Picture the scene. It’s about 9 o’clock in the morning and I’m sorting the recycling into the right bins. It’s usually easy. There’s glass, paper, textiles, plastic, etc in one bin, food waste in another and cardboard goes in the blue sack. We also have the compost bin. The very last resort, of course, is the black bin, which goes to the landfill. Best avoided. Sorting on the whole, is straightforward, except this time I’m pausing. Unsure and frozen by indecision. Which bin am I expected to put this plastic pouch into?
It’s my own fault. I usually avoid buying unnecessary packaging. Especially the sort that is packaging with more packaging inside. The individually wrapped little bags inside a big bag. Bah!
The big bag is thick plastic. Quite substantial and, as I stand there, I’m half pondering why it needed to be so robust when it’s only job was to hold other little, light weight, plastic bags. Had the manufacturers imagined a whole list of amazing possible accidents that might befall the contents before it reached us the consumers, that needed such a bag?
The other part of me is wondering why I can’t put it in the recycling bin. I don’t want to throw it away. Not in the black bin, which is looking like the only option.
So I bring it back into the house. There is another option. I could recycle it myself. I have a couple of ideas. What’s more, both options are something that I need.
The bag sat on the kitchen table for the rest of the day. Various members of the family tried to throw it away. Oh no. Each time, I rescued it. This bag was getting a second life.
I was kicking myself that I hadn’t originally opened it neatly at the top. Eventually I cut the top off and gave it a straight line. Then I cut it in half. I’d go for the pencil case option. I had a few old zips that were rescued too and looking for second lives.
First challenge was to find a way to pin the zip to the plastic, without using pins. They left holes in the plastic. I used post it notes first. They worked well. Next I tried blue tack, which was even better. It held, was easy to remove and was more flexible.Sewing the sides was problem free. I used my old hand cranked Singer sewing machine. Seeing as it was Earth Day, it only seemed right to take the non-electric option.
Second challenge I found was turning it neatly the right way round, after sewing the sides together. Next time, (if there is a next time) I’ll sew it the right way round, with wrong sides together. I can avoid turning the pencil case inside out. Not an easy manoeuvre. It left marks in the plastic and I gave up trying to wrestle the corners into position.
Apart from those two issues, I’m really pleased with the pencil case. It works. I’ve saved throwing it into the landfill and given it a second useful purpose. Every little action helps.
It does a great job of holding my pencils too. The children love it and have dropped hints. Hmm. I hope to avoid buying similar packaging, but if something else comes my way, then maybe I could make one for each of them.
They had a good day too. They’ve taken to joining me for dog walks, on their bikes. (Sometimes with their hands in the air – if you look carefully) I’m going to miss them so much when school starts next week. Can you tell they are a fun lot?
Happy Earth Day!
Have you ever noticed how a tech gadget recharges faster if you don’t use it at the same time? Or software downloads in no time, if you’re not googling cookie recipes? A page loads in seconds, if you’re not flicking to other apps? It’s the same with us humans. We recharge so much quicker if we’re not multi-tasking. This week, I’ve done just that. Apart from an hour sending out emails, I’ve switched off work.
A chance to rediscover how much I love to pin and cut out fabric ready for sewing. Using my hands to make something real. Using my old, hand cranked, Singer, sewing machine to stitch up pyjamas. Slow, but that is good. It’s easy to concentrate on the finishing line and forget to enjoy the journey.
There have been walks and bike rides. Spotting the changing season. Books read. Games played. Eggs hunted.
A visit to a church. After a busy day in the garden, we had lunch at a pub near Cheddar, to recharge. Followed by picking up strawberries from our favourite roadside stall. We were happily munching the strawberries, overlooking the Somerset Levels, when we spotted a church.
Making a model of a church is on the list of homework to complete, so we decided to do a bit of research. Wrong era, as it turned out. When we went in, we found a team of lovely, friendly people getting the church ready for the Easter service. First time I’ve ever been offered a broom on entering a church!
We were so lucky, as one of the busy helpers took us on a tour of the church. Pointing out features we would have overlooked and telling us the history. The children loved it. Soaking in all the information. They discussed so many points on the way home in the car.
We were really struck at how the scene in the church would have been repeated for the last five hundred years. Cleaning the church before the Easter service.
It may have been the wrong era, but it gave a boost of energy to her history homework.
Wednesday we headed to Wells for school essentials. I popped into my favourite charity shop (OK, I have several favourites.) I’m on a hunt for interesting egg cups at the moment. While there, I spotted a clutch of biscuit cutters. There is one here that really caught my attention. Not quite showing, but I’m sure I’ll be posting up the results soon.
I’ve not baked biscuits for a while. Finding the cutters refired my enthusiasm.
The coming week and next is going to be very busy. I’m really glad I had time to recharge. Not just me. I know the children have too. They have busy terms ahead of them.
It’s not quite over yet. Still time to stock up on a bit more fun. I’d say “make hay while the sun shines”, but slightly too early for that.