Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Secondhand September and Zero Waste Week

So I'm doing my bit in regards to single use plastic and using up all the plastic in my house. using my own bags in the supermarket and I've purchased washable food nets and ditched the cling wrap for reusable covers. I have my coffee mug for when I go out and carry a reusable water bottle.

Nothing that can be used gets thrown away here, ever. Cardboard boxes and toilet rolls get used to make seed trays, even shopping bags when their handles or sides can no longer be repaired are reused.

Sometimes I have no control over what waste comes into my house in the form of packing and often when I do a large food shop I find that despite my requests not to pack in plastic, that while I'm unloading the trolley a few bags have sneaked in.

We had a tonne of personal and work paperwork that needed shredding, the last lot I cut up by hand, but this time we purchased a shredder to ensure all personal details were destroyed. All blank sheets have been saved to use for printing, writing shopping lists, drawing plans for the garden on etc. Once shredded I used the plastic packaging and the box to put the shredded paper in.

I will attempt to find a paper recycling bin somewhere in Dubai that isn't already over flowing, but recycling is not an easy option here.

We've been having a bit of a sort out, reusing old sheets in the car for the dog and covering outdoor furniture to protect it from the harsh summer sun. Our steam mop and fan both broke at the same time and needed replacing, the old ones were put outside by the bin as people will often take to use for spares and repairs, however you try finding someone that can repair or actually has the spares.

All this is being donated to a friend from Sri Lanka who organises and arranges aid for those back home.

Hubby had a sort out of his wardrobe under duress, there's a suit in there over 20 years old, he hasn't worn for 15 years. These clothes will be put out the front of the house for the local workmen, gardeners, car washers, dog walkers to help themselves too. There's a pile of my clothing in a suitcase waiting to be distributed to a care home in South Africa later this year.

I'm in the UK next week, we have a flat in a small Welsh town, it's full of charity shops. I shop in these when I'm home before I go into the main stores. I'll also be using eBay to purchase pre loved goods for Christmas and birthdays.

Our son gets married later this month, I've completed my Mother of the Groom outfit with a fascinator from the British Heart Foundation.

I've returned and borrowed books from the local dog park, been using the washing up water for the plants and grass, selecting low temps on the washing machine as the cold water runs at 30c anyway, buying products in bulk to reduce packaging and save on finances and using the air con sparingly and turning the temperature up a notch or two.

I'm doing what I can and where I can to recycle, reduce waste and re purpose unwanted goods. Every bit we do, helps more than you realise.


  1. I have started doing more lately and I feel good for it. I feel like I'm saving the planet a little by not using all the plastic bags, recycling more and donating what we don't need to charity.

  2. I have always tried to recycle as much as I can and fortunately Liv has picked up the bug too! It is so important to instil it in younger generation now! Love charity shops for items you never knew you would find! Hope you have a fabulous trip back to the UK and fingers crossed is on your side! Sim x

    1. thank you, very much looking forward to the uk trip. Good to hear Liv is following in your footsteps

  3. Love reading about recycling/ zero waste success and hurdles in your Dubai life - it's good (and sometimes shocking) to see how other countries handle all the waste we produce... #goinggreen

  4. This is absolutely brilliant to read and could so easily have been written by me! There is just so much we can all do in our everyday lives that, together, have a massive positive impact on the planet. Every little really does help!! Thank you for linking up to #GoingGreen - off to share this post now.
    PS - we are off to Ireland soon and I will hit the charity shops! I may even take donations with me.