Category Archives: Recycling


Instead of throwing out tin cans I punch some holes in the bottom and use them as plant containers for herbs. I have them sitting in a sunny spot in the kitchen. [Painted bright colours, they are also good for a kid’s garden. – Oily Rag Ed’]

Terry Moffitt, North Shore.

I read the tip about using a paper towel cardboard roll for plastic bags. This still involves pulling bags out of it and getting more than one at a time. Rather putting individual bags inside of one bag and pulling them out, start off by putting in inside another and then those inside the next […]

Claire Taylor, Auckland.

Save old dried out tea bags – put in jar and cover with methylated spirits – great fire starters. [Yes, that does work well. You don’t need a lot of meths. Enough so each bag is damp, not dripping. – Oily Eag Ed’]

Waste not want not recycling

Oily raggers tend to be ‘waste not, want not’ types so it’s no surprise that they have lots of ideas to make the most of what others throw out. A.M. writes, “When sandwiches are left over use them by placing them in a roasting dish. Scramble some eggs and pour over the sandwiches. Bake until […]

Paper making

Why not make your own paper? You will need scrap paper, water, a basin, an electric blender or your own pulping device, starch (if you are going to write on the paper with felt tip pen), a few lengths of small-gauge timber, and a small piece of cheesecloth (or muslin cloth). The first step is […]


I use all junk mail for lighting fires, wrapping rubbish, etc. [And an excellent use for junk mail it is too! I can just see oily raggers with “Junkmail please” signs on their letterbox! – Oily Rag Ed’]

Carol, New Plymouth.

If you need to keep food cold when travelling by car, here’s a tried and true tip. Save the plastic bladders from empty wine casks and fill them with enough water so that they lie flat like a brick and freeze them a few days before travelling. Then pack frozen bladders on top of your […]

Canny Scot, Christchurch.

As a Christchurch resident with our wheelie bins supplied I was left with a plastic bin with locking lid. I have found a great use for it, after washing it I got my husband to drill 10 holes in a circle around the lid then 5 holes in an inner circle to fit broom handles. […]