1. Make a compost bin from pallets and place grass clippings and loose leaves within for garden compost within a year or two.
2. Reuse discarded or left over bricks for dividing off areas within the vegetable patch.
3. Save rainwater from down pipes using barrels and water saver diverters and use in the garden.
4. Swap or trade excess plants and cuttings with neighbours and friends instead of buying.
5. Make your own garden bird cake for our feathered friends (seeds, nuts, fruit, lard and pastry).
6. Make your own liquid feed i.e. cut a quantity of young nettles, place them in a bucket, crush them and fill with water to cover, weight down the nettles with a large stone, cover. Leave for a couple of weeks, dilute ten parts water to one part nettle juice).
1. Place used eggshells in a baking tray and place in the oven after switching off. When dry crush and use as effective slug repellant.
2. Place used lemon and lime skins in a baking tray and place in the oven after switching off. When dry use as kindling in the fire.
3. Use cooled potato water as a plant feed.
4. Convert the ends of sliced loaf or unused bread into breadcrumbs and freeze in small bags for later use e.g. top of chicken and broccoli bake, add to meatballs, to coat meat etc.
5. Reuse the empty cereal bags as freezer bags.
6. Make friends with cat and dog owners in order to find willing participants for chicken carcasses and large meat bones.
1. Use the ash from the stove (only ash from timber or turf NOT coal) to keep weeds down under the hedges or add to the composter.
2. Before buying new furniture check out auction rooms, websites like www.adverts.ie and www.donedeal.ie, recycled furniture stores.
3. Offer furniture no longer required but in good condition for sale or for free on such websites as www.jumbletown.ie or www.adverts.ie.
4. Donate unused paint to a paint reuse scheme e.g. Rediscover Paint.
5. Change all bulbs to CFLs or Leds.
6. Place the contents of the hoover bag in the composter as natural waste.
7. Put your candles in the freezer as cold wax burns more slowly and lasts longer.
8. Use a banana skin to clean silver instead of buying silver polish.
1. Instead of using sink unblocker, use crushed egg shells instead.
2. Use lemon juice, bread soda and vinegar as cleaners for sanitary wear.
3. Keep your bins fresh by pouring some cat litter or washing powder into the bottom. It soaks up leaking liquids, prevents mold growth and keeps the bin smelling fresh.
4. Save old toothbrushes and use with a dab of bleach to clean the grouting in between bathroom tiles, wipe clean with a damp cloth.
1. Use cat litter overnight in shoes to act as a deodoriser.
2. Save the cardboard cores of toilet rolls to use for planting seeds. The long shape allows for great root growth, and since they are biodegradable the toilet roll plant pots can be put straight into the ground, reducing the damage and shock caused to plants when
3. Homemade lip balm: 16g almond oil; 4g beeswax; small jar/tin for storage; flavoring.
How to do it: Simply melt the oil & wax together and add a splash of flavoring. Decant into your tin/jar and leave to cool. Warning: May not be suitable for people with allergies.
4. Homemade hand and nail scrub: Used half lemon, tsp of sugar.
How to do it: Just tip the sugar into the hollow of the lemon & rub your finger tips in the solution. Once you’re done, give your hands a good rinse and they’ll be fresh and clean.
Tip: Rub a bit of olive oil into your hands to make them nice and soft. Warning: Can irritate occasionally and should not be used on broken skin.
1. Rescue old paint brushes by warming vinegar for 10 seconds in the microwave and straighten the bristles by brushing them with a fork.
2. No paint should go to waste, even when a skin has formed on top. Simply pour the lot through a pair of old, worn tights, which catch the skin and any other lumps, leaving you with plenty of smooth paint you’d otherwise throw away.
3. When painting do not wipe the excess from the brush on the top of the paint pot, because a lot of the paint is wasted when it drips down the outside. Instead,run a tight piece of string across the top of the tin which is used to wipe the excess from the brush
and all unused paint falls back into the middle of the pot (it’s also useful for balancing the hairs of the brush on when you go for a tea break, as the handle rests on the top side of the clean paint tin!).
4. Save money on stain sealant by painting over a water stain with any spare gloss paint, which does the same job as the sealant in covering the marked area. When it’s dry, you can then paint over it with the same emulsion you’ve used for the rest of the surface and
the stain doesn’t show through.
5. Instead of paying for masking tape when you’re painting window frames, tear old newspapers into strips, dip them briefly into water and stick them on the area you are protecting, such as the glass. They protect as well as masking tape and come off easier
6. To save on replacement windscreen wipers for the car, make the ones you have last longer by softening them up with a dab of vinegar on a piece of kitchen roll.
7. Buy used if possible and check out websites like www.donedeal.ie; www.adverts.ie; www.buyandsell.ie.
8. Consider buying items infrequently used between family, friends or neighbours e.g. lawn rollers; hedge trimmers; chimney brushes, etc.
9. Share refuse bins with a neighbour and halve the cost. It may involve recycling more at the recycling bins or centres but share the trip too.