Recycle, Reuse, Reduce – Tips and Ideas

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We are all familiar with the terms recycle, reuse, reduce; three brilliant ways you can reduce your amount of waste, save energy and protect your environment. However, the practice of these three Rs should not be limited only to Earth Day and Environment Day alone. It should be a part of our daily life instead. Here is a collection of tips that reduce the load of household rubbish and waste and save energy.

Recycle

Aluminum cans: Empty soda and juice cans are made of aluminum that is 100% recyclable. Recycling cans to make new ones only takes 5% of the energy used in making a new one from scratch.

Paper: Paper forms about 1/3 of the industrial waste in the United States. Recycling paper conserves resources, saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Plastic bottles: Studies show that 2.5 million plastic bottles are thrown away per hour in America. Recycling bottles uses 2/3 less energy than manufacturing it from raw materials.

Glass: Glass bottles and jars are 100% recyclable and can be recycled a countless number of times without losing quality. One recycled bottle saves enough energy to power a TV for one and half hours.

Cardboard: This forms a major portion of waste, in the form of pizza boxes, cereal boxes, and other kinds of packaging. Though most of these are biodegradable, it would be a good idea to recycle them and reduce pollution.

Batteries: Non-rechargeable, single-use batteries contain a lot of components that can be recycled such as zinc, manganese and steel. Recycling batteries help conserve natural resources like metal and minerals and save energy.

TV: An average American household has three TV sets out of which, only one might be functional. Recycling old TVs helps recover plastic, metal, and glass, and prevents environmental pollution.

Plastic: Plastic is used to manufacture a significant number of products that we use daily, like containers, bags, utensils, toys, furniture, appliances and computers. Recycling them reduces the amount of energy needed to create virgin plastic.

Cloth: Old and damaged clothes that cannot be donated can be recycled to make car seat padding, industrial blankets, insulation materials, cushions for pillows and toys, and cleaning rags.

Ink Cartridges: If you own an office that produces large quantities of inkjet cartridges, toner cartridges, and toner bottles it is a good idea to recycle them. You can also choose to refill them.

Reuse

Glass jars, pots, and bottles: You can clean them and use them to store dried food items like grains and beans or sauces and jams. Make sure that the jars have an air-tight lid.

Magazines: You can donate magazines to the nearest charity centers. You can get a lot of DIY craft ideas and other information by looking at online magazines.

Broken plates, ceramics and pottery: You can use the broken pieces of ceramic and pottery as drainage material for houseplants. Get creative and use them to make a décorative art piece.

Carpet: If you have decided to rip off your old carpet due to allergens and dust mites, don’t toss it into the garbage right away. You can use it to weatherproof the doghouse or cut it and use it as a scratching post for your cat.

Crates: Instead of disposing of wooden crates, you can use them to create storage spaces, shelves, desks, bedside tables, wine racks and with a bit of practice, even sofas.

Crayons: Any household with kids will have loads of broken stubs of crayons lying around in different corners of the house. They can be melted to make new crayons.

CDs and DVDs: With near endless storage space on your phone, tablet, laptop and USB devices we no longer use CDs. Old piles of CDs can be reused to make decorative craft items.

Reduce

Shopping Bags: Instead of using plastic bags each time you shop, bring your own reusable shopping bags. This reduces the number of plastic bags dumped in landfills.

Straws: Avoid plastic straws while drinking. America alone dumps more than 500 million straws every day and these cannot be recycled.

Microbeads: These are tiny bits of plastic found in exfoliating soaps, facial scrubs, and toothpaste. They do not degrade and thus, pollute the water table. Use products that contain natural exfoliants like pumice, walnut and apricot shells or salt.

Plastic Water Bottles: While bottled water is convenient, the bottles take years to decompose. Reusable water bottles minimize pollution, conserve energy and they are also inexpensive.

Disposable Items: Choose durable items rather than disposable items. Always opt for the durable counterpart of products like razors, plates, cups, food containers, nappies, and toiletries to reduce a significant amount of garbage.