I have just been to the most fabulous event hosted by my local council ” Give & Take Re-use Event” – Wow.
The premise is simple bring along a variety of items you no longer require, and take items for free which you do need. This covers electrical items (which are PACT tested on the day and offered out), textiles, furniture and books.
I took along an old working kettle, electric shaver, plus mouldy curtains, a storage bin, and two pieces of furniture. Whats not to love about parting with items you longer require but could be of use to someone else?!
I was amazed by the quantity of items that had been dropped off, and were readily available to be taken home. The tot and I spotted breadmakers, Jamie Oliver cook books, crocheted blankets, chairs, toys, foot spa… amazing. Just delightful to see the event so supported by the local community, we were even offered free refreshments:)
The council’s energy advice officers were also available to talk to in the flesh about the offers the local council have regarding insulation. I have been meaning to make enquiries for weeks. Admittedly I was not surprised but a little disappointed to learn that our property (which is deemed as hard to treat regarding insulation) does not meet the criteria for free insulation .
What did I come home with? I was restrained (yeah!!) but couldn’t resist some fabulous vintage sheets and a wireless mouse for the laptop.
If you also live in South Norfolk they have more such events coming up:
- Tuesday 2 June at Breckland Hall, Costessey
- Tuesday 28 July at Cringleford Primary School
- Tuesday 1 September at Diss Community Centre
- Tuesday 27 October at Ketts Park, Wymondham
- Monday 7 December at Lincoln Hall, Hingham
Fancy hosting your own re-use event? There are some guidelines/ points to consider here.
Update – here are the amazing stats about how much has been redirected from landfill as a result of the event:
- 0.89 tonnes/223 items of safety tested electricals, furniture, textiles and books were removed by local residents from the reuse area
- 1.2 tonnes/189 items of tested electricals and furniture were removed by British Heart Foundation
- 0.22 tonnes/25 sacks of shoes/clothing/textiles were removed by Salvation Army
- 0.25 tonnes of books were removed to be distributed to local charity shops
- 0.15 tonnes/20 DIY items were removed for use in the ‘Men Shed’ project. Other items were brought along on the day, by the group, to be safety tested.
- 3 large sacks of knitting equipment were collected to be donated to the charity, ‘Norfolk Knitters’
- Donations-£249.13 were raised through donations for the Chairman’s Charity (currently Nelson’s Journey)
- 6.74 tonnes/952 items were taken to be recycled
To summarise the list of numbers above, 2.71 tonnes of material was diverted for reuse and 6.74 tonnes of material was recycled from yesterday’s event.
With the New Year upon is many of us are probably feeling the pinch after the Christmas frivolities. There are many reasons to try and avoid fast fashion, working conditions of those creating the fashion items, quantity of clothing ending in landfill each month, never mind the financial reasons.
I am a great believer in shopping in charity shops where I can satisfy my desire of new clothing in a thrifty manner. A trip this week produced a great haul, in just the one shop.
Clothing. Have a list of what you and your family need but be prepared to think differently. Can you alter the hang of the item by taking in a seam, dye the item a different colour, alter the length of the skirt or dress? I found a wonderfully thick and 100% wool jumper. I would not normally buy a drab charcoal grey jumper, but this is thrifty shopping!! Paired with a denim skirt and purple tights I have introduced some colour to the outfit, next to spot a purple top to wear underneath to peep through at the neckline:)
Upcycling. Search through the bric a brac, one persons unwanted gift is your treasure. I have found a clock – the plan is to take this apart for the clock mechanism to create a new clock. This will involve an embroidery hoop and buttons to hang in my sewing room, “I will not be late for the nursery run, I will not be late”!
Games. Many of my childrens games come from frequent trips to charity shops. Have you come across Orchard Toys before? They are educationally themed, and are made in my county (Norfolk). What’s more if you have a missing part drop them an email and they will do the best to replace it free of charge. How amazing is that?
My daughter is just waiting for maths to click into place but in the meantime a game which practises counting in units of 10, and adding up to over a 100 is worth every penny. The four year old happily joined in learning how 10, 20 and 50 appear in numerical writing.
Gifts. As people have a tidy up/declutter after Christmas this is a perfect time to pick up books, CD’s, games and toiletries as gifts. This week I found Cadoo, which is a junior version of Cranium, and again perfect for my 8 and 4 yr olds. This one is a gift for an 8 yr olds birthday. She and her family also love playing games and will enjoy the variety of acting, playdoh, drawing etc.. All I need to do is replace the playdoh with fresh and a pad of paper to complete the gift.
Refashioning /sewing. Regular readers will know that I love sewing. I like to source my fabric from former clothes and bag hardware from old bags. This nappy changing bag has an adjustable shoulder length strap perfect for a man’s messenger bag. If you are looking for some upcycling clothes into bags free tutorials pop over to my guest post at onthecuttingfloor for five fabulous tutorials.
For the grab total of £12 I have a scrummy warm jumper, a game for my children, a gift, a clock for upcycling, and a bag strap for reusing.
The knack with charity shop shopping is not to buy something because it’s cheap or a bargain! What is your favourite charity shop purchase?
I don’t know about you but I fight(ignore) a constant battle re the volume of “stuff” in my sewing space.
A few months back my husband hit upon the idea of fitting kitchen units for storing all my fabric in, sadly I fail to keep my stash down enough to be able to successfully put it away and shut the doors! The long length of kitchen work top is fab for laying out patterns, and bags in process, however I fail to tick to one project at a tiem so it becomes cluttered.
Here are a few snapshots with some sewing studio ideas for storage (of course I would never move stuff around in order to take the pictures!!). I am fortunate to have lots of light, overlooking the garden.
I currently store my threads in a former fishing tackle box, but would love to have an old printing press tray mounted on the walls filled:)
Rather like Katherines🙂
Store my buttons, colour coded in glass jars
Generally I am not sentimental however this room hold memories,; this basket was woven, and lined by my Gran, and the flowers made by my then four year old.
The tin boxes were also my Grans, and contain yet more buttons (again Grans). My gran passed away when I was 18, I remember her with great affection and as a kindred spirit, she was very influential encouraging my creativity,
How do you organise your work space, I am particularly interested in ideas for reducing quantities of fabric?!
PS Have you noticed I have successfully moved to vickymyerscreations.co.uk, thanks to the great people at wordpress.com for their support in moving my subscribers across.