If you feel like getting creative, we’ve some easy and ingenious ideas to re-use all the different bits of your Dinner Ladies packaging. And we love to hear from you, so let us know if you’ve come up with solutions too!
The insulation bag is brilliant to re-use either as it is, whenever you need a chill pouch for shopping or travelling, or it can easily be cut up and reshaped.
- Cut it up and remake into a small bag to keep your school or office lunch cool and fresh.
- Use across the window as a sun shield in your car on hot days.
- Or if it starts to rain and you don’t have an umbrella in your car, it doubles up as an emergency rain shield, either for you or for a laptop.
- Because it’s padded, it also makes a great emergency waterproof lightweight seat for picnics or school sports days.
- Make your own silver stubby coolers! Cut up the bag into small pieces and use as wrap-around insulation for cans of fizzy drinks or beer or small drinks bottles.
- Cut it up and use tape and ribbon to turn it into a great, sparkly silver padded gift bag for a bottle of wine.
- Keep a couple to use for fancy dress costumes and in craft projects such as purses and picture frames.
- Use as padding whenever you’re storing or packing up dishes. You can cut up the sheets and layer between plates.
The gel ice packs have a secret, incredibly clever and satisfying use!
- You can, of course, just keep these in your freezer and use as you would any other ice packs, for picnics, shopping etc.
- But we reckon the most exciting way to re-use these is to pop the gel in your garden soil. Yes, you read that right! Our gel ice packs will help your garden grow!
- The inner gel is the same material you might buy from the garden centre as a soil additive to retain water - the only difference is, our gel is already hydrated. So, you can dig the gel into your soil when preparing garden beds (use a soil/gel ratio of around 4:1). Or, for pot plants, mix the gel into the bottom half of the pot's soil (it will retain the water better at the bottom).
- Or just simply stir the contents of the gel ice pack into a bucket of water and pour around your plants in the garden. Just be aware that if you use it like this, you'll be able to see the gel crystals on the soil surface.
- To see it all done, watch Katherine's handy tips here.
And the pulp trays are also handy for gardening…
- Rinse out your pulp trays, fill with seed-raising mix and use for growing seeds.
- Depending on what sort of seedlings you’re growing, you can also remove the plastic liner from the pulp tray before you plant your seeds and then, once they’re growing strongly, plant the whole pulp tray plus seedlings in the garden. The pulp tray will simply break down and add to the soil.
The cardboard boxes have a multitude of uses…
- Keep a few of these around if you have space for craft projects in the school holidays. All you need is glue and paint, maybe some smaller boxes, loo roll cardboard tubes, coloured paper scraps, old magazines, and you can make monsters, dogs, cars for dolls and teddies, puppet show theatres and dioramas.
- They also make great hide-outs for cats!
And here’s a reminder on how to recycle all our packaging…
- We try to keep up with new solutions to make all our containers as recyclable as possible.
- The cardboard boxes go in your council bin and our new pulp trays are made from natural wheat straw and sugar cane, so they can go straight into your compost or recycling once you’ve pulled off the inner liner.
- The soft plastic pouches (plus the insulation and those inner liners from the pulp trays) can be rinsed and recycled at the soft plastics bin at your supermarket.
Excited and inspired about how to make the most of the packaging from your next delivery? Click here to browse the menu and put in your order!