good ventilation or small holes for capturing moisture and heat. 

 

#Reuse #Reduce #Recycle #ChooseToRefuse #NoPlastic 

 

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