How we manage our consumption and waste of resources is something that we all need to be concerned about. While separating your plastic and paper is a great way to begin recycling at home, there are a number of other options and systems that you can think about incorporating into your recycling routine.
The internet is a great place to find tips and hacks on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Below are 8 genius systems that you can build at home to make the world a cleaner and greener place.
Nothing is more annoying than when your bar of soap reaches that thin and barely usable stage. However, instead of just dumping it, you can save your soap scraps and recycle them into new bars of soap.
Instructables user mxx posted a detailed guide on how to create your own soap at home. All you have to do is grind up your old soap scraps (make sure they’re dry), and then mix them with cold water and pour into a greased mold. Leave it for a couple of days, and then remove your recycled soap from the mold.
2. How to Make a Homemade Powerwall
Unsure of how to recycle all your old batteries? Why don’t you make your very own Powerwall? Many DIY enthusiasts online have been turning their old batteries into energy storage systems, hooked up to solar or wind sources.
Peter Matthews is one such man. His amazing homemade Powerwall is made up of 4, 480, 18650 batteries and can store 40kwh of energy. This energy is generated from 40 solar panels on his roof, and thanks to the Powerwall, he can power most of his home cleanly. So, next time you’re thinking about throwing out your batteries, think about building a Powerwall instead.
Many people have already made the switch from plastic bags to reusable canvas ones. However, if you find that you have a load of plastic bags lying about in your house, you can still find a use for them.
Blogger Helle Jorgensen turns her plastic bags into usable yarn, and the process couldn’t be simpler. Just flatten the bags, remove the handles, and cut into narrow strips. Tie the strips in the middle, and wind into balls of yarn. You can use the yarn for crafts, or for creating a number of plastic woven goods.
4. Filtering and Reusing Gray Water
One of the biggest issues when it comes to conserving and recycling water is gray water. Gray water refers to any water that is gently used – for example, water from your washing machine and bath. Thankfully, there are ways to filter and reuse gray water and drastically cut down on your water consumption.
Britanny App, a Youtuber, constructed a gray water recycling system that allows her to filter her waste water and use it to irrigate her garden. She used a pond pump, connect to some hose pipe, which she then ran into her garden from the bath. If you do decide to recycle your gray water, make sure that you’re using only biodegradable soaps and detergents to avoid releasing any potentially harmful chemicals into the soil.
Styrofoam is bad news when it comes down to the environment as it takes over five centuries to degrade. Therefore, rather than just throwing away your Styrofoam, why don’t you try to integrate it into your home?
Instructables user Waldemar Sha posted a great guide on how to recycle Styrofoam scraps into insulating panels. All you need is some plaster, Styrofoam, and corrugated cardboard. Spread the plaster across the cardboard, and layer with your Styrofoam. Sandwich between another piece of cardboard and let it dry.
6. How to Make Paper from Recycled Paper
One option for dealing with paper waste is to take it to the appropriate recycling bin or center. However, did you know that it’s possible to recycle all your paper at home by yourself?
Youtuber Make Something shows how you can make your very own paper, using tools and materials that are easy to find. Make or buy a deckle and spray it with oil to prevent the paper from sticking. Blend your waste paper with a lot of water to create a pulp. Submerge your deckle in a tub of water, and pour in the pulp. Remove from the tub and dry well. You can experiment with the process to achieve different colors and textures.
Instead of chucking your coffee grounds in the trash, why don’t you turn them into something new? TVG3000 shows you how to turn the remnants of your favorite hot drink into biodegradable plant pots.
All you need to do is mix coffee grounds, flour, and water to create some clay. You can then either build your clay around an existing biodegradable pot, or make your own in a mold or with your hands. Now, you’ll never need to buy a plastic plant pot ever again.
8. Reduce Water Consumption with a Combination Toilet and Sink
You might have already have come across combination toilets and sinks, but you probably didn’t realize how easy it is to create this water-saving system at home. MechEngineerMike posted a handy tutorial on Instructables on how to build your own combo using 3-D printed parts.
This system allows you to use clean water to wash your hands, which is then recycled into the rim of the toilet, which serves the next flush. It’s a simple and effective way to get two uses out of one batch of water and reduce your water consumption.