We are dehydrating everything @ Soapnuts HQ!

So if you follow us on Insta! you will know that we are going crazy for our new Excalibur Dehydrator! We have embarked on a grain free experiment and whilst doing this, you would not want to be without a dehydrator. We are complete newbies at all this, so apart from going fruit leather crazy, I was so happy to find this scrummy recipe for Vegan Coconut Biscotti.

Image

 

These are the instructions from Choosingraw.com

Raw, Vegan Coconut Biscotti

Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup raw almonds
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups coconut pulp (from making homemade coconut milk — your amount will vary based on how thoroughly you strained the milk, among other factors)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or the seeds from a fresh vanilla bean
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax meal
  • 4 tablespoons coconut nectar, agave, or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or almond milk

Instructions

  1. Place the almonds in a food processor fitted with the S blade and grind well (not so well that they start turning into nut butter, but you want them to resemble flour). Alternately, you can use 1/4 cup almond flour.
  2. Add the coconut pulp, vanilla, flax, sweetener, and coconut or almond milk. Process until the mixture is totally incorporated and resembles a thick dough. If it’s super sticky, add a little more coconut or almond milk.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a Teflex-lined dehydrator sheet and shape into a mini loaf. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 3 hours.
  4. Cut the loaf into biscotti shaped cookies, and continue dehydrating till they are totally dry and crunchy (another 6-8 hours). Serve with tea or coffee 🙂

The picture above is half way through number 4. It is so exciting being able to be in complete control of everything that goes into your food. They are so yummy and perfect for a quick snack, enjoy!

Where will the ORANGE FROG pop up next?

20130608_125500Hi All, just wanted to give everyone a quick events update ….

We had a blast at the London Allergy Show 2013, 7-9th June 2013, and we met loads of great people who were taking advantage of the massive show discounts and stocking up on all the goodies we had at the show. We made some fab connections and in case you missed it, have a look at our FB album to see some of what you missed … https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.531075350285082.1073741829.110942912298330&type=1&l=83e258912c

 

ImageSo where to next?

If anyone is in London this weekend feel free to check out the Transitions Belsize Event.

Event Details:

Sat 22 Jun 11:00am -4:00pm
Budgens, 200 Haverstock Hill,
London, NW3 4RS

Transition Belsize will be at the Budgens London fair on Saturday June 22nd from 11am-4pm.  We will be giving away free vegetable seedlings with every copy of the Transition Free Press newspaper.  The London Fair will include a range of local suppliers, live music, hot food including hand made butchers sausages and burgers, freshly squeezed orange juice and virgin cocktails, local organisations and communities, a book giveaway and Henna and face painting for the little ones.  The theme is London, continuing the celebration of our cosmopolitan city from last year’s Jubilee and Olympics, hope to see you there!

ImageAnd after that …

We will be saying hi and introducing everyone to our soapnuts on stand 157 at the BabyExpo Brighton ~ June 30, Brighton Racecourse & Conference Centre, Sussex. 

There will be over 150 exhibitors, fabulous marquee (hosting the stage area and exhibits), the Grandstand & Premier Halls, outside areas, displays & stalls, family-friendly catering + a very special Humphrey’s Corner event!

To get a free ticket (hurry limited supply) please use this link or click on the big pink invite over there > http://www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk/visiting/visitingviptickets/

And there will be loads more coming up throughout July & August cos that’s HOW WE ROLL! So stay tuned to see where the ORANGE FROG will pop up next!

 

 

Guide to Essential Oils

Essential Oil

On our soapnut website we recommend using essential oils for quite a few of our soapnut recipes, so I thought I would talk some more about essential oils, their properties, what they are great for and what they are not so good for!

History of Essential Oils

Essential oils are the subtle, aromatic and volatile liquids extracted from the flowers, seeds, leaves, stems, bark and roots of herbs, bushes, shrubs and trees through distillation. In the craft of alchemy, the soul of a plant is its oil, while its spirit is the plant’s alcohol or tincture. According to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese manuscripts, priests and alchemists were using essential oils thousands of years ago to heal the sick. They are the oldest form of medicine and cosmetic known to man and were considered more valuable than gold to the ancients.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are the concentrated form of what is sometimes called the blood of the plant. The ‘blood’ is very complex and contains as many different chemicals as our blood and it is loaded with oxygen. Part of the health impact of essential oils has been attributed to this concentration of oxygen, which boosts the ability of our cells to metabolize allergens, toxins, or stress and thus supports the health of all the systems of the human body.

Essential oils are not oily (despite the name) and they will not make your hands greasy. Instead, they rub right into the skin. They are called oils because, like oil, they combine with other fats and oils, and do not mix easily with water.

Interesting fact: the easiest way to remove an essential oil, if you experience a reaction or hate the smell, is to dilute it using a pure vegetable oil (such as olive, almond, or jojoba) or even butter. Using water will only drive essential oils into the body more strongly.

uses of essential oil

Uses of essential oil

Uses of Essential Oils

Here is our brief guide to some of the most popular essential oils and how they will contribute to your well-being. Try them in your soapnut laundry, soapnut liquid or soapnut shampoo!

Lavender: This is the great aromatherapy all-rounder. The essential oil is obtained by distillation. Lavender oils blend well with other essential oils and can boost their properties. Great for: aches, pains, sun burn, acne, depression, irritability, migraines, colds, period pain and stomach aches.

Bergamot: This is a member of the citrus family and the oil is extracted by pressing the peel of the fruit. Bergamot essence is used to make Earl Grey tea and gives it its characteristic perfume. Bergamot is a powerful antiseptic and an appetite stimulant. It must not be used neat on the skin because it can cause pigmentation marks.
Great for: psoriasis, oily / spotty skin, cystitis, cold sores

Geranium: There are many varieties of geranium. Essential oil is usually extracted from the Pelargonium family, but wild geranium – known as Herb Robert- is also used. The oil is distilled from all parts of the plant. Geranium oil is a good balancer. It can uplift or have a relaxing effect and is particularly good for menopausal problems.
Great for: eczema, dermatitis, sore throat, sluggish skin, nervous tension

Ylang-Ylang: This tree is native to the Philippines and other parts of the Far East. The essential oil is obtained from the flowers by steam distillation. This is another oil used by the perfume industry as it has a lovely, exotic floral fragrance. It has a relaxing, sedative effect and is a pleasant oil to use in a burner to scent your home. Ylang­ ylang is said to have aphrodisiac powers! Great for: depression, nervous tension, insomnia, fear, panic attacks, high blood pressure.

Lemon: It takes 3,000 lemons to produce 2 pound (1 kilo) of essential oil. It is extracted by pressing the rind of the fruit. Hand-pressed oil is of a better quality than mechanically pressed oil. Hand pressing is a family affair. The women and children cut the lemons and scrape out the flesh, the men do the pressing. Great for: cold sores, bites, stings, warts, colds, mouth ulcers.

peppermint leaf

Peppermint: The oil is obtained from the leaves and flowers by steam distillation and varies in quality depending on climatic and soil conditions. It is a very therapeutic oil which has a cooling effect on the skin and lessens pain. You’ll notice most commerical indigestion cures are mint­flavoured. Peppermint is excellent for digestive problems. It also makes a great foot bath for hot, aching feet. Great for: migraines, travel sickness, indigestion, sinus, heartburn.

Rosemary: A well known herb, rosemary is cultivated in France, Spain, etc. The essential oils are distilled from the flowers and leaves. It is known as the herb for remembrance and clears the mind and stimulates the memory. It is an excellent hair tonic, improving circulation to the scalp, and is helpful for dandruff. Great for: mental fatigue, poor memory, dandruff, circulation.

Tea Tree: The tea tree is native to Australia and the oil is distilled from the leaves. This oil is an excellent antiseptic, 12 to 15 times more potent than carbolic. When applied neat to a cut, its antiseptic potency doubles! Keep this one in your first aid box.Great for: spots, athlete’s foot, thrush, cuts, sore throat.

Hyssop: Hyssop is an ancient herb which was cultivated for its medicinal as well as romantic properties. The oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers by distillation. It is beneficial for ‘all respiratory problems and can help relieve hayfever. Great for: Hayfever, eczema, rheumatism.

Camomile: The camomile family is large and there are several different camomile essential oils. German camomile is the most expensive, but all camomile oils are helpful for sensitive conditions and can be- used safely for children. Camomile tea is widely available, and the plant feverfew – belonging to the camomile family – is now being used to help migraine sufferers. Great for: sore eyes, aches, hyperactivity, dermatitis, eczema, insmonia.

Make sure you read the safety info because some oils are not safe for pregnant women!

Belsize Eco Week

Belsize Eco Week

Transition Belsize

Saturday was a great end to a great week of green at Belsize. If you missed it…it was a day of eco awareness including learning how to compost effectively, cook wild foods, build a plastic bottle greenhouse and there were farm animals and bees!

Check our facebook page for some photos…but here are some tips of 5 things we could all do from Transitions Belsize the organisers of the week….

Fly and drive less: Try to take holidays by train rather than plane; jet engines create more greenhouse gases than anything else we do. If you do fly, pay an environmental charity like Pure or Climate Care to offset the carbon for your flight. Consider joining a car club; it will almost certainly save you money.

Get closer to your food: Grow food on your window sill, balcony or in your garden. Join The Transition Belsize Garden Share scheme matching up unused gardens with wannabe allotment holders. If you live on a housing estate, set up a gardening club. Try to buy local, seasonal and, if possible, organic. Sign up for a fruit and vegetable box scheme. Avoid airfreighted fresh food. Ask restaurants, cafes and shops where your food is coming from and whether it’s sustainably sourced.

Eat less meat especially beef: Eat less meat and dairy because producing it is so energy-intensive. The livestock industry is responsible for 18% of the world’s carbon emissions. That’s partly because cows burp and fart so much methane. But it’s also because of the fossil fuels that are used to grow and process cattle food, to refrigerate and transport meat that is then sold in open fridges/freezers in supermarkets. Eating less meat can also benefit your health.

Insulate your home and switch to a renewable energy contract: Insulate your home and switch to a renewable energy contract. Install draught exclusion measures around doors and windows, lag your hot water tank, and put in cavity wall and loft insulation wherever possible. Best of all install internal or external wall insulation, under floor insulation and double glazing. Contact the Transition Belsize Draught Busting Team to take part in a free workshop to learn how to make your home more energy efficient. Switch your electricity supply to a renewable energy provider. Talk to the Belsize Energy Company about fitting solar panels to your roof and taking advantage of the new national. Feed In Tariff designed to subside Micro generation.

Join a campaigning group: Last but definitely not least – get involved with your local Transition group, Transition Belsize, which is working towards a greener vision for our area. See here for more on the Transition movement: www.transitionnetwork.org

Join a group campaigning for action on climate change like Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, WWF or the Soil Association.

Belsize Eco Week has been organised by Transition Belsize – http://www.transitionbelsize.org.uk

Fly and drive less
Try to take holidays by train rather
than plane; jet engines create more
greenhouse gases than anything
else we do. If you do fly, pay an
environmental charity like Pure or
Climate Care to offset the carbon for
your flight. Consider joining a car club;
it will almost certainly save you money.
Get closer to your food
Grow food on your window sill, balcony
or in your garden. Join The Transition
Belsize Garden Share scheme
matching up unused gardens with
wannabe allotment holders. If you live
on a housing estate, set up a gardening
club. Try to buy local, seasonal and,
if possible, organic. Sign up for a fruit
and vegetable box scheme. Avoid airfreighted
fresh food. Ask restaurants,
cafes and shops where your food is
coming from and whether it’s sustainably
sourced.
Eat less meat especially beef
Eat less meat and dairy because
producing it is so energy-intensive.
The livestock industry is responsible
for 18% of the world’s carbon
emissions. That’s partly because
cows burp and fart so much methane.
But it’s also because of the fossil fuels
that are used to grow and process cattle
food, to refrigerate and transport meat
that is then sold in open fridges/freezers
in supermarkets. Eating less meat can
also benefit your health.
Insulate your home and switch to
a renewable energy contract
Insulate your home and switch to
a renewable energy contract
Install draught exclusion measures
around doors and windows, lag your
hot water tank, and put in cavity wall
and loft insulation wherever possible.
Best of all install internal or external wall
insulation, under floor insulation
and double glazing. Contact the
Transition Belsize Draught Busting Team
to take part in a free workshop to learn
how to make your home more energy
efficient. Switch your electricity supply
to a renewable energy provider. Talk
to the Belsize Energy Company about
fitting solar panels to your roof and
taking advantage of the new national
Feed In Tariff designed to subside
Micro generation.
Join a campaigning group
Last but definitely not least – get
involved with your local Transition
group, Transition Belsize, which is
working towards a greener vision for
our area. See here for more on the
Transition movement:
http://www.transitionnetwork.org
Join a group campaigning for action on
climate change like Friends of the
Earth, Greenpeace, WWF or the Soil
Association.
Belsize Eco Week has been organised
by Transition Belsize –
http://www.transitionbelsize.org.uk

Soap Nut Powder Recipes

soapnut powder

ground soapnut powder

Simply grind soap nuts shells to a very fine powder in a coffee grinder. A similar appliance will work, such as a blender, however a coffee grinder tends to produce the finest powder. This may require grinding the soap nut shells a couple of times. Remove any un-ground pieces or sift through a sifter. Place in airtight container. Shelf life is indefinite as long as the soap nut powder is stored in a cool dry place.

For skin allergies like eczema, use soap nut powder instead of regular body soap. It does not lather much but cleans the grime from your body while staying mild and safe for your sensitive skin. The saponin essence works against harmful microbes that cause allergic reactions.

Soapnut Powder Wash : Use equal amounts of soapnut powder and water and mix into paste and wash as normal. The paste will not lather as you may be used to but it will clean you up very nicely. PLEASE KEEP AWAY FROM THE EYES.

Soapnut Body Scrub : Use 1 cup of soapnut powder, half cup raw sugar, 2-3 tablespoons of massage oil (jojoba, wheatgerm) or olive oil. Mix and store in a clean airtight plastic or glass jar. Use whenever you want beautifully clean and smooth skin.

*Tip *– Also use the powder to wash your laundry *: When you have ground this powder down really fine, you can use also use it in the washbag to do your laundry. 2-3 tablespoon will be enough for one wash load.

Soapnut Liquid Recipe

making soapnut liquid

making soapnut liquid

Using soap nut shells to make a multi-purpose liquid

Boiling 50g of soapnuts with 1 litre of liquid for 20 minutes will give you 500ml of a good concentrated soapnut liquid.  When cooled, remove the soap nuts, and pour the liquid into an airtight plastic or glass jar. You can re-boil the same 50g of soapnuts three more times and get over 2 litres of soapnut liquid! Awesome value!

Liquid may have a strong smell, but this will disappear once you have added 10-20 drops of your favourite essential oil.

*Tip – reuse, reuse, reuse *: After you have made the soapnut liquid there will still be saponin in the shell, so use these in your laundry as usual. You can either put them in a small muslin bag/old sock and wash as directed or blend them up with some water, strain and use in the machine as soapnut laundry liquid. Alternatively you can pour the blended soapnuts straight from the blender to your garden to guard from pests and snails.

Storing Soapnut Liquid

To store soapnut liquid either keep it in jugs/containers in your fridge or you can freeze them into soapnut ice cubes and use them either in your washing machine or dishwasher. As the homemade soapnut liquid will have no preservatives, it will keep for a few weeks in the fridge, but will stay indefinitely if you add essential oils to it.

For more ways to use for laundry or more soapnut recipes visit www.soapnuts.co.uk

Recycling at home

Do your bit for the environment and see how much you can recycle at home. Below is our guide to recycling in the UK.

A

recycling aerosolsAEROSOLS: 75% of councils will now recycle these but where possible, buy pump-driven atomisers. Ensure that your aerosol is completely empty before you decide to recycle it. Aerosols can be stored for a long time so hold on to a half empty can if possible. Do not pierce, crush or flatten the aerosol before recycling. Also, detach any loose or easily removable parts, such as the lid, and dispose of them with the rest of your rubbish.

ALUMINIUM: Pie trays, milk bottle tops, yoghurt pot lids, and chocolate wrappers can be recycled. Barbeque and freezing trays, cigarette and tobacco foil and screw top lids from wine bottles can also be recycled. Clean the foil before recycling. If you collect drinks cans as part of a Cash for Cans scheme, you may be able to sell used aluminium foil too.

APPLIANCES: Kettles, toasters, TV’s etc. Re-use by giving away to friends, donating to charity shops, or selling in local papers or second hand shops. You could also try selling it through Freecycle. Freecycle is a non-profit movement that encourages people to give things for free in their local community. Many contain steel and aluminium which can be recycled – take them to your recycling centre.

ASBESTOS: Asbestos is a building insulation material used before the 1970’s. There are 3 types – white, blue and brown. Removal of asbestos can disturb the fibres of which it is made; these fibres can be harmful if they are breathed in. Use a facemask and gloves when handling asbestos. Keep asbestos damp and contained in a plastic bag when transporting, this will reduce airborne fibres. Some skip companies will safely remove asbestos, such as SkipHireUK. Some councils will accept asbestos at their household waste recycling centres. Contact your local council for further advice on the removal of asbestos.

B

recycling batteriesBATTERIES: All waste batteries are classified as hazardous waste and recycling is always the best option. Ordinary household batteries do contain some hazardous chemicals so ideally should not be thrown out with the day to day rubbish.
Ordinary batteries require a lot of energy to make, so in order to save energy, use rechargeable batteries and electricity mains instead of ordinary batteries. If you do have to use batteries, then rechargeable batteries are the most environmentally friendly option as can last for up to several hundred charging cycles resulting in less waste being produced. Rechargeable batteries contain harmful metals, so should never be thrown away with daily rubbish, they should be returned to manufacturer for disposal or recycled elsewhere. You can also buy solar-powered battery chargers. Ni-Cd (Nickel-Cadmium – a type of rechargeable battery) batteries should NOT be disposed of with normal household waste – hand them it at your recycling centre.

Lead Acid (car) Batteries: Can be recycled at recycling centres.

Silver Oxide Cells: Used in watches, calculators, and hearing aids. Jewellers may accept them because they have a recyclable silver content.

Mercuric Oxide Cells: Another type of small battery used in watches and calculators. They should NOT be disposed of with normal household waste. Hand them in at your recycling centre if a jeweller will not take them.

From February 2010, shops selling more than 32kg of batteries a year (approx 345 x four-packs of AA batteries) will have to provide battery recycling collection facilities in-store.  This means there will be lots more places where you can take your old batteries for recycling.

BEDS: Wooden furniture can be recycled at your local reycling centre. Furniture made out of leather or synthetic materials cannot be recycled. Contact your local authority if you need to dispose of bulky items like a sofa or mattress. Social Services or local community groups can sometimes make use of these. Alternatively, take them to the recycling centre. Ask family, friends and neighbours if they have a use for your sofa or spare bed. Try Free-Cycling your furniture or giving it to a furniture workshop such as Viridian Design or the Furniture Re-use Network

BICYCLES: Can be repaired, or sold second hand. The following organisations take old bikes and refurbish them for charity or community projects:

Some cities have a bicycle loaning scheme. If all else fails, take it to the recycling centre. Before taking your bicycle to the recycling centre, remove any rubber or plastic parts such as tyres, inner tubes, saddles, brakes, plastic light or lock fittings and bells.

BOOKS: Books can’t usually be recycled along with other paper recycling because of the glue that’s used to bind them. Instead, there are many possibilities for reusing, donating or reselling books. Can be sold second hand, or given to charities and schools, doctors’ or dentists’ surgeries, and hospitals. Some areas have a book recycling bank.  Try local second hand book dealers, jumble sales or car boot sales. You can also sell or swap your books online:

BOTTLES: Glass containers such as bottles and jars should be cleaned and any tops or corks removed before recycling. When using bottle banks, put the glass in the correct bank for clear, green or brown glass. Blue glass goes in with green glass. Only use bottle banks during the day – the sound of smashing bottles can make a real racket which disturbs people who live nearby! Remember not to litter the area around the bottle bank with your empty bags and boxes. You can’t recycle: window panes, light bulbs, glass ovenware or electrical equipment. Dispose of these carefully with your normal household waste.

BUILDING RUBBLE: No. Your local recycling centre won’t accept bricks or rubble for recycling, and they can’t be collected as part of your local authority’s kerbside scheme. Re-use for another job. Non-commercial rubble can be taken to the recycling centre. You could try and sell it as building materials are always in demand. Advertise in local papers or on community noticeboards. Alternatively, try a jumble or car boot sale. There are also online market places for building materials – check out the internet to find one near you.

C

recycling drinks cansCANS: Aluminium and steel cans can be recycled. Wash and crush them down first. (The best way to distinguish between steel and aluminium is to use a magnet – steel is magnetic, aluminium is not.) If you use a lot of drinks cans, for example at work or at school, you can sell them to a local Cash for Cans organisation. For every tonne of aluminium we recycle here in the UK, Alupro has committed to plant one tree in Burkina Faso. You really can turn your cans into trees!

CARDBOARD
: Cardboard can be recycled. Use a cardboard box to collect your other recycling in – then you won’t have to separate it later! Some paper banks and kerbside schemes DO NOT accept cardboard. It can also be torn into small pieces and composted, or can be used as a mulch for vegetable beds over winter. Your local school or playgroup may use cardboard boxes for craft projects.

CARRIER BAGS: Carrier bags are rarely collected as part of local authority kerbside collections, but some local recycling centres now accept them. Even though they can be recycled, please try to re-use them, or get long-lasting cotton bags. Some supermarkets now offer in-store recycling banks for carrier bags or the option to hand the bags back to the driver if your shopping is delivered to your home. Why not check out your local supermarket the next time you visit?  The bins are normally located by the main entrance doors.
Most supermarkets have ‘bag for life’ schemes. You buy one large, durable carrier bag for 10p which should last at least 10 trips. When it wears out the cashier will replace it free of charge and the old one will be recycled by the supermarket. Better still, take a canvas or string bag with you when you go shopping – they’re much stronger than carrier bags and won’t dig into your hands!

CARTONS: Cartons are now collected by over 370 local authorities across the country, which equates to 86 per cent of UK and Guernsey local authority areas. Firstly check that your local authority can accept them. A few local authorities collect them at the kerbside, then segregate them from paper and other materials either at a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) or at the kerbside itself; some local authorities provide recycling banks specifically for beverage cartons at recycling centres. You can find out if cartons are collected in your area by checking : www.tetrapakrecycling.co.uk

CHRISTMAS TREES: Can be taken to the recycling centre to be turned into compost. Try to use a living tree in a pot that can be put outside and used year after year, or use an artificial tree.

CLOTHES: Clothes that are in good condition can be donated to charity shops in the following ways:

  • Take them to a local charity shop yourself.
  • Put them in a textiles bank provided by charities like Oxfam, The Salvation Army and Scope. You can find these at supermarkets or local council sites. Try and make sure clothes are clean and dry before you donate them.
  • Charities and jumble sales also make door-to-door collections. Keep an eye out for those plastic sacks coming through your letterbox.

Textiles that are worn out or in unsaleable condition can be left in special textile banks at recycling centres.  The fabrics are shredded before being reprocessed into new items.  Industrial quality “blankets” which protect equipment whilst being transporting is one example of what recycled textiles may become.

COAT HANGERS: Charity, second hand shops, and some dry cleaners will have a use for these.

COMPUTERS: You can dispose of computer waste by returning the product to the manufacturer, taking the item to a professional waste disposal facility or donating the goods to a non-profit organisation, to schools, or community groups. Alternatively, sell through the local papers or second hand shops. You could also try selling it through Freecycle. Freecycle is a non-profit movement that encourages people to give things for free in their local community.

COOKING OIL: Do not pour down the drain, or into the tanks for engine oil at your recycling centre. Hand the container in at your recycling centre.

E

recycling egg boxesEGG BOXES: Playgroups and schools may find a use for these. Cardboard egg boxes can be used as seed pots, and are biodegradable, so they can be torn into small pieces and composted.

ENGINE OIL: It is ILLEGAL to pour this down the drain. There will be a bank at your recycling centre for this.

ENVELOPES: Re-use these by using ‘new address’ labels, but they can also be recycled. Try to purchase envelopes made from recycled paper.

F

recycling fizzy drinks bottlesFIZZY DRINKS BOTTLES: Buy glass bottles where possible. ‘PET’ and ‘PVC’ bottles can be recycled in a plastics recycling bank. There are about 50 different types of plastic. The main types include:

  • HDPE – Opaque bottles
  • PVC – Transparent bottles, with a seam running across the base
  • PET – Transparent bottles, with a hard moulded spot in the centre of the base

If your home recycling bin doesn’t take plastic bottles, then deposit them at your local recycling bank. Clean bottles before recycling them. Buy plastic bottles in bulk whenever possible to reduce packaging waste. Carriers can be reused next time you’re at the shops, or deposit used ones at collection points provided by some supermarkets.

FURNITURE: Donate usable furniture to charity shops, schools, community centres, friends or neighbours. Sell furniture at garage sales or in auctions. Clean and repair broken furniture before you sell/donate it. Before you sell/donate your furniture, make sure it has the kite mark of approval to show that it meets British safety standards. Or you can contact the Furniture Reuse Network for further information on recycling furniture: FRN, 48-54 West Street, St Philips, Bristol, BS2 0BL, 0117 954 3571

OFFERS is the first UK scheme, which was specifically set up to promote the reuse of office furniture and equipment. Since 1996 OFFERS has been assisting businesses and organisations in London to divert office furniture and equipment from landfill. Unwanted items are collected and then passed on to community, voluntary sector groups and small start-up businesses to maximise the environmental and social benefits of reuse.

G

GLASS: Re-use where possible. Sometimes bottles can be returned. Glass bottles and jars can be recycled, but the colours must be separated. Blue glass can go into the same bank as green glass. Mixed-coloured glass cannot be recycled. Remove the lids and tops (these may be made of a recyclable metal). NON-recyclable glass includes window glass, light bulbs, Pyrex/Visionware cooking dishes, and glass crockery items such as wine glasses and tumblers.

recycling greetings cardsGREETINGS CARDS: Every January The Woodland Trust teams up with Tesco and WHSmith to collect and recycle millions of Christmas cards. Just take your Christmas cards along to WHSmith high street stores and Tesco Extra and Superstores. The money raised goes to help the Woodland Trust to plant trees and maintain our woodlands. You really can turn your cards back into trees! Or you can turn them into gift tags or recycle them.

H

HAZARDOUS WASTE: Includes Oil, paints and solvents, old medicines (return these to the pharmacist), pesticides, anti-freeze, brake fluid, oven cleaners, furniture polish, stain removers, fluorescent lights, CFL’s (low energy light bulbs), wood preservatives, and asbestos. Anything you think may be hazardous should be taken to the recycling centre and handed to the site agent. Explosives or fireworks should be handed in at a police station.

I

ICE-CREAM CONTAINERS: Re-use for freezing food, lunch boxes, or storage. These CANNOT be recycled in a plastics bank.

J

recycling junk mailJUNK MAIL: Can be recycled, but why receive it in the first place? You can ask not to receive it by contacting the Mail Preference Service (www.mpsonline.org.uk)

K

KITCHEN FOIL: Re-use where possible. Clean foil can be recycled, along with milk bottle tops, foil containers etc. Metallised plastic i.e. crisp packets can sometimes look like foil – scrunch it in your hand – if it springs back, it’s plastic.

KITCHEN ROLL: Use rolls made from recycled paper. Can be torn up and composted.

L

recycling light bulbsLIGHT BULBS: Energy efficient light bulbs are a type of fluorescent lamp and can be recycled at a number of household recycling centres but older style bulbs aren’t recyclable. Old style incandescent bulbs are NOT recyclable.  Please throw them away in your waste bin. They are made from a different type of glass and also contain metal parts so cannot be recycled with your other glass.

M

MAGAZINES: You can recycle magazines along with your other paper items via your local authority’s kerbside collections or at your nearest paper bank. Contact local doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries, or hospitals, to see if they would welcome magazine donations for their waiting rooms.

MEDICINES
: Should be returned the pharmacist.

METAL: All metal can be taken to a recycling centre and placed in the scrap metal bank. Alternatively, a local scrap metal merchant may be willing to collect it.

MILK BOTTLES: If your milk is delivered in glass bottles, you should always return them to your milkman. Plastic milk bottles can be recycled with your plastic waste.

MOBILE PHONES: The main channels for disposing of mobiles are the shops that sell them, but there are other organisations and charities that accept them for refurbishment and recycling.  Up to 80 per cent of a phone is recyclable, so don’t send it to landfill or leave it in the drawer – recycle it!

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recycling nappiesNAPPIES: Disposable nappies are a major environmental problem because they take a very long time to break down naturally, and are only used once! They are also made from non-renewable materials. Terry towelling nappies are able to be used again and again, and can be made of natural materials. If you use disposable nappies, choose unbleached and dioxin-free varieties. There are also a wide variety of in-between options.

NEWSPAPER: Can be recycled, or used to light fires, or to protect surfaces during DIY jobs. Some kennels and animal charities use newspaper for bedding.

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OIL: See Engine Oil or Cooking Oil.

ORGANIC WASTE AND COMPOSTING: Some local authorities collect kitchen waste or provide containers at recycling centres.Composting is a biological process. The fertiliser that is the end result of composting can only be as good as the ingredients you added initially. The first list below contains the ideal ingredients to add to your compost bin, the second those you are better off leaving out:

Ideal Ingredients:

¡ Raw vegetable peelings and fruit
¡ Egg shells (crushed)
¡ Tea, tea bags or coffee granules
¡ Shredded paper or soft card
¡ Straw or hay (chopped and moist)
¡ Grass cuttings, plant trimmings and flowers
¡ Hair and fur
¡ Small amounts of leaves
¡ Chicken, pigeon or horse manure
¡ Animal bedding

Ingredients to avoid:

¡ Meat or fish (cooked or raw)
¡ Cooked or baked foods
¡ Dairy products
¡ Persistent weeds
¡ Coal ash
¡ Dog or cat mess
¡ Nappies or used tissue
¡ Coloured or shiny paper

Alternatively place your organic waste in the green waste container at the recycling centre.

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PACKAGING: Try to buy products packaged in recycled or recyclable materials. Don’t buy overpackaged items.

recycling paintPAINT: Your local recycling centre may have a donation point for paint – it is reused rather than recycled.  Alternatively, donate your paint directly to a local Community Repaint scheme. Please note: Only usable paint suitable for domestic application can be accepted.  Unfortunately they are unable to accept car paint, aerosols & spray paints, paint over 10 years old, paint containing lead or paint that is not in its original container.

PAPER: All types of paper can be recycled.

PLASTICS: Re-use plastic containers where possible. Many plastics can be recycled. Check that the type of plastic can be recycled before you buy, and especially before putting it into the recycling bank. Plastics that can be recycled include:

PETE/PET – Polyethylene Terephthalate – fizzy drinks, mineral water, cooking oil and cordial bottles
HDPE – Polyethylene – Opaque bottles, containers for items such as washing up liquid, detergent, shampoo, milk and fruit juices.
PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride – containers for mineral water, toiletries, cooking oils. They are clear and have an obvious seam running through them.
Polystyrene, including burger and chips trays, margarine and yogurt pots CANNOT be recycled.

Plastics can be identified by looking for the recycle symbol, usually indented into the material. Common symbols are shown below; the abbreviation for each type is shown beneath the symbol.

PLASTIC BAGS: Plastic carrier bags can sometimes be recycled – check at your recycling centre. Alternatively, some shops will take them to reuse or recycle. Try to re-use them as much as possible. You could use them as bin liners for small pedal bins, . Shops tend to put any item you buy in a fresh plastic bag – ask them not to, and use the bags you already have.

PRINTER CARTRIDGES: Increasingly these are being collected at local recycling centres but are not generally collected from kerbside. However, there are other organisations that will recycle them for you. Why not take your empty cartridges to be refilled at CARTRIDGE WORLD? You can save up to 60% on the price of a new cartridge!

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REFRIGERATORS AND FREEZERS: Most recycling centres will accept white goods, which include fridges, freezers, cookers, washing machines and dishwashers. Your local authority will also collect bulky white goods items such as fridges and washing machines for you, although they may charge you for this service. Similary, a commercial company may be able to collect your fridge or freezer. If you are buying a new appliance, check with the store whether they can take your old one away for recycling at the same time. You may even be able to arrange a part-exchange!
If your appliance is still in good working order – ask family, friends and neighbours if they have a use for it. Or try:

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recycling shoesSHOES: You can recycle shoes at most recycling centres, or donate them to a charity shop. Before you donate your old shoes be sure to tie them together in pairs as they can easily get separated and single shoes can’t be sold on.

SPECTACLES: Local authorities do not collect spectacles but many opticians collect them for charities. Ask your optician if they collect old spectacles.  Many do – they are donated to charities who send them to developing countries.

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TEXTILES: Textiles made from both natural and man-made fibres can be recycled. Textiles include: curtains, bedding, towels, handbags, cloths, rugs and mats. Please wash and put in a plastic bag before handing them over. Some charity shops will accept them, alternatively place in a textiles recycling bank. Textiles that are in a reasonable condition can be donated to charity shops in the following ways:

TYRES: Old tyres can be used in the garden – they can be used for potato or strawberry growing, or for creating a miniature raised flower bed. Farmers use them to secure plastic coverings over silage pits. They can be recycled into more tyres, adhesives,wire and pipe insulation and other rubber goods. They are also ground up and added to asphalt paving, which increases the life of the paving by 4 or 5 times.

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YELLOW PAGES: The great news is that it’s never been easier to recycle old Yellow Pages directories, 99% of local authorities now accept them for recycling, so you can put them in a paper recycling bank or use your council’s paper doorstep collection. These can be shredded for use as animal bedding, or they can be recycled.

For more information on recycling visit:
http://www.recyclenow.com/
http://www.recycling-guide.org.uk/