How to Recycle your life
With environmental protection and climate change both hot-button issues, it’s important to carefully assess the contributions you make toward preserving the planet for future generations. One place to start is with how much waste you produce. Taking a close look at what you buy—and what you throw away—can give you a good idea of how you can work to reduce your carbon footprint. Adopting a few lifestyle changes that embrace reuse and recycling can go a long way toward this, not to mention set a good example for others. The tips below can help you get started.
Reuse wherever you can. Getting as many uses out of everyday items you would normally throw away is a good recycling habit to develop. Old envelopes, scrap paper, and drafts or misprints of reports can be used for notes, drawings, and crafts. Newspapers and packaging materials can also be used for crafts, as well as storage. Plastic bags are perfect for picking up and disposing of animal waste or lining waste baskets. Whenever possible, buy products with reusable containers, either for upcycling purposes, or to refill. One great example of this is a beer growler, which you can fill up with your favorite brews again and again, and never have to add a bottle to your recycling bin.
Upcycle to make things better. Upcycling is all about taking things and making them better instead of just throwing them out. From turning plastic bottles into watering cans to repurposing old drawers into shelves, there are instructions for all kinds of do-it-yourself projects available on the internet to help you turn old things into new ones. (Check out Pinterest for a wealth of upcycled DIY projects!) Most of the time, the only things upcycling requires (besides the recycled material) are basic tools and a good work ethic. If you feel like you aren’t crafty enough to take on some of the bigger projects, start with smaller ones that use easily modified materials, like plastic.
Less is more. Reducing waste doesn’t have to be a hassle. It might sound like a major overhaul of your daily life, but in reality, reducing waste is all about keeping it simple. The less waste you produce, the less you have to worry about, both for yourself and for the planet. Buy items made out of recycled materials, as they are kinder to the environment. You could even start a compost pile to keep food waste out of the garbage can. Even if you live in an apartment, there are easy and convenient ways to do this, so that you can have nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden or house plants. After implementing a few of these ideas into your day-to-day, you’ll see why reducing your waste is actually easier than simply throwing things out.
Top 10 Ways to Reduce Waste [Rethink Recycling]
Reusing Things:100 Ideas of How to Reuse Commonly Thrown Away Items [Mother Earth News]
Reuse Everyday Items [Recycling-Guide.org UK]