What’s with all the keys? There are millions and millions of unwanted keys, often causing huge confusion, if you need to find a key that you want, attached to keyrings containing dozens of keys, that you have no idea what they are for. Avoid leather keyrings, and instead choose ethically-made key fobs and chains.
Go through all your unused keys, and know that you can recycle them with most scrap metal at household recycling centres (remove tags and addresses). You can also recycle metal allen keys with mixed metals. You can also send keys (and stamps) to Stamps N All to help Barn Owl Trust. The Canaan Trust (Nottingham) collects old keys to help homeless people, by selling the metal.
Locks have been around for thousands of years, proving that there still thieves back then. Locksmiths were treasured experts, who could make new designs, in an era when people could pick locks. The most famous lock-picker was of course Harry Houdini, who was an apprentice to a locksmith as a child. In 1904, the Daily Mirror challenged him to escape from ‘unpickable’ handcuffs designed by a locksmith from Birmingham. Over 4000 people watched for over an hour, until he did indeed escape from them. Birds can also pick locks (some birds have got through padlocks, to escape their caged lives).
How to Prevent Lost Keys
If you’re a bit forgetful, losing your keys likely happens a lot. The best tips from experts to stop expensive call-outs to locksmiths are:
- Keep keys in the same place, when not in use. However, do not keep them by the window, as burglars often notice them when ‘key-fishing’.
- Paint a keyring with glow-in-the-dark paint or use a whistling keyring, so they are easily found if lost.
- Use internal pockets in bags, to store your keys.
- Invest in alternatives to keys, like smart locks. These are too expensive for someone’s house, but sometimes a good idea for larger homes and businesses. They eliminate need for keys, can be operated by phone and make your home more secure.
Tips to Prevent Key Theft
- Don’t leave spare keys outside (under a pot!) or in a garage or shed.
- Don’t leave window keys in their locks (you’d be surprised)
- Don’t leave notes saying ‘I’m out, back soon’ on your door.
Ethically-Made Key Fobs & Chains
These ethically-made key fobs & chains are far better, than choosing ones made from plastic or leather. Many people wrongly believe that leather is always a by-product of the meat industry. In fact, a lot of leather goods are made specifically for fashion, often in countries with little or no animal welfare laws.
And although most vegan leather is not yet totally biodegradable (Mirum is a new greener plant-based leather coming onto the market), it’s a lot less polluting than the tanning process, and obviously kinder to animals.
Watson & Wolfe Keychain Wallet features a compact trifold design, 9 card pockets, 1 pocket for notes, and an eyelet for attaching a key/belt chain (not included). This is good, as you don’t want to drop any keychain that’s not totally biodegradable, in case it drops down a storm drain, and goes into the sea.
This vegan leather AirTag Keyring is sent in eco packaging, and made from a soft durable plant-based leather to protect your AirTag from drops and scratches. Made from a strong easy-to-recycle poly-carbonate material, it has an easy-to-use clip mechanism. Just clip onto your keyring, bag or any other loop to make sure your device is secure. In black or red.
This Bicycle Chain Key Fob is made from an upcycled bicycle chain. Carefully handmade to order, this is hard-wearing, lightweight and comfortable.
These Charm Key Rings are made from recycled stainless steel, in various pretty designs. Sent in a recycled cardboard box, they are made by Smoke and Ash in 8 styles, from classic larger charms all cast in silver and attached to a steel split ring. You can also wear them as accessories attached to your jeans.