Sustainable learnings from February

Sorry for those that received this post a week before it was meant to go out but here it is completed! With February now behind us, I have continued to track my learnings from this month as I head towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Not just in the hope that those that will read this will choose to make changes but to also push myself to learn new skills and use up products to their full potential.

I’ll start with Mighty Good Undies, which is an underwear producer based in NSW. They are a brand that is extremely transparent when it comes to their supply chain and where they source the organic fairtrade cotton from that are used to make the undies. I purchased a two-pack for both Clint and I and they are great! Super comfortable and just what you want in undies.

Although we are trying to reduce our waste, we often need to use rags in the shed. Whether its for a service the car or quad or cleaning up the chainsaw or CNC, rags do get used often. I found a company called St Vincent Industries in North Hobart who accept all used clothing that is donated to op shops but unable to be re-sold and then have created a social enterprise to re-sell them back to the market. They offer employment and training options for people with a disability and the products on offer and far cheaper than others I have found in the market. These are the businesses that make you feel good to support.

If you are looking for places to recycle items so they can be turned into other products or at least be disposed of correctly, here are some options that are available:

  • Old furniture or building materials that aren’t able to be sold through Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace etc can be dropped off to the tip shops connected to the tips (in Tasmania). These tip shops are great and highly used in Tasmania and should be universal around Australia.
  • Expired medications can be dropped into any chemist for disposal.
  • Household batteries can be dropped off to Battery World, Aldi or Officeworks.
  • Officeworks also allow you to drop off old IT equipment (up to 5 items) so that it can be recycled and turned into other products which is great for a circular economy. They also have drop off bins in store that allow you to recycle mobile phones and printer cartridges.
  • Car batteries can be recycled at most of the stores that you purchase them from for free. These include Repco and Super Cheap Auto.
  • Super Cheap Auto also accept used engine oil and often have a large yellow bin outside the store for you to place the container inside.
  • Mobile Muster take used mobile phones and have locations through the country. If your phone still works, then try to sell it online or locally and make some money out of it.
  • Paintback allow you to recycle unused and unwanted old paint & tins.
  • Opportunity “Op” Shops accept a range of items from clothing to household items that are able to be re-sold and used by someone that needs it.
  • Nespresso pods can be recycled by either dropping them to your local store, dropping them to a drop-off point or posting them back using a satchel. Satchel’s can be added to your cart when buying the pods for just $0.20c so this is a great easy option.
  • TerraCycle also provide a large amount of information about other recycling programs including beauty products, mailing satchels, oral care, other coffee pods and even contact lenses and packaging.

My new skill I learnt this month was how to weld. I may only be tack welding (the very basics) using a mig welder but it’s all I needed to be able to learn for the project I’ve been working on.

I have been collecting all the forklift chains that would normally just go to the scrap metal yard after a new set has been replaced by Clint in his day job. Cleaning them with the pressure washer was the hardest bit given the dirt, oil and grime that had solidified onto them. But, eventually after a year or so, we had enough chains to make something worthwhile. I wanted to make a fire pit and it’s coming along nicely. This is what the base looks like and ill update you next month, hopefully with the completed product. 

I have recently purchased these new bins by Brabantia and it is so nice to have them tucked away under the sink, out of sight. The two medium size bins are for general waste and recycling and the two small bins are for soft plastics and worm farm food. Its quite sad how much I enjoy keeping this all clean and tucked away and so easily accessible.

I was very happy to learn that Wormlovers who make my Hungry Bin Worm Farm have just released a worm blanket that fits the bin perfectly. What’s best though is the fact that it has been upcycled using fabric waste from the textile industry, which has been felted together into an insulating mat.  The double thickness ensures good insulation and a long lifespan, and the worms will not eat the fabric.  Win, win win! I love it when a company brings out a product that is so well thought out and considered prior to release.

I also picked up these galvanised planters from a vintage store in Hobart and planted some lavender to help attract the bees to pollinate my plants. Shopping from vintage stores is a great way to buy cheaper products and reuse stock that is no longer loved by others.

That’s all for this month as I have spent a fair amount of time studying for my Uni course and undertaking an exam so hopefully ill have more time for new skills and learnings next month.

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