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How to repurpose house and garden waste

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In an age where we must be conscious of our impact on the environment, it is important to understand how we can make our own individual contributions to the cause.

A major factor affecting climate change is the disposal of household and garden waste which, until the recent encouragement to recycle, has generally lacked guidance. Many are unaware that a lot of everyday rubbish can actually be repurposed into something very useful.


Conventional recycling is now commonplace, and you will be aware of the basic principles of recycling and how to dispose of recyclable materials appropriately. Homes are now issued their own recycling bins to dispose of materials such as glass, aluminium and paper in an effective and resourceful way, but there are still additional measures that you can take to ensure your waste materials are being recycled — many of which do not require much additional effort, either.

The most commonly wasted resource is water, which is disappointing given how easy it is to recycle. A sink full of water can be drained and used to nourish a garden full of plants, as most dish soaps and face soaps are of a PH level that would pose no threat to foliage. Outdoor containers can also be used to collect rainwater for the same purpose. The best water recycling practices are outlined here by TreeHugger.


Those who love sculpting and landscaping their garden will already appreciate how much garden waste can be produced. This isn’t just in the summer months either, as the spring will see you clearing plants that have perished in the winter, while the autumn will also call for sweeping and gathering leaves as your plants shed. The most effective and resourceful way to dispose of these is to turn your otherwise useless plant matter into rich, valuable compost.

Compost enriches your garden plants and flowers with essential nutrients that will aid them in their growth, and is a vital component in any attractive garden. Like all garden enrichening agents, however, it can be expensive to purchase if you are using it regularly. Home composting is not only good for the environment, allowing you to establish an eco-cycle in your garden and preventing the unnecessary incineration of waste, but it will also save you money on purchasing store-bought products.

What’s more, you can even turn household waste into compost. Items such as newspapers, coffee grounds and even eggshells can be composted effectively, leaving you more room in your household bins. A full list of recyclable items is available on the RecycleNow website; you will be surprised at how many waste items you can make use of.

Composting is also relatively easy to do, and you can start producing rich compost in just a few weeks if you follow the correct techniques and methods. The ComposTumbler from Mantis features a compact design that can be stored in your garden or inside your shed, and its rotational design and aeration/drainage features make it one of the most efficient composters on the market. Alternatively, you could look into starting your own compost heap, as detailed in this guide by BBC Gardening, though this method can take a lot longer.

Donating unneeded items

While not benefitting the environment, as such, you can make a great difference by donating your unneeded household items and clothes to charity. Disposing of old clothes, particularly shoes, is not very effective due to the materials they are made out of generally being difficult to repurpose. Likewise, stripping down the materials that are used in furniture and electronic appliances can be extremely difficult and may not yield a great deal of recyclable matter.

Charities such as British Heart Foundation offer collection from home addresses, and are interested in everything from clothing to unwanted DVDs to aid their cause. Donating these items will free up a lot of room in your home, but you will also be helping the charity significantly in their fundraising efforts, and they will be grateful for your time and effort.

Making just a few small changes to your lifestyle can ensure that you are actively helping the environment without going out of your way. Reap the physical benefits of an environmentally friendly lifestyle, as well as the satisfaction of helping save the planet.

Mantis offers a range of products and advice to help homeowners maintain their home interior and exterior, without damaging the environment. For more information, visit


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