Usually, when people embark on an eco-friendly journey, they start with something simple. Later, they feel that what they are doing is not enough. They want to contribute more. And soon, they are always on the lookout for new ways to contribute to the environmental cause.
In Ecotime, our mission is clear, we want to provide the best shopping bags that don't harm the environment. Our bags are recyclable or compostable and exceed the plastic law requirements in New Zealand. But we also want to go further. Our bags are thick and reusable; it would be a shame to send them to recycling or composting after only one use. Please, use them as many times as possible before discarding them.
And let's go even further. When our bags are no longer helpful for shopping, pick one of the 9 ideas we came up with to use them again. Shall we repurpose together? We'll tell you what to do!
The more we use any item, the lower its environmental impact. After you have repurposed the bags and no longer need them, only then, please, discard properly: recycle or compost.
To repurpose the bags, please wash them. Just soak them in soapy water, rinse and hang them upside down to dry completely.
- Keep food
For this use, you must wash the bag very well. Often, we use cling wrap to keep food in the refrigerator. However, cling wrap is very harmful to the environment. It's almost impossible to recycle it, and usually, it ends up in landfill. Avoid using it by putting your food inside the bag. Fold to ensure no air gets in. You could also cut the bags into squares to pack sandwiches or snacks for a picnic or take to school or work.
- Simple greenhouse for sprouting seeds
When you want to sprout some seeds, for example, for your herb garden, you can use the bags to accelerate the sprouting. Put your seeds in moist soil and loosely cover the planter with a bag. It creates a greenhouse effect, maintaining a nice warm temperature in the planter. The seeds will sprout faster. Check on the sprouts every day. Add water when needed. Remove the bag when sprouted as the shoots will need fresh air and sunlight to grow.
- Clean your showerhead or taps
Depending on the water quality in your home, you might have a problem with limescale. Limescale frequently forms in the kettle or clogs water taps and showerheads. An easy way to de-clog any of it is to use white vinegar. To unclog the showerhead:
- Fill a bag with white vinegar and put the shower head inside the bag.
- Close it tight with an elastic and leave overnight.
- In the morning, take it out, turn on the water to rinse, and be surprised by an excellent result.
Enjoy a much better shower!
- Use instead of plastic gloves to handle dirty stuff
Suppose you have foregone using plastic or rubber gloves at home for environmental reasons. In that case, you might sometimes miss the gloves when you have to deal with something really messy and nasty. If what you need to do is not very delicate, put the bags on your hands to use instead of gloves. You will protect your hands and keep them dry and clean.
- Stuff shoes or purses to keep their shape
Some environmental actions are not so obvious. Keeping your garments in excellent condition might seem like a fashion statement, but it actually is both. When you maintain everything in great form, it will last longer and have a smaller carbon footprint. Some shoes and bags keep better if they are stuffed and keep their shape. Use several of our bags to stuff your items and enjoy not destroying your belongings before their time.
- Shoe cover (when especially dirty)
Are you driving a lot in bad weather? Then maybe you have experienced making a complete mess in your car because you had to step in it with muddy and wet shoes. Prevent it by keeping a few bags in the car. Before stepping in the car, put your feet in a bag to protect the mats. Keep the car cleaner and wash and dry your shoes when you return home.
- Have them at the door
Similarly, you might have visitors at home who come in dirty or dusty shoes. If you allow shoes at home, you can use spare bags as shoe covers. If you usually take your shoes off at home, you can keep dirty shoes in a plastic bag to prevent the mud or dust from messing up your apartment.
Activities with kids
- Make parachutes for kids' toys
Even the little ones can enjoy some repurposing. Cut squares out of the plastic bag and tie a thread on each corner. Leave an appropriate amount of rope to form a parachute. Tie the 4 threads together and fasten a plush animal or any desired toy on it. Be aware of the size of the animal vs. the parachute. Have a lot of fun making the toys fly around the house.
- Plastic bag kite
You will need to make a cross from 2 skewers or bigger sticks for this activity. Use the bag and cut a rhombus of the size of the bars, fasten it on the bars, add a thread. Decorate with the kids as they like. Have fun flying it in windy weather.
We hope we have sparked a joy for repurposing. You begin to see new uses for old objects everywhere when you start. Often things end up in the landfill while they could have been still useful for other people or for other purposes, but people tend not to think about it so much. The great thing about our bags is that they should never end up in landfills because they are 100% recyclable or compostable. Please, use them as much as possible, and only then recycle or compost them.