Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Tip #21 - Why Buy Tinsel

I've never really understood the whole tinsel thing. You pay money for little strips of mettalic film that then get caught all over everything. That said, I;m obviously in the minority on this one. But who needs t spend good money on new tinsel? Grab some of your old chips bag (I have some in the basement if you want) and cut them up. The inside looks exactly like tinsel.

Whadya think?



Anonymous said...

hey, fab work you're doing! we dont have silver lined chip bags in the UK :(
there is a family based here doing a similar thing see http://myzerowaste.com/

keep it up!
Rachael, Bristol Green Store, UK

DJ Kirkby said...

You could run them through a shredder to get the strips nice and thin like the stuff sold in stores?

Stuart Swineford said...

Sweet idea! If you had a shredder, you could even run them through that, it seems.


Anonymous said...

Its horrible when i see people littering and throwing stuff away. We have cut down so much in our house since we got chickens any food scraps go to them and we recycle which helps alot.
Its amazing how much you have been doing to help the enviroment and stuff! Its great to see people who actually care. I love to know more about the sort of stuff you do.

Nathalie said...

Hi! I love your ideas, I have been wondering what the difference is with the trash being kept in your basement as opposed to a landfill?
Will you make tinsel out of plastic milk bottling? I suppose a good argument is you get to spend time making tinsels with the kids.
Anyway, let me know how you use all that stuf in the basement!

Anonymous said...

Dave you are beyond repair! How long can you save up all of your garbage in your garage before there's no room left? At some point it will have to be disposed of - then where will it go?

And the idea of having worms eat left over food, banana peels, etc seems very unhealthy - without a boubt it atracts nasty flies - and how do you get rid of them with pesticides?

Buying in bulk and fresh fruit at a Farmer's Market is one thing - but you are going to the extreme - seems unecessary and unhealthy in my opinion! And cut up chip bags for decorations on the holiday tree? You are out of your mind! Everyone knows tinsel can be used on the family tree for years and years...you simly take off the strands and store them with other ornaments. YOU REALLY NEED TO GET A LIFE!!!!

Anonymous said...

I found this link from an article about you on BT Yahoo and I think you are one great guy with one amazing idea! Maybe you could ask your people in your community if they could give you stuff they dont need, they help you to make new things out of them and then you could either use them, give them away or sell them and then just repeat the cycle over and over.
I really admire you,

Mr G
Kent, UK

Liiiisssssaaaaa said...

Chip bags?? How would you soften them up tho?? Maybe beat'em down a little, haha.. I guess it could work! :)

Anonymous said...

I have been reusing the same tinsel for the last 21 years. I just pull it off the tree and store it every year.

Dave said...

All the trash in the boxes would have normally gne to the landfill. I'm just keeping everything to have some cognizance of it and then working to reduce based on that knowledge.


Dave said...

Thanks for your questions. I enjoy having critical thinkers stop in.

To answer your points.
1. The garbage that i am saving will end up in a museum of trash in connecticut to teach kids about reducing. Since i have only 32 pounds of trash for the year, this is a significant difference. Even if it ended up in the landfill, it'd be much less than it would have been had i not done this little project.

2. The worms are actually extremly healthy and in fact a natural solution. I have friends who have a composter in the kitchen and you'd never even know. There is the occasionaly fruit fly but I've been doing this for over a year a (I started composting early) and have had almost no negative experiences.

3. The tinsel idea was actually a little more tongue in cheek humorous than I think you thought it was but there also is some truth to thinking different. I would take issue with the idea that everyone knows to save their tinsel becuase the week after christmas, there are trees all over front curbs covered with tinsel.

Anyway, thanks for your note. I'll work on the life thing, but mine seems pretty decent at the moment.

Happy holidays


Anonymous said...

I like your style Dave. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

My family uses strings of big gold beads instead of tinsel. We started that because our cat used to eat the tinsel, but it's a lot easier to pull 4 foot strings of beads off a tree every year. It looks just as pretty and sparkly.

Distraction Cake said...

Hi Dave,

I think your tinsel idea is great. I actually have metal tinsel, it's twisted (so the light catches it)and hooked at one end to hang on the tree. I think it's made of aluminum, but I'm not positive.

One thing I inherited from my Granny, is a book on how to turn cans, tin or aluminum, into snowflakes.

I think you're an inspiration for what you've done this year.


Lou said...

Keep it up, Dave!

Wendy aka Cheeky said...

What a clever idea!

Eileen said...

We have used the same tinsel for 40 years!

Lori said...

Way to go Dave!!
You are doing a great job of explaining your methods. You are making a difference.

Anonymous said...

Dave, what you're doing is amazing. Clearly though, you are in a minority with your open-mindedness. I'm still perplexed at the lack of basic recycling in my neck of the woods. We are in a suburb of Rochester, NY. My family of four recycles every last thing we can, which results in our garbage can being less full. We use an old can that is somewhat small, and in the spring, summer and fall we put compost out in a garden we have in the back yard. I'm a hippie though, I'l admit, and sort of an outscast around here. Our neighbors use those giant garbage cans with wheels, and the recycle bins don't seem very full. So what I'd like to know is how to get the "WalMart crowd" to recycle more. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

I have used the same tinsel for 50 years. I havent had anything too eat or drink in this time either except water from the tap because I hate garbage.

Dave said...

I always love the anonymous quotes.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dave said...

Hey Anonymous from Rochester,
I think the best thing to do is stay the course, use logic, and realize it may take a while. I always like to ask them why wasting so much makes sense. Ask them why it's a good idea versus wasting less.


VG said...

Are you talking about the short strands of tinsel (< 1 ft.) where you hang a bunch of them from the branch tips, or the long strands of tinsel (4 - 6 ft.; they look like really long, metallic boas) that wrap around the tree, or both?

My family has always had the long strands, and we re-use them every year. Growing up, I remember us getting more tinsel twice: once because we got a bigger tree after the old one finally broke down, and once to replace some of the strands that my parents had brought into their marriage because they'd just gotten too ratty.

We tried the short strands once (for nostalgia, I think, because that's what my mother grew up with) and that was hell. It was near impossible to get off, and there was still some of it on there when the old tree went a few years later. With the long strands, though, almost no tinsel stays on the tree, and they can easily be reused for decades as people here have pointed out.

Dave said...

More the small tinsel than the long, but good point.