Recycling is the easiest way to break the cycle of waste and give you some warm and fuzzies while your at it.
If you live in a residential area that is provided with a recycling bin, it really doesn’t take too much extra effort to get on board with this movement. Not even your neighbours will know that you are a secret hippy.
This week is Planet Arks’ National Recycling Week. The perfect time to educate ourselves about the do’s and don’ts of that yellow wheelie bin. Seriously, I recently learned so much from my local council website about what I can actually recycle; and it’s almost certainly more than you think. Have you heard the argument about whether cheesy pizza boxes go in the yellow or black bin? Argue no more! Even boxes and bottles with a little bit of food on them can be recycled. Be nice to your bin man though, you might want to rinse out old milk containers so you don’t have a smelly, sour explosion when that thing is ready to blow. Let’s face it, we’ve all done it.
Here are some reasons why you should jump on the recycling bandwagon:
- Recycling paper and plastic products cuts down on the amount of resources required to manufacture new products by up to 50%. The water, electricity, trees and chemicals that make up the original item don’t need to be taken from the earth again, so that giant footprint our shopping habits have been leaving on Mother Earths’ backside is reduced.
- Recycled waste doesn’t go to land fill. This is an obvious point but probably the most important reason to recycle.
- Buying recycled products creates demand, resulting in a greater need for products that are both recyclable and also manufacturing processes that support it. Fighting back against faceless big business and sneaky marketing tactics has such a profound effect on what is available in shops and it is as easy as voting with your wallet. Recycling is only half the job, buying the byproducts of your good deed completes the cycle.
- Learning about what can and can’t be recycled can also have an impact on your shopping habits, like choosing products that can be recycled. Reducing the amount we consume is the best way of protecting the environment and our finances but you don’t have to give up on using your favourite shampoo, just make sure you chuck the container in the right bin when you are done with it.
- Its time to stop passing the buck,. Become aware of where your rubbish goes and take responsibility for what you send out into the world. Staggeringly, every single piece of plastic ever created still exists. Read that again and let it sink in for a minute, I’ll wait….Yes, every single piece. It may not be in its original form. It may be smaller than it was. It may even be microscopic, but its still here. Floating around on the land or in the ocean and causing absolute havoc. You have almost certainly eaten some of it when you had seafood for dinner. Remember, you eat what your food eats.
Think about what happens to those items that you put in the rubbish every day? Is it a case of out of sight out of mind? Do you know where it goes?
If you think you might be a secret hippy too. Don’t worry, there is help available. You can learn more from your local council or from the planet ark website (www.recyclingweek.planetark.org)
Happy National Recycling Week!