Friday, 20 January 2012

# 20 Red rubber bands

I like to recycle and if something is free I will adopt it and reuse it. The red rubber bands that the postman leaves lying around everywhere are a perfect example of this. I find them really annoying and I don't know why they have to litter the streets. Apparently Royal Mail get through 2 million PER DAY. If they took them back they wouldn't have to keep on buying new ones.

But in any case I have now been collecting them for about 3 years and I use them for all sorts of things - to keep my ageing filofax together, to tie up freezer food bags and in the garden for various things.

The BBC did some research a while back on other uses for a Royal Mail rubber band. Here are some of the best ones I came across on other websites doing similar work:

Rubber band littering has definitely become a problem
  • Use them as cheap Kabbalah wrist bands. Madonna wears one and buying them from the Kabbalah Centre costs $26 for enough red string to make seven bands
  • Consider them a collector's item. There was a fad among scooter-riding children in 2009 to collect the bands by putting them over the T-bar and dropping them down the central column. Encourage your child to collect the most
  • Consider the bending down and the picking up of the bands as exercise. It shouldn't be too hard to keep up a regular rhythm as the red bands were chosen by the Royal Mail so they were easy to spot
  • Make a red rubber band ball
  • Gather them and sell them back to the Royal Mail
  • Bicycle clips (yep I’ve done this one)
  • Emergency belt loops
  • Pencil-top erasers
  • Waistband expanders
  • Chopping board stabilisers
  • Anti-slip devices for mixing spoons
  • Anti-squeak devices for bed slats
  • Saucepan handle covers
  • Jar openers
  • Cable ties
  • An aide memoire
  • Barter for stamps
  • Cat toys
  • Gardening string
  • Handlebar fasteners
and here are some of the stupidest ideas I've found:
  • Use them to mark Chinese new year. Red is considered lucky by many in China and is worn during festivities. It's a mere 314 days until the next festivities.
  • Guitar strings (I don’t think this one actually works)
  • Hair bands (if you’ve ever done it, you’ll know what a stupid idea this is)
  • A teddy bungee jump (why?)
Do you use them for anything else? Let me know.

All the rage with the kids

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