Gran's tips

The best way to think around plastic problems is to remember there was a time before plastic. Plastic has only been in common usage since the late 1970s. So, go ask your nana!
Here's the grandmother
I asked (my lovely mum, pictured

with my equally lovely niece)

The number one rule of thumb is BE RESOURCEFUL. A couple of generations ago goods were expensive and not always convenient to buy. So - can you fix it? Can you make or adapt something that will fulfill the same function? Can you borrow it? Do you really need it?

Containers - reuse jars and tins. Any thrift shop or refuse station should have plenty of both
Covering food/leftovers - use a plate, or if you need to transport it use a container
Freezing food - wrap in tin foil (be sure it is airtight). Reuse your foil as much as possible. Because it's aluminium, it can be recycled. 
Glass jars/containers can also be used. Keep the lid off until the contents are frozen to allow for expansion. It may pay to wrap the container in newspaper or waxed paper.
Keeping prepared food fresh - damp teatowel or muslin
Keeping veges fresh - use wet newspaper. Works particularly well for cabbage
Protecting prepared food - use food throws, or food umbrellas
Wrapping sandwiches - use grease proof or waxed paper

Cloths - rags. Knitted fabrics; old towels and facecloths, cotton t-shirts etc are best.
Lining rubbish bins - use newspaper
Microcloths - brilliant for all kinds of cleaning including windows. No washing agents needed
Removing stains white distilled vinegar is very good at removing stains, as well as cleaning in general. Google 'uses of vinegar' and you will find a huge amount of information on how vinegar can be utilised in a range of ways, including medicinal.
Scouring - use a pumice stone. Granulated sugar works well too.
Scrubbing - an old toothbrush.
Sunlight soap works well for
multiple types of cleaning,
from hair washing to dish washing
Killing weeds - pour boiling water or salt over them
Seed raising - use egg cartons
Snails/slugs - scatter egg shell, coffee grounds or ashes around your plants. For a slug trap: partially bury a bottle or container with milk or beer in the bottom.
Stake ties - rags or old stockings
Thrips - mix cooking oil and water together and cover leaves


  1. Gotta love the Sunlight soap. I use it for everything. lol. and cheap too, Love gran's tips!

  2. My Gran swore by Sunlight Soap for washing her hair. Do you have any gems on particular sunlight soap usage Madz?