Next time you are heading to the rubbish bin, stop and ask yourself, “can my waste be recycled?” Never has the need to be environmentally conscious been more pressing than it is today. While at times it may feel like your efforts go unnoticed, it is in fact these small acts carried out by people just like us that have the greatest impact. Whether you are an avid recycler already or, like many of us, guilty of favouring a black bag, understanding why recycling is important can be a great motivator.
To source materials for manufacturing, we mine, deforest, extract, process and refine raw materials. Not only does this use significant amounts of energy, but it also causes:
When we recycle, our waste is repurposed and reused, reducing the impact we have on our environment significantly. Sustainable life on Mars is still pretty far off, so let’s do our part to keep this planet healthy and our air clean.
Aside from the eyesore they present, landfills are harmful for the environment. The more the population can recycle, the less waste ends up in these sites; where it rots, decays and releases harmful greenhouse gasses, and toxins that can contaminate the ground and water sources. There are several ways we can reduce our contribution to landfill:
A surprising amount of today’s waste can in fact be recycled! Be sure to dispose of card, paper, glass, plastic, cans, wood, leftover food, electronics, and even building materials responsibly.
Get creative and save the planet at the same time by upcycling items and turn them into something new. There are countless ideas to be found online such as pallet furniture, plastic bottle planters, old shoe birdhouses and many more.
They say ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ so, before you chuck it away, consider donating unwanted items to charity. There are many charity shops, doorstep collections and donation bins accepting clean clothing, toys, books, electronics, bags and other items ready to benefit those in need.
It is possible to reduce our landfill contribution, and the need to recycle in the first place, by adjusting the way we purchase goods. Many companies are embracing a green approach, by reducing packaging and making it 100% recyclable. Alternatively, you can ditch packaging altogether by buying loose fruit and veg.
By recycling, new products can be made without the need to extract precious natural resources. When we send our reusable waste to landfill, new products are instead manufactured using the Earth’s precious raw materials. These are not in unlimited supply and are becoming less abundant as the years go on. If the planet runs out of natural resources, then the world as we know it will cease to be and life would become unsustainable.
Now, if that isn’t a strong enough incentive to start recycling then we don’t know what is!