WISE OLD OWL

CREATIVE RECYCLING IDEAS

TECHNOLOGICAL DISOBEDIENCE

Although some of our younger generation seem to think they invented Recycling or Upcycling, it is far from being a new thing. Our parents and grandparents who lived through the tight rationing and shortages of the war years had to repurpose everything from clothing to food waste just to be able to survive.

'Technological Disobedience' was a term which came about from the years of the 1960's Cuban Crisis. Due to restrictive effects of severe poverty, Cuban's were encouraged by their governments to become more creative and innovative, and to share their ideas with others. When something stopped working they were encouraged to self-repair or to find alternative uses. Some of their ideas although very creative were extreemly dangerous, but it started a much needed trend to recycle old products and used materials, saving on valuable resources.

With today's mass production and readily availability of modern day goods it has become a 'Dispsable world', it has become too easy and 'normal' for us to just throw away our old belongings and replace with the latest trend or newest model. We also tend to only look at a product or item for its original function or role, failing to see any alternative uses for it and therefore throw it away in the bin.

We may no longer be at war, or even in such a severe state of poverty, but we still need to conserve our natural resources, and we need to reduce waste that is hard to safely dispose of without damaging our environment.

Below are many 'Safe' ideas of recycling, if you have any safe ideas to share please send them so we can all share .

SO WHAT CAN WE DO WITH THESE OLD ITEMS ?

Choose from below and see some of our useful ideas

OLD TECHNOLOGY

BOTTLES & CONTAINERS

POP BOTTLES

VEHICLE PARTS

CAR TYRES

OLD PALLETS

OLD RECORDS

OLD CLOTHING

BOOTS & SHOES

CD's / DVD's

CD JEWEL CASES

WINE CORKS

OLD FURNITURE

MISCELLANEOUS

FREEGLE

WHAT IS FREEGLE

FREEGLE IN WALES

FREEGLE

BUENGO

The goods and items we no longer need are often just what others desire to have. Instead of just throwing our things away we can offer them up for others to make use of.

Freegle is a great place to do this, offering items for free to those that need them, and to find what we need too.

But sometimes goods are too just good to just give away for free, on Buengo they can be sold cheaply and with all the proceeds given to charity.

INHALERS

All used inhalers should be returned to a pharmacy to be disposed of safely.

They can be disposed of by the pharmacist with other drugs waste, this is then thermally treated to destroy the greenhouse gases. This environmentally safe disposal route is available at all pharmacies and is paid for by NHS England. 

Alternatively it is possible to recycle Inhalers at those pharmacies participating in the GSK scheme. 


REPAIR WORKSHOPS

FREEGLE

There are many Freegle sites, each set up to cover different areas.

Join your local site/s and see what is being given away for free.

OLD TECHNOLOGY ITEMS

Over the years we constantly upgrade our computers, televisions and other tech items to newer models, then the old ones either collect dust in a cupboard, loft or a garage, or we dispose of them at a refuse tip.

But why throw them away?, re-purpose them, extend their life by making them useful !

OLD DESKTOP OR LAPTOP COMPUTERS

Computers now seem to only have a lifespan of about 3-5 years, operating systems change, programs become larger, procesor speeds, storage capabilities and memory requirements increase with each new release forcing us to eventually replace the outdated systems with new ones. This then leaves the old Desktop Computer or Laptop doing nothing or being disposed of, throwing our previous financial investment down the drain as the items become Landfill.

The operating systems might lose their upgrade support from the operating system manufacturer, but if they are still in working condition then why not use them for other things?

The old Windows 95 / XP / Millenium maybe a bit too old to make proper use of due to connection issues, but those from Vista / Windows 7 / 8 upwards are still usable. You could just use as a games machine for the kids, or you can make use of them as shown below.

MAKE YOUR OWN JUKE BOX

Our music collections grow at an alarming rate, whether the music is downloaded or still on CD or Vinyl they take up lots of room. It is also a pain to keep swapping disks or records, and when the collection is big our favourite tracks can be hard to locate.

Even old computers can store huge amounts of music, and it is easy to install extra hard drives on most. The included software such as Windows Media Player / Real Player or iTunes make finding a certain track easy, or you can even create your own playlists. Copying your CD's or downloaded music to the computer it can become the best 'Jukebox' ever made.

Feeding the sound output of the computer to an Surround Sound Amplifier or Soundbar will enhance the quality of sound, I even had a friend who did this when he was working as a DJ which saved him carrying box after box of records and disks around.

Vinyl records and LP's can easily be played or recorded using USB Decks which can now be obtained for around £25. You can even use the computer to play Music Videos !

MAKE YOUR OWN SMART-TV

Not everyone can afford to buy one of the latest Smart-TV's, and many of us now have older Flat-Screen TV's that are being replaced with Smart-TV's. Why not use your old Computer and old TV together and make a Smart-TV yourself, perhaps for your bedroom or childs room.

Most Flat Screen Televisions have a Blue PC connector on the back, using a basic monitor lead you can easily attach an old Laptop or Desktop PC.  The display Settings on the computer can be selected to either extend or to duplicate its screen on the television. Older TV's / Computers without HDMI sockets may require an extra sound lead from the computers headphone outlet to the teleivisions PC sound-in socket.

My old Vista PC was relegated to the spare bedroom, when in daily use it was fitted with a few extra hard disks which pushed its storage to over 2TB and its memory boosted up to 6gb, it was far too good to just throw away. Instead I cleared the disks of data and removed the programs I would no longer use, leaving the Media Player, Skype, video programs and programs such as the BBC i-Player. I then created a simple folder on the C: drive which then held shortcuts to all the television channels I could find on the internet, copied all my music and films onto the spare disk storage, an added a microphone and camera.

Using a few free 'Gadgets' (courtesy of gadgetpack 8 and yahoo gadgets) to give me access to weather, calendar and a clock, I copied these shortcuts onto the clean desktop as shown on the pictures below, giving me a cheap but workable 'Smart-TV' with all the communication abilities I needed.

You can even choose your own background picture and create your own icon layout.

HOW MY SMART-TV / COMPUTER DEVELOPED

I live in an area with limited Digital freeview television coverage (approx 12 channels), I needed a way to access the channels not available from a repeater station.

SMART-TV USING ICONS

Using shortcut icons to the online TV & Radio channels, Gadgets to provide a clock, calendar and weather information, and shortcuts to the communications programs such as Skype.

SMART-TV USING WEBPAGE

Over time various layouts were explored, then I created a simple webpage which did the same thing, this then developed into WOO-TV. 

WOO-TV

This is WOO-TV, a section attached to this website which can be used by all. Click picture to try it for yourself. There is also a children's version called WOO-KIDS.

HOME CINEMA

I created my own Home Cinema for absolutely nothing !

Using my old computer along with a surround sound system and a Projector both obtained free from Freegle.

I painted 3 of my walls in dark purple and one brilliant white to use as a wall size screen, with speakers fitted in each corner and the Sub-woofer behind the sofa. A Bluetooth dongle in the computer enables me to use a wireles keyboard and wireless mouse for control. Both the Technics surround sound system and PC can play DVD's and it is also wired in to an old Video Cassette Recorder. It also works as a Jukebox as explained above.

There is a lot of useful information about how to connect different devices on the eHow website.

10 IDEAS FOR OLD COMPUTERS

Credit to:  Shop "Old Computer"

CAT BED

Even a very old monitor can still be repurposed.

Strip out the electronics, add a cushion and you have a great bed for the Cat.

PLASTIC BOTTLES & CONTAINERS

Each week we throw away endless plastic bottles and containers. Why not become Crafty with the kids and make some useful things out of them as shown below !

FREE BOTTLE TOP RECYCLING

You can now send your bottle tops for free via your local post office. Just pop them in the envelope with : Freepost LUSH GREENHUB ♻️♻️♻️

Please ensure all bottle tops are packaged well in either a carboard box or envelope 

#lush #recycling #reuse

PHONE TIDY

Fed up with your charger leads getting tangled or hanging everywhere?
Make yourself a simple Phone Tidy using a shampoo bottle or Toilet Duck.

MAKING USE OF OLD MILK BOTTLES

Pencil Boxes.
Separate those coloured pencils and keep them tidy

Scoop / Crumb Pan / Trowel / Pooper-Scooper / Funnel.

SEEDLING PLANTERS

PLASTIC BOTTLE IDEAS

Credit to: T10 ideas

38 Plastic Bottle Ideas

Credit to: Thaitrick

30 SMART IDEAS FOR RECYCLED PLASTIC BOTTLES

Credit to:  5-Minute Crafts

PLASTIC BOTTLE IDEAS

Credit to:  Tanis Gallery

POP BOTTLES

CREATE FREE LIGHTING

BUILD A GREENHOUSE

Better start saving up those Cola bottles !

OLD VEHICLES

CAR BONNETS AND BOOTS

COCKTAIL BAR / DESK

SNOOKER / POOL TABLE

SEATING

GAMING CHAIR

POOL / HOT TUB

SEATING

BEDS

BEDS

RECEPTION DESK / WORKSPACE

Snooker Table

HOME OFFICE / HOMEWORK AREA

A Coach or Lorry Cab can make a great home office for you, a homework area or games area for your kids.

With the door left in place will deaden sounds from outside for those important phone calls, and you will no longer be irritated by the loud noises of racing engines or gunfire if used as a Games cubicle.

OUTDOOR PROJECTS

Mini's and Beetle's are ideal for making designer furniture due to their size, but other vehicles can also make great projects.

BBQ's, Table Bases, Custom Seating, Blanket Boxes, Pool Tables, Beds, Wall mounted Cocktail Bars, Swings.

Bolting the rear end of a car to an outside wall gives secure and waterproof storage for TV's, Radios, BBQ or Garden bits.

SHIPPING CONTAINER POOL

CAR TYRES

CAR TYRES

Car tyres have many uses in the garden, as the base for swings, shallow frog ponds when lined with plastic sheeting, or as building blocks for garden rockeries, They can even be painted to add colour.

OLD FURNITURE

CAMPERBED

This project came about back in the early 90's when our young daughter would just not sleep in her own bedroom despite buying her a whole range of beds and cabin bunks.

At the time she had a big fascination for Camping and Motorhomes, so I took apart her unused cabin bunk and set about building her one of her own! 

It worked a treat, too well really as we could never get her out of there !

I bolted the Iron bed base to the wall partly across an alcove. Supported with additional uprights. I used her old Chest of Drawers as a divider, insetting a plastic bowl for a sink, and making a cooker by its side, above I built more storage discguised as a microwave.

Building seating in the alcove it left room to build a table. A small pendant light was wired in with a switch fixed to the inner wall by the door. Shelving was made from an old bookcase for her packets & tins of play food.

The bonnet became her toy box, and with a mini dashboard, a steering wheel, handbrake and gear stick salvaged from the breakers we fitted out the cab area with seats, and included a working radio-cassette player. Small tyres cut in half were later added front and back, and back of the facing bedroom door was painted with an infinity road scene.

Boarding across the alcove made a platform for her portable TV, bedside lamp and her mini hi-fi.

TRAMPOLINE SWING BED

When the kids (an adults) have outgrown the trampoline, why not remove the legs and string it up in the garden. Adding a thick circle of foam on top of the base and some pillows will make a great place to relax in the summer.

SAFE SUMMER GARDEN FUN

Sand pits often make a mess in the garden, and the sand often needs changing after it get wet and dirty, they even get used by cats as a toilet. This idea keeps the sand in place and zipping it up protects it from the rain and keeps unwanted animals out.

The tent also offers protection from the sun's rays.

OLD PALLETS

QUICK AND EASY FENCES
OR SIMPLE DECKING

BED BASES AND HEADBOARDS

Sanded down, varnished or painted, with a few coloured lights underneath Pallets can make great bed bases and headboards.

If the natural wood look is not your thing, staple some cardboard or off-cuts of hardboard on to them then hide by draping a valence sheet.

SWIMMING POOL OR HOT TUB

Make the ultimate garden accessory, size limited only by the amount of room you have free.

See you can afford that big garden pool after all !

PATIO OASIS

If your garden has the room, then how about adding a nice seating and relaxation area beside your Pallet Pool !

OLD VINYL RECORDS

MAKE USE OF THOSE OLD DAMAGED RECORDS

Fed up with your old wall clock?, why not give it a new clock face, keep those memories of your favourite artist or band alive.  Even better if its a picture disk.

Or you could stick a family photograph to the existing clock face.

Clock mechanisms are now available on the internet for next to nothing, You can use almost anything as long as it is flat, all it takes is to drill a centre hole of the right size.

OLD CLOTHING

PHONE TIDY

When its finally time to throw out those old Jeans, cut out the rear pockets, use the hemmed band from the trouser leg to make a handle and you have the purfect phone tidy  to keep your phone safe.

Old Jeans wear through at the knees, but there is always plenty of good material left when it is time to throw them out.

Cut around the pockets to make useful holders, they look great pinned to a notice board or sewn on to the outside of a bag or backpack.

  Or Sew them to the lining inside your coat to safely carry your mobile phone out of sight of theives.

Old Clothing Ideas

credit to: MissDebbyDIY

BOOTS AND SHOES

SPRUCE UP YOUR GARDEN WITH OLD FOOTWEAR

WELLY FENCE PLANTERS

As our children grow we end up with a range of various sized Wellington boots.

Bore some small drainage holes in the soles and fill up with compost, then nail them to your fence or arrange on your rockery.

Not only will they make great plant holders but also be a lasting reminder of their disappearing childhood.

CD's & DVD's

NITE LIGHT REFLECTORS

When polished up using a duster and glass cleaner or furniture polish, CD's and DVD's are really effective at reflecting light.

I fitted two vertically at right angles in a iron candle holder, used with a nite-lite candle the disks reflect back the ever changing colours of the flickering flame. You could cut two angled slits into a wooden block and use hot glue to stick the disks in place.

The disks also helps to prevent heat damage to wall coverings.


Drilling small holes at top and bottom you can string them together and hang from your trees to scare the birds away.

Why not make a Disco Ball as a project with your kids.
Hung from their bedroom ceiling with fishing twine or thin garden wire they will reflect light all around the room, works even better if you purchase a few pencil beam torches from the pound shop, mount them high on a wardrobe and aim at the ball.
Great for parties too !

We used to be innundated with CD's from Internet providors, not anymore. CDs and DVDs are phasing out now due to the popularity of Downloads, but I'm sure you can find some damaged ones or from artists you no longer like.
Find a small ball and glue the pieces on, a balloon would do, it doesnt have to be perfectly round.

JEWEL CASES

BIRD FEEDER

Two empty CD cases stuck together with hot glue makes an ideal Bird Feeder. You can even use the centre parts to support a perch made from dowel, an old pencil or even a twig from the garden.

NESTING BOX

Or make a nesting box by using a third case to make a front and back, carefully cut out the disk holding circle to make an entrance for small birds, or a slightly bigger hole for the larger ones.

GARDEN LANTERN.

Using three clear or translucent cases to make a box, drill some holes in the top to let out the heat and let in air, and use nite-lites or small candles. Hung from a tree branch or patio wall or even sat on the patio table it will make a great lantern for those night time BBQ parties. You can even leave an old CD on the spindle on the sides and back to make it reflect ever changing colourful light.

Clear CD cases can make great photograph holders.

Cut a square of your favourite material to line the inside of the box, then attach similar strips to make the hanger loop and to join the boxes together.

The designs are endless, holding as many photographs as you wish.

An alternative is to use a hot glue gun or plastic glue and create a photograph montage by overlapping the corners of the cases and gluing them together.

Gluing a few cases together can make an ideal moveable mini cloche to protect your new seedlings from birds bugs and slugs. It should also help protect the shoot from frost.

Leave one of the hinged lids unglued and it can be opened in the day and closed at night, or used to access for watering.

CLOCHE / MINI GREENHOUSE

Live in a flat with a balcony, or do not have a garden ?

 

Create your own mini-greenhouse for your balcony or window sill using discarded CD jewel cases.

  It takes around 40 cases to make this cloche. 

 

Full assembly instructions can be found on the So You Think Your Crafty site by clicking on the link below.

BAGEL LUNCHBOX

The tube like cases that hold 25 new CD / DVD's make a great little bagel lunch boxes, not only do they keep them fresh they also stop your bagel from getting squashed in your bag.

The bigger size 50 disk holders can hold two or three.

Ideal for picnics!.

WINE CORKS

CORK TRIVET / PAN REST

Cork is an ideal heat resistant platform.

Make yourself a simple and stylish Trivet using old wine corks and a lid from a small biscuit tin.

CORK BIRD HOUSE

Old wine corks and a few off cuts of wood can make a great bird house.

The cork will create a warm dry home for nesting birds.

Wash the corks well first, then soak overnight in a bowl of water with bicarbonate of soda to remove the strong odours from the wine.

We don't want our garden birds drunk from fumes !

MISCELLANEOUS

TENNIS BALL TOWEL HOLDERS

Tennis balls eventually lose their bounce, but don't throw them away!

Make a small slit about a third of the way around the ball, then from inside screw to the wall or to a piece of wood.

Add eyes available from sewing shops or simply draw them on using a permanent marker.

The mouth will make a great gripper for tea towels; key fobs or letters.

CARRIER BAG HOLDERS

Since the changes in law and the need to pay for bags at the shops, we all now have a growing collection of carrier bags scattered around.

To tidy up the smaller thin variety, use an old tissue box, for the bigger thicker bags tape up a biscuit box and create a similar hole in the top.

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