More and more, people are coming to understand the importance of conservation.We really embrace a ‘waste not, want not’ way of life. Recycling is the name of the game, with recycling tips and campaigns launched all over the world to get everyone to recycle everything from their potato peelings to their tin cans.
Taking an eco-friendly and environmentally conscious attitude to how we recycle our waste materials makes a huge difference to the way we live our lives daily – and the way we shape the future of the planet for future generations. We can all take a pro-active approach to doing our bit and making a positive contribution when it comes to reducing unnecessary waste and protecting the planet.
Recycling, however, can often be a mind-boggling and perplexing affair, if you are new to recycling. In addition, there are often updates to what can be recycled and how so here are a few recycling tips to get you started.
Recycling Tips For The Most Common Household Trash
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Here then, are some of the most common items when it comes to household waste – along with a few pointers as to how you can best recycle them.
Recycling Tips For Paper
Whether it’s newspapers, magazines or phone directories, there are plenty of ways you can dispose of paper materials sensibly and responsibly.
Your local recycling bank is the most obvious option, as is the paper recycling bin provided by the local council. But how about these little nuggets of eco-friendly gold?
While there will always be a place for the traditional newspaper, the majority of publications now publish their work online – so log on rather than buying newspapers.
We all get incensed with the avalanche of fliers and junk mail that crash through our letter box, so slap a ‘No junk mail please’ sticker on your letter box.
Be imaginative with your paper recycling – use it as scrap paper or even packing material.
If you use a printer regularly, why not set it to use both sides of A4. And if you use a lot of paper, buy recycled whenever you can.
Recycling Tips For Plastic
Did you know there about fifty different types of plastic? These include PVC, PET, and HDPE, spanning the gamut of transparent and opaque bottles.
Most councils cater for the disposal of plastic bottles, but the alternative is to deposit them at your local recycling bank. Other sage advice is to give them a thorough clean out before you recycle them. And when you buy plastic bottles, buy them in bulk so you reduce any unnecessary packaging waste. Plastic bottles can be reused in crafts.
And carrier bags – which many supermarkets now charge a peppercorn fee – can be re-used next time you do your weekly grocery shop. Some supermarkets even house collection points to deposit old, used ones.
Recycling Tips For Glass
Generally separated into its three colors – brown, green and clear – it goes without saying you should show some canny caution when dealing with glass or broken glass, and use gloves to protect yourself.
Again, your local glass bottle recycling facility is a top option, with many supermarkets facilitating their own glass recycling banks, and councils supplying glass-specific bins.
And rather than disposing of them on the recycling scrap heap, how about re-using them in a slightly more creative way? For example, washed out jam jars make great small containers, whilst bottles can be ingeniously used a vase for your latest floral decoration.
As any amateur Alan Titchmarsh will tell you, compositing is one of the most fantastic methods of recycling and garden (and kitchen) waste. Essentially the decomposition of plant and animal related matter, compost is made up of organic materials such as vegetable cuttings, teabags and plant trimmings.
The composting process – which generally takes between three to nine months – produces a dark, crumbly by-product that gives these things a second life to be used a garden soil and fertilizer. Bacteria breaks down the material (with insects and worms helping demolish the tougher bits), resulting in nutrient-rich fertilizer.
Creating your own compost bin is easy, too – you can buy them at most DIY stores.
Recycling Tips For Paint
The house needs be kept up together and most of us are partial to a spot of impulse Bank Holiday decorating – but oh, how to dispose of that left over Dulux?
And it’s not just paint either – other items such as paintbrushes, oil filters and car oil need to recycled properly, otherwise they can be very harmful to the environment.
A few basic but essential tips when it comes to paint disposal: never pour oil or paint down the drain; read the recycling and disposal instructions on the packaging; check for local civic amenity sites who take engine oil/paint for recycling.
You can always donate leftover paint and brushes, as there are always other people who can re-use them. And again, buy in bulk if possible to minimise waste, and use eco-friendly alternatives whenever you can.
Recycling Tips For Batteries
Batteries are used in a variety of household items – kids’ toys and remote controls (you can even get those as recycled spare accessories)– but when they’re all out of juice you have to be extremely careful how you dispose of them.
All batteries are classed as hazardous waste as they contain some dangerous chemicals, so shouldn’t be thrown out with the normal rubbish if you can help it.
Whilst many counties and garages run battery collection programs, you could also use Earth 911 to locate a battery recycling facility near you.
Another eco-friendly, recycling-savvy alternative is to use rechargeable batteries instead. They’re the most environmentally friendly option, as they can last up to several hundred charging cycles – meaning less overall waste.
If you have electronic waste you are looking to dispose of an environmentally friendly way, you may want to check out this post by Custom Made for tips on dealing with e-waste.
Have you got any good suggestions for disposing of common household rubbish? Share in the comments.