When you look in your cupboard, do you have a pile of things like old football boots, tennis balls or dance costumes? Do you get told off for letting them fall all over the floor but not wanting to throw them away?
Here’s a challenge for you! –Think of several places where they might be wanted. A friend’s house? A club? A charity? Try to think of an interesting way of reusing things. For example, your games kit that is now too small; could you give it to your old team to keep as spares, to your school to help out a family struggling to find the money for new kit, or maybe to a local playgroup to use as dressing-up clothes?
Ballet shoes could be gifted to a friend’s younger sister or a charity shop.
Football boots could be…well actually football boots could be given to a special organisation called The MT Foundation, (http://www.themtfoundation.com/ ), with the hope of “Inspiring Youth Through Football”. The MT Foundation takes your unwanted boots and gives them, with a message you have written, to a young player in the UK or abroad who comes from a poor family and might otherwise have no boots at all.
For recycling general sports equipment, investigate organisations like the Lord’s Taverners who collect used clothes and equipment to send out to those in need in the UK and developing nations, (https://www.lordstaverners.org/sportskitrecycling). For other ideas, look out for special bins in some leisure centres and visit https://www.greenredeem.co.uk/greener-living/lifestyle/how-to-reuse-and-recycle-old-sports-equipment
And what about tennis balls? Aha! …
Have you ever thought that dogs would love your old tennis balls? Perhaps you or a friend own a dog or could think of a local animal rescue charity that would be very pleased to have free toys for their dogs, cats and larger animals?
Otherwise you could send your old tennis balls to http://recycletennisballs.com for free. The people there wait until they have around 100 tennis balls then send them to dog rescue centres across the country from Cornwall in the South of England and Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland (http://recycletennisballs.com/dog-charities/ ).
Crafts for Pets
Do you fancy trying something more ‘hands on’ as a present for your dog or friend’s cat? How about this great craft project; making a cosy pet bed out of your old jumper! What a wacky way of recycling that is also fun and helps your favourite pets to rest like you are hugging them all night!
Get an adult to help you to follow the steps in this simple video; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anH0wspWlGk . All you need is an old jumper, basic sewing thread, a big needle, scissors and some safe stuffing such as a pillow pad, old teddy bear stuffing, towels or clothes you have grown out of.
Do you only have a small pet like a guinea pig or gerbil? Then just get crafting on a smaller scale! Use something like a stuffed sock or even one of the tiny jumpers you used to wear as a baby!
Newspaper Bin Liners
Have you got the recycling bug now? Well, here is another creative idea that turns household waste into something useful. Pick up an old newspaper that you are about to throw into the bin…and use it AS the bin! With just a few folds –no sticky tape or glue stick– you’ve got a whole new thing!
There are all sorts of designs you could make, from a small desktop tidy to a bin liner or even a carrier bag with a string handle. Here is an example; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LJoPDHKM74
Talking of bags…do you like crisps? You could always use your empty crisp packet as a bin for the rest of your packed lunch waste instead of using a new bag.
However, wouldn’t it be more satisfying to find your local crisp bag recycling centre? Look for it on this online map hosted by Walkers™, https://www.walkers.co.uk/recycle. (Other crisp companies also support this kind of recycling scheme). Simply take your empty crisp bags and they will be made into useful things like picnic tables and watering cans!
More recycling centres are being added all the time; if there isn’t one near you, why not see if you, your friends or your school can campaign for one. Or better yet, how about encouraging the fast development of plastic-free crisp packets, as described on BBC Newsround (https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/45081115 ).
Have fun with what you love, from crisps to cricket, while making the world a better place!