How you can recycle everyday items and go green at home
Recycling saves energy, trees, and money while reducing both greenhouse gas emissions and air and water pollution. It eliminates the need to build new landfills, benefits local jurisdictions, and is good for the greater economy.
Thus, as a culture, we generate quite a helping of waste each year. By recycling, we can reap these above mentioned benefits, and more. So, let’s find out how you can recycle everyday items, become a little greener in the process, and, in the end, make the world a little bit more habitable for the next generations.
First Things First (Reduce and Reuse)
“Reduce, reuse, and recycle:” Have you heard the phrase recently? Most likely, you have. It’s ingrained in our memory banks from a very early age.
Columbia University offers a few easy to implement ideas in order to reduce our impact and become a little bit greener in everyday life. They cover ways to save energy, water, gas, and more, with simple yet interesting notions, such as:
- Using CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) instead of more energy consuming incandescent bulbs
- Washing your clothing in cold water as often as humanly possible; almost 85 percent of the energy used to wash clothes goes to heating the water. As well, use Dryer Balls in order to get laundry to dry up to 25 percent faster
- Take shorter showers and install a low-flow shower head to boot
- Walk or bike to work instead of taking the car in order to cut down on expensive gas purchases and noxious emissions
- Skip bottled water altogether — Instead, try a water filter on your tap in order to limit plastic consumption and waste
Here are some ideas on how to reuse, as well. Ideas such as:
- Borrow from the library
- Use a reusable water bottle, hopefully made of aluminum and not plastic
- And many, many more
Simple, yet effective tips on maximizing this “reduce and reuse” philosophy can be implemented by everyone. In order to make our world greener, healthier, and happier, let’s take a look below at our third part of the equation: recycle.
Tips for Better Recycling Methods
It’s important to find your state-specific guidelines for recycling because each will have their own set of rules and regulations to follow. Tree Hugger — a Discovery Company — offers a wealth of great ideas to improve your recycling acumen. Here are a few to start you off on the right foot:
- Buy recycled: Almost everything these days can be found in recyclable form, and in doing so, you’ll be supporting the recycling movement
- Make sure to keep your old electronics — cell phone, computer, VCR, and the like — out of the trash bin as they may contain mercury and other harmful additions; sites like Recycle My Cell Phone will offer proper ways to dispose of older phone models. There are also E-waste disposal centers. In California, the CA.gov site offers great information on the subject. Nationwide, the EPA.gov site offers further insight into ways in which organizations can go green specific to where they are in the country
- Donate clothing, boxes, and more, in order to keep it out of the trash container
Tree Hugger offers many more ideas on better recycling methods, its history, and recycling facts. In the end, with a better understanding of state-specific guidelines and a few of these simple and helpful tips, we can start making a difference in our world. So, let’s get started today!
Columbia.edu: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Tree Hugger: How to Green Your Recycling.
Above photo attributed to mksfly