5 Practical Ways to Up-Cycle

Our restaurant Poco in Stokes Croft, Bristol is aiming to produce zero waste. Step by step we are eradicating packaging that can’t be recycled and finding ways to create less food waste. We leave potatoes unpeeled (best bit, right?) and trim veg tops carefully so that we get the maximum yield, and least compost. If we think food can’t be sold within its shelf life we make delicious tapas while its still fresh and give it to our customers. We offer take away boxes to anyone that has food left from their meal and also consider portion control if it is a regular occurrence.

We’ve also started getting creative with our recycling, thinking about ways that we can reduce it by up-cycling. Here’s 5 ideas that we have found useful.

1) Used coffee grounds make great compost. Coffee is a good source of nitrogen for the soil. If you sprinkle some around the base of your plants with a barrier of broken egg shells this can help deter slugs.

Used coffee grounds make a good nitrogen rich fertiliser

2) Use empty bottles and jam jars for preserving and bottling your own cordials. Sterilise the bottles with boiling water before you use them.

3) Empty tin cans make great holders for cutlery or pen pots. Large olive oil cans are good for plant pots.

Tin can cutlery holder and floor board tables

4) Old scaffold planks are strong and look really nice sanded down and oiled. We’ve made plant pots, tables and shelves out of them. Old floor boards are also a good source of hard wood. We’ve made tables out of oak floor boards and welded steel.

Scaffold plank planters

5) This is my favourite idea. Make old newspapers into roses and put them in used bottles as a table decoration.

Cool websites for inspiring upcycle ideas

http://blog.brightnest.com/2012/04/17/from-trash-to-treasure-five-creative-ways-to-upcycle/

http://craftingagreenworld.com/

http://www.sustainableenterprises.com/Business/coffeefert.htm

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