Recycling is so much more enjoyable when you get the second use out of something. I take my cans, bottles, plastic, paper and card down to the local recycling centre; I take old clothes to charity shops and pass books along to friends. However, knowing I have got as much use out of something as I possibly can, rather than discarding it because it is getting worn or tatty gives me real pleasure.
My parents and grandparents' generations embraced this ‘make do and mend’ attitude wholeheartedly, yet it is something that a lot of people today have little concept of. It seems to me that many are too eager to have the next model, the newest piece of technology, the latest design and simply throw away those which no longer fit with their forward-thinking aesthetic. As a country we waste so much and it is rapidly becoming a real bug-bear of mine.
This week’s small step towards wasting less was inspired by the growing collection of empty jars in my kitchen cupboards. These come in handy for mixing salad dressings in, storing pins and buttons or adding a sweet shabby-chic touch to the house, dotted about with tea-lights in. Taking this one step further, I thought I could make them into longer-lasting lanterns, by melting down some old candles and a little wax I had spare in my craft box.
I simply melted the wax into a liquid, using a glass measuring jug sitting in a heated water-bath on the hob. The wicks were taken out of the old candles carefully (you can buy full lengths of wick from any good craft shop if you prefer) and tied in place within the jar. The melted wax was then poured in and left to cool until set.
Et voila! Recycled candles in recycled jars.