Unfortunately, we don’t live on a planet with unlimited resources, and consequently it’s important to get the most out of already existing materials. The effort required to recycle might appear to make a minute difference, but if every individual recycled, there would be huge rewards. If you’re thinking of being a little more environmentally friendly this year, here are some helpful tips to get you started on recycling:
- Get bins purely for recycling
Now, this may seem a little obvious, but one of the first steps to recycling is actually taking the time to find recycling bins. It doesn’t have to be a green bin with a recycle symbol printed on it, it can be as simple as a bin with a marker written “PAPER” and “PLASTIC”. Doing this will make your recycling feel more legitimized, and it will become a system and habit of recycling. Not only that, it will be more time efficient than leaving your recycled items in a pile to sort for yourself later.
- Make an effort to buy things that can be recycled
Understandably, this can be a little difficult. Sometimes it’s inevitable to purchase items that aren’t recyclable, and other times even when there is a recyclable option, you’re a loyal devotee of the brand. However, for those items where you’re willing to be flexible, go for the more environmentally friendly version. Every purchase makes a difference.
- Reuse plastic and glass containers
So many of the food items we buy at super markets are packaged in plastic containers or glass jars. Rather than throwing them out once you’ve emptied their contents, give them a good wash and use them for storing food in the future. For example, glass jars are great for storing beans, rice or grains.
- Always reuse plastic bags
It’s already bad enough to have plastic bags, because unfortunately the majority of them aren’t biodegradable. But if you’re going to have plastic bags in your home, at least find a second use for them. Use them as bin liners, or better, use them as doggie bags when you take your dog on walks.
- Donate things you don’t want anymore, don’t chuck them out
It’s natural to have things we don’t need, but if you’re doing a massive cleaning haul, don’t throw them all in the dumpster. There are people out there that would appreciate those items, so put in a little effort and bring them to St Vincent de Paul’s or Salvos.
- Recycle electronics!
When we think of recycling, we generally think of plastics, paper, and things we throw into the bin. We forget the waste that is created by electronics. Of the 1.5.7 million computers that reached their “end of life” in Australia between 2007 and 2008, only 10% were recycled. Opt for rechargeable batteries, and try to recycle old mobile phone or computers when you can.