Make the most of what you get when you buy wine

Wine VasesView larger image

If you're eco-conscious, you probably pay attention to the packaging when you buy wine, and most of us now have regular doorstep recycling collections to take away glass bottles for reuse.

Of course you can buy wine in a box instead, and recycle the cardboard - although the pouch inside the box might not be suitable for recycling.

But you can make even more direct reuse of your wine's container in all sorts of fun ways around the house.

Rinse out the bottle and remove the label, and you can use it as a rustic vase or even, if it's a screw-cap or the cork is in good condition, as a storage container for rice or macaroni.

If you have lots of corks, consider gluing them to a board to create a grown-up pinboard for the kitchen, which will give you somewhere to keep notes, receipts and menus but will also be a focal point in its own right when empty.

Screw an eye-hook into the end of a cork and you have an instant keyring, with the added benefit that it should float if dropped in a pond or swimming pool - perfect if you work around water or like sailing.

Finally, corks are an ideal way to protect pointy tips of all sorts of things, from screwdrivers hidden away at the bottom of drawers, to knitting needles in your sewing basket, or several pins and darning needles stuck into the cork like a pin cushion.