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October Is National Reuse Month

reusemonthDo you have old or unused stuff lying around the house that you don’t use anymore or find it is in the way? Most households recycle old items like furniture or broken appliances, but even so, are we really doing enough for the environment?

Re-using old items or recyclables in the house is one step further in cleaning up the environment. This year the month of October has been designated as  National Reuse Month.

Organisations such as The Regional Waste Offices (three in total), Community reuse Network Ireland, the Irish Charity Shops Association, Free Trade Ireland, Recreate Ireland and the Rediscovery Centre are joining forces to present the broader Ireland with a plan to reduce waste.

Events and workshops will be held nationwide where people will be taught how to reuse and invent old materials at home so that it can be turned into re-usable items.

‘Repair, Remake and Re-imagine’ is the motto for National Reuse Month and that is what it is about, fixing what you have and creating something new from something old. This month is about getting imaginative at home and not only saving yourself money, but also helping the environment.

According to the Environmental Indicator Report of 2014 published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), that is the most recent one, the amount of municipal waste sent to landfill fell from two million tonnes in 2007 to 1.3 million tonnes in 2011.

The report also states that Ireland had the fifth highest rate of packaging recycling, and the third highest rate of household electrical waste collection in the EU in 2011, in terms of kgs per capita.

In 2012 Ireland’s MSW recycling rate was 34% and packaging recycling volumed to 79%, putting Ireland in second place with only Germany producing more package recycling in the EU. The amount of municipal waste per person in 2012 stood at 570 kg.

Minister for Communication, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, TD, said at yesterday’s launch, “National Reuse Month is a new waste prevention initiative to raise awareness about the economic and environmental benefits of reusing everyday items and materials that would otherwise go to waste.

Throughout October, there will be local and regional workshops and events all over Ireland to promote ways for families, businesses and communities to reuse. Donating, refurbishing and repairing items are all forms of reuse and offer people a chance to save or make money, get creative, learn a new skill and be environmentally conscious.

Reuse reduces the volume of waste being discarded while also conserving natural resources, energy and water. Reuse also offers significant economic benefits locally including job creation.”

Some of the events on offer during the month of October will include fashion and furniture upcycling workshops, local information events, fashion shows with local charity shops (Down Syndrome Ireland had one last year), business events, skills demonstrations and lessons (sewing, painting, etc.), introducing an online reuse pledge and art workshops. For a list of programmes you can visit any of these websites:

Eastern Midlands Waste Region
Southern Waste Region
Connacht-Ulster Waste Region

The Nualas performed a song especially for National Reuse Month at yesterday’s launch, here is the lyrics, learn it and make it your mantra for October. Remember to Repair, Remake, Re-imagine.

I had a bag it was going in the bin
I thought hang on a minute I can use it again
I snipped off the handles and put in a new zip
Spanking new hot pants for my holiday trip

Hey don’t be an anti-reuse lump
Don’t throw all that stuff in the municipal dump
Don’t give all your old teddy bears the chop
Bring them on a picnic to the charity shop

Use reuse use it again
Stop before you throw all your stuff in the bin

Use reuse use it some more
Make your stuff into something it wasn’t before

Think of all your stuff that could have more life
Like your fridge your bicycle even your wife
Shrinking your bin bag will make you feel great
Make a vase from a jar, make a stool from a crate

Use reuse it again
Stop before you throw all your crates in the bin

Use reuse use it some more
Make your stuff into something it wasn’t before

‘The Nualas’ song is available at:

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