Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

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The order of these "R" words is deliberate. We buy too much stuff, use too much Energy and waste too many resources.

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OK, so I only boil the amount of water I need, I turn all the lights off, Have showers instead of baths, I close my curtains to stop heat escaping. I wear a cardigan instead of turning the heating up, I've insulated and draught proofed my home and have a new Boiler and AAA rated White goods. I even have LED bulbs in my home instead of Halogens....Now what?

Try to think "Stingy"
Even if you're not, act like you're on a budget. Cook 3 batches and freeze 2, Don't use the car when you can walk. Have porridge or toast instead of Cereal. Breakfast cereal is a huge resource and money waster, Toast, fruit, eggs or porridge are far cheaper and better for the environment ...and your health.

Use an online shopping delivery service. It means only one round- robin journey instead of several car journeys by many shoppers. I'm spending less money too as I don't get drawn in as much by deals on stuff I don't need.

Don't have the internet?....find some shopping buddies. Go together in one car. Make a social event of it. Take turns. Agree a shopping day. You'll save on fuel. You can buy in bulk to save money if you're really shopping savvy. Help each other find the best bargains.

Share your Ideas. How else can you simply USE or BUY LESS?


With resourcefulness and imagination, It's amazing what uses we can find for our unwanted things.

From old T shirts used as Rags...(many homes have a "rag bag" for mopping up spills etc)?

Kids are great at thinking up ways to use cardboard and plastic containers. Watch out re-using plastic containers for food. Make sure they are wiped out and don't put hot food in them as this releases the carcinogens.

Obvious examples like bags for life, compost bags for decorating and garden waste, Garden and Kitchen waste re-used as Compost, Old Christmas cards as next years gift tags, Saving gift wrap, gift bags and any ribbon is a must in our house. The non-greasy outer paper from the chip shop, cereal box liner bags etc are used as sandwich bags. (A Take-away bag from Burger king makes a superb disposable picnic). All card packaging (cereals, biscuits etc) gets cut up and used for lists and telephone notes.

If it doesn't recycle easily, or cant be re-used, I try not to buy it at all. I buy useful containers, or containers made from Card, Metal or Glass. Avoid the plastics. They are much harder to recycle and re-use.

Share your Ideas. How else can re-use unwanted things in your home? Drop us a line at Or check out articles on Tarvinonline


If we can't reduce or re-use, we have a great recycling scheme in Tarvin. TEG can confirm that the CWaC Recycling Scheme is class-leading and best practice in the UK among councils both in terms of cost, and amount of waste sent to landfill.

Kerb-side sorting is the best way to get the most out of household recycling. Please help our recycling workers to do their job by following all the guidelines provided. It's a tough job for the guys, they work very hard and the pay isn't great, so spare them a smile, a friendly word...or even a cold drink in hot weather. And if funds allow, they still accept tips at Christmas.

Although plastic bags are allowed in the food bins if you cant afford biodegradable ones. If you change them every other day, and don't fill it too much, a few layers of newspaper in the food bin works quite well.
If you don't compost, a piece of newspaper on the kitchen surface is useful for catching peelings, then they can be wrapped up in the paper and popped in the food bin.

If tetrapak cartons are not allowed in your recycling box, pop them down to Sainsburys at Caldy Valley or Ellesmere port next time you are passing. Clothes, shoes, books and batteries are also recycled here and don't forget all the recyclables that the tip can take. Especially metal, furniture and Elecrical items. Household recycling centres take far more items nowadays. There is also a charity Shop on Tarporley road in Chester (where Blockbusters used to be). They are always grateful for re-usable furniture, crockery etc and may even collect. Tetrapak are actually now trialling new, more biodegradable designs.

We hope this information was useful to you. please share your ideas with us if you have any at
Fiona Miles