Our Smart Living Team works all year round to help you save money and reduce waste, but spring is an especially good time to check out all the ways they can help you make the most of your home and garden.
In the home
If you’re planning on revamping your living room, there are lots of charities throughout Hampshire who will take your unwanted items. As well as doing your bit to reduce waste, passing on furniture, clothes or other household bits and pieces to charities can help those in need, to buy items at an affordable price.
Smart Living hosts a Directory of local reuse or repair organisations. It’s a quick and easy tool to help you give your unwanted items a new life. You can use it to search by the type of item you want to donate, as well as by postcode, to find charities near to you.
Charities can also be fantastic places to pick up unusual or individual pieces of furniture at reasonable prices. Often the furniture will be of a much higher quality than buying something new for a similar price, so it will last longer. You can even get creative and repaint or reupholster it to match your new colour scheme. Our Reuse and Repair toolkit has plenty of ideas and projects to inspire you.
Paint the town red
If you have any unwanted paint left over from all that redecorating, you may be interested in Crown Paints’ annual ‘Kick out the Can’ campaign. You can take your unwanted tins of paint or wood stain to any Crown Decorating Centre for recycling before 30 April (all brands accepted) and, as a thank you, you’ll receive a 20% discount voucher redeemable throughout 2017. Now in its fifth year, the campaign has collected more than 50,000 tins of unwanted paint nationwide since its launch in 2013, resulting in thousands of litres of paint being given a new lease of life and donated to community projects and deserving causes.
If you’re planning a wardrobe revamp, don’t hit the High Street until you’ve checked out the many ways you can make the most of your current clothes. Whether it’s a simple repair, or tutorials on creating a new look from an existing piece, you can get a great new look and use the money you spend on a night out, to show it off.
With little ones to look after, or perhaps one on the way, there’s a lot for parents to think about… and nappies may not be top of the list. Real Nappy Week is 24-30 April. It’s a good reminder that disposable nappies are not the only choice available.
Reusable nappies now come in a range of colours and fabrics that look just like disposables and are as easy to put on and take off. Most don’t require soaking and can even be washed in the washing machine. Of course, washing and drying takes time and effort, but they can work out cheaper in the long run, especially if used again for future siblings, as disposables can cost over £400 per year. Ultimately parents will decide what suits their family best; indeed a mixed approach of reusable and disposable may be preferred, but reusable nappies offer a big chance to save some cash at a time which can be very expensive for new families. To find out more, see the Go Real website.
Don’t forget the garden!
Spring’s a great time to start giving your garden some TLC, and what better way than treating it to some lovely homemade compost? Look out for our Smart Living Composting Clinic for advice and great offers on compost bins at Andover Market on Thursday 11 May, and make sure you check out our top composting hints and tips in next month’s Your Hampshire.