Posts Tagged ‘Green-living’

How our plastic bags get recycled

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Thought you might like to see this youtube video that shows you how plastic bags are recycled.  This video shows a recycling plant in the United States.  I am looking into what happens to our flyaway plastics (or film plastics)  in the UK and hope to have lots of lovely facts and figures for you shortly.

Video Recycling Update

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Yay! Google came up trumps again.

A company based in Bristol, Environmental Media Solutions, take VHS video cassettes which they recycle 100%. And they do it for free.

I spoke to the lovely peeps at EMS about their recycling service and they told me all about the various collection schemes they are setting up around the country.

If you are not local to one of their schemes and you have the urge to clean out your cupboards, you can post your video cassettes to them.  There’s some important legal-eagle stuff – just a form you have to send with your cassettes but it won’t take you a moment to download it and fill it out. Check out their website to find out more:

Over the coming months you should see more and more local schemes being set up, so keep an eye out at your supermarket, your recycling centre or maybe your local council offices, community centre, school or library.

I’ll keep you posted of any new schemes I hear about :)



Recycling Video Tapes

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

I’m doing a bit of research on how to recycle video tapes.

I checked out the Recycle now website and they suggest donating to charity shops, libraries or schools, but I know my local charity shop can’t take video tapes any more – they just can’t sell them these days.  When was the last time you played a video tape?  Do you even have a video tape player?  Are you wondering what a video tape player looks like?

Well… I’ve seen a number of tweets and emails asking how best (or how even) to recycle video tapes but so far no solutions.

The Recycling People take video and audio tapes but at a cost.  For example up to 50 tapes costs £15.  Prices get cheaper (per piece) for larger quantities so would be worth getting together with friends to get best value for money, but – AND THIS IS A BIG BUT (like mine) are people really prepared to pay to get stuff recycled? I have my doubts.

So time to do some investigation I feel.  If you know of anywhere that recycles video and audio tape for free, please do tell me. In the meantime…just shut the cupboard door on them and hold off the temptation to bin them.  I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.  Promise.


Aluminium Oligarchs

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

I can’t help noticing a connection between being very rich and producing aluminium. That got me wondering … what is it about aluminium? Do we use too much of the stuff or is it really worth its weight in gold?

Armed with a well known brand of low calorie soft drink  (in a fully recyclable aluminium can) I did a bit of arm chair exercise surfing for aluminium facts and figures.  Here are a few gems that might be worth their weight in…well maybe not gold, but certainly aluminium. What do you think?

Fact 1. 75% of aluminium ever used is still in use today.

Fact 2. Recycling one tonne of aluminium saves nine tonnes of CO2. One tonne of CO2 is equivalent to driving 2,800 miles.

Fact 3. All aluminium products can be recycled after use. That includes milk bottle tops, tin foil, the foil wrapper on chocolates (my fave).

Fact 4. Tin foil can be washed and reused several times then recycled. It’s ok – they are so rich they won’t begrudge the likes of you and me saving a couple of quid a year by re-using our tin-foil occasionally ;)

Fact 5. Aluminium can be recycled over and over and over again.

Fact 6. The energy needed to melt aluminium scrap is only a fraction of that required for primary aluminium production.

Fact 7. Drinks cans account for 65% of aluminium used in the UK.

Fact 8.Recent figures reveal the drinks can recycling recycling rate is on 55%

Fact 9. That means that 45% of this precious material is needlessly thrown away :(

Fact 10. No wonder the aluminium rich are getting richer.


ok… so the last one is not a fact but the fact remains we CAN do better.

If next year’s figures are better I’ll be doing the can-can to celebrate…

Sell-by dates canned

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Hmm! Have you seen these headlines?

Sky News tells us ”Sell-By Date Binned In Push To Cut Food Waste… in a bid to cut £12billion worth of good food” going to waste. The Daily Mail front page tells that simpler labels will save families up to £680 a year. Wow that’s a lot of money.

Can you believe we waste so much food? But there has been confusion about the various ways food is labelled and what exactly this means for you and me.

Some foods are labelled with a Display Until or Sell By date as well as either a Use By or Best Before date.  It is only the Use By or Best Before date that we need to look at and it is useful to understand the difference.  The other dates are for the shops to help them with stock control.  The Use By date is the one you and I need to take most notice of.  This is the date used for food safety reasons and soon to help food producers label their foods they will have a decision tree ‘asking a series of important questions around the production of a food product from a microbiological perspective’. In other words could it make us ill!

The Best Before date is a guidance date to show when food may start to deteriorate in quality. This doesn’t mean we can’t still eat it.

Now the truth is I know I should be pleased that people all over the country are reading these headlines and might think twice next time they pull something from the cupboard with a best before date of last month. Maybe now they won’t just sling it, they might at least give it a sniff and a lick and 9 times out of 10 will realise it will go down a treat. Yes, I’m delighted, I’m jumping for joy (with a little help from Yolanda).

I’m a tad concerned I might have to hunt for my supper a bit harder from now. Oh for the rich pickings that ‘Best Before’ date afforded me!

How Green are Green Websites?

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Hmnn!  Now there’s a thought.

There’s a lot I can’t even begin to understand when it comes to carbon footprint, but to my mind you have to start with what you can and do understand and go one step at a time.

There has been much debate about the carbon footprint of a Google search but this article quotes Google as saying:

In fact, in the time it takes to do a Google search, your own personal computer will use more energy than Google uses to answer your query.

So… in an attempt to green up my green blog in every way I can, I’m pleased to say that my super efficient net-book computer is now powered by 100% Renewable Energy from Good Energy.   I’ve looked into peddling my way to powering up my computer but got nowhere fast so I was delighted to find an alternative that avoided the saddle sores.


Next I’m looking into greening up my web hosting. Any suggestions? Please send them in.

Big Thanks.


Calling all sweetie lovers!

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Are you a sweetie lover?

I love sweeties. All kinds of sweeties. But I promised Yolanda that I was going to try to stick to eating sweeties that come in recyclable packaging.

So, that means I need to do a bit of research. What sweeties can I still eat?

I came across a box of Quality Street in Mr Smith’s Bin the other day. Couldn’t believe my luck, but there were still three sweeties in there (and a bit of orange peel and a banana skin – you have to take the rough with the smooth!). I put the orange peel and the banana skin on my compost heap. I hope by this time next year it will be fertilising my garden. Then I set about doing some serious research. The three sweeties were all blue ones. Clearly nobody in Mr Smith’s house likes the blue ones, but luckily for me they’re my favourites.

As I unwrapped sweetie number one – step one in my research is to check that I like them – I noticed the writing on the side of the box.

Did you know that you can separate the wrappers and put the foil bit into your recycling box like you would a drinks can? The outer wrapper can go in your compost bin. How cool is that?

The instructions for how to dispose of the cardboard box say: ‘Remove the window from the empty carton and put the window bit in the bin. The card can then be quickly and easily recycled. Simply put it in your local recycling bank or kerb-side recycling box.’

It is great that most of the packaging is recyclable or compostable. It is great that they tell you that on the box. But why do they bother with the window? Couldn’t they find a way to make that recyclable too?

Got a crush?

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

eggshell-therapyDid you know that eggshells are good for your garden? Eggshells provide an important goodness for your compost but they do take a long time to break down, so it is best to crush them first. Besides, crushing eggshells is almost as much fun as popping bubble wrap and much more environmentally friendly. Give it a try!

Stack it, wrap it, pack it!

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Milk bottle tops, tin foil and foil lids from yoghurt pots can all be recycled. Trouble is, small bits of stuff get lost in the system when it comes to recycling. A little birdie told me that if you gather up small bits of foil and milk bottle tops, wrap them up in a bigger bit of foil and then squash it all together there’s a better chance of the little fellas getting to the right place at the recycling centre. Stack it, wrap it and then pack it. Easy!

The slop bucket

Monday, September 21st, 2009

I stumbled across this on my morning walk through cyber-territory:

Good on him, I thought.  I wonder if there’s anything nice in his slop bucket.  I’m feeling a tad peckish.

Of course being a hardened eco-warrior myself, I have a kitchen caddy of my own.  Not a lot gets in it, I have to confess. No one could argue that I don’t know when to stop when it comes to eating. I do.  I stop when there’s nothing left.

What does your kitchen caddy look like?

What does your kitchen caddy look like?


Gizmo the Geek, eco-freakSee our eco-tips then send us yours.



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    Did you know..?

    According to Recycle now , 73% of packaging in England could be recycled but we're only recycling 33%. How RUBBISH is that?