We were very pleased when recycling was, at last, introduced to Cyprus a couple of years ago. The trucks come round every Monday night, and I put out a bag of mixed plastics/metal/drink containers about once a month when we've collected sufficient to fill it at least half-way.
I also put out paper once or twice per month, depending primarily on how much junk mail has arrived. However, I have not yet had to buy any bags for paper recycling; we were told that we could use cardboard boxes if we preferred, and so far I seem to have a plentiful supply of suitable sized boxes. The motto of recycling is of course, 'reduce, reuse, recycle' (at least in the UK), so in using boxes for holding my recycling, I am at least re-using them. Reducing is tricky; I do try to reduce the plastic bags I collect, but workers in shops are very keen to give them out, and I do re-use them all for collecting dirty cat litter, or for lining bins.
It's also difficult to reduce the number of cardboard boxes that enter our home. Any time we order anything from the UK, it's likely to arrive in one or more boxes, well-packed and clearly labelled. I'm always pleased when items are packed inside with polystyrene beads of some kind, as I re-use those to pour into the beanbag where I sit and read. They gradually seem to get squashed, so a steady supply of top-up beads, as provided free by various mail-order companies, is very welcome.
However, the cardboard boxes were getting a little out of hand recently, so I decided to re-use one of them as a simple container to take my walking shoes when I come in. We have a two-tier table by the front door, but I didn't want to put muddy shoes directly on the lower surface (and they have been really quite muddy after some of my recent early morning walks) - yet I did need a place to put them, to remind me to take them off as soon as I arrive home!
Creating such a container was the work of a moment once I had the idea. Creative crafts are not my thing, but a bit of parcel tape around the edge held the flaps in place, and my new outdoor shoe container was ready:
It is not a thing of beauty [that was an example of the Great British Understatement] but it's out of the way, and convenient.
However, Tessie assumed I had created a new bed for her; she's not quite such a box-dweller as our other cats, preferring large spaces to tight fits. But she did like the fact that I provided a nice hard surface (in the form of shoes) to rub her face against if she has an itch, and even some cat toys (in the form of laces) for times when she gets bored.
Here she is having a wash..
Who would have guessed that a random box could be a wardrobe, a bed, a playroom and even a bath....?