Waste not, want not: How to make the most of what you’ve got

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On a surface level, Coronavirus is bad news for shopaholics. Even minimalist consumers may be frustrated by their dwindling supplies during quarantine. However, there are huge benefits to spending less – not only will you save money and space, but you can also save the environment. Now that you can’t so easily restock your cupboards or wardrobes, why not take a look around you and get creative? Here are some ways you can entertain yourself and reduce household waste at the same time.

Use up odd ingredients

If you’re having trouble buying certain ingredients, or you are trying to avoid hitting the supermarket, now’s the time to check the pantry. Whether you find obscure spices and dried fruits or exotic souvenirs gifted by friends, there’s sure to be a recipe that fits the brief. Check out some simple lockdown larder recipes, or simply search for your key ingredient to find inspiration. You never know, you might develop a new staple dish to add to your repertoire.

Recycle old clothes into new looks

Now that the fashion walk has been put on hold and most of us spend our days in our pyjamas, you could start renewing your hangers, ready for that delightful day when we are finally released. Of course, you can’t easily order online, so instead, it’s time to be inventive. If you have any old clothes you don’t wear, see if you can upcycle them into new styles. Ladies can requisition menswear if they want a baggy vintage look, or do some tailoring on old items to give them a snugger fit. Alternatively, adapt your winter clothes for the sunnier months by cutting them down to shorts and crop tops.

Spruce up your garden for the summer

Those lucky enough to have a garden can use this time to revive their greenery. If you have any seeds that need planting, this is your chance, or you could try taking cuttings in order to cultivate new growth. Tidy up beds and borders and if you haven’t turned your soil, take this opportunity. Now is also a great time to consider making your own nutrient-rich compost. Throw your organic waste into a separate bin and check out this step by step guide in order to run your garden sustainably.

Ditch the hardware manuals and do it yourself

You might not be able to go to B&Q, but that doesn’t stop you from doing some home improvement. Give tired-looking furniture a new look by giving it a fresh coat of paint (use any leftovers from the last time you decorated) or sanding it down for a distressed shabby chic look. Repurpose unused items from the attic into new pieces: build a retro coffee table from old suitcases or create simple storage from old crates for that minimalistic yet classy London look.

Rosamund Kelby

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