It’s National Recycling Week!

7-13 Nov 2016

Here at FoodFaith, this week we have been celebrating all things recycled, re-used, and re-imagined. National Recycling Week is a great annual opportunity to skill share and take a fresh look at the waste we produce.

What's it all about?

Every year since 1996, Planet Ark has run National Recycling Week (NRW), making 2016 its 21st year (let’s make it a good one!).  Planet Ark lists the aims of the event as ‘promoting kerbside, industrial, and community recycling initiatives’ and ‘giving people the tools to minimise waste and manage material resources responsibly at home, work, and school’. At FoodFaith, we love tools. We love them because they are empowering – they show people that it is within their reach to effect their environment, and build the type of world in which they want to live. Throughout the week Planet Ark runs events all over the country which empower people through sharing knowledge and skills. To look for events near you, or if you would like to register an event, go to

Additionally, all year round Planet Ark provides information about recycling and resources for organising an inititive in your local area. They make it quick and easy to find out whether you are recycling as effectively as you could be. Even if you are a seasoned recycler – it’s worth a read, some things may surprise you! For example, Marrickville Council provides four free drop off events each year to dispose of e-waste and unwanted chemicals. Blacktown City Council is holding a similar inititive all this week to drop off, or swap unwanted paint (which often contains nasty chemicals which you wouldn’t want to put down the sink where it will find its way into our water ways). Follow the link above for more information on any aspect of NRW.

How can I get started?

Although we are fans of all things sustainable, here at FoodFaith we’re focusing on recycling in the garden and the kitchen – both hotspots for recycling opportunities in the home! One of the biggest obstacles facing the sustainability movement currently is the widespread belief that changing your behaviours to reduce your environmental impact is difficult and time consuming – NOT TRUE!

You CAN reduce your footprint in a meaningful way, and your actions DO make a difference.


Here are some ideas to get you started:

Glass jars are indispensable

Use them to store rice, lentils, pasta, oats – anything. You can even grow your own sprouts on your kitchen counter – as we demonstrated at our stall at Sustainability Lane (an annual sustainable living festival organised by Lane Cove Council). Better yet – if there are any stores near you which allow you to bulk buy and bring your own container, glass jars can reduce the amount of plastic packaging you consume to almost nothing! If there aren’t, consider approaching local grocers and promoting the idea.



Tin Can Climber Tower

This seriously takes about fifteen minutes to make. Just use a screwdriver or a large nail to bang some holes in the bottom of the cans, thread them onto twine or wire, and get planting! Climbing plants such as beans and peas can then be trained up the wire to the next can, and eventually you will have a very aesthetically pleasing food-producing tower of vines!


Pallet Planter 

Part of the appeal of this idea is that you can get pallets for free. Lots of businesses have to pay someone to come and remove their disused pallets so they will be happy to have someone come and take them for free. Always ask though, as some companies deliver goods on pallets and then come back and collect them for reuse. After that you will need some chicken wire or similar, and some canvas or hessian. Use u-nails or a staple gun to put a chicken wire floor on each level, then a layer of cloth to hold in the dirt. In the planter pictured we used an old hessian coffee sack which we picked up from Reverse Garbage (a great resource by the way). Again, this can be made inside half an hour.

Photography: Lilli Barto

Photography: Lilli Barto

Photography: Kristine Abalos

Photography: Kristine Abalos

Photography: Lilli Barto

Photography: Lilli Barto

Anything can be a planter!

Photography: Lilli Barto

Photography: Lilli Barto

Get creative - we picked up this filing cabinet which was donated to the bower for $30. We got three raised garden beds out of it, so that’s $10 each. Beat that Bunnings.

Speaking of recycled planters – we are gearing up to add a whole bunch of them to the Planting Seeds FoodFaith Garden in Hughs Park, Lane Cove. We have received a generous donation of five disused wine barrels, which will become ten planters (because we will cut them in half). Additionally we will be adding vertical pallet gardens like the one above all around the fence of the garden. If you would like to contribute to the working bee where we construct and place these, or you would be interested in claiming one of them as your personal plot, please contact us at

Until next time friends,

Waste not want not

Recycling is limited only by imagination

Love and Warm Wishes from the FoodFaith Team