In the United States alone, about 80% of what’s in our landfills could have been recycled. We throw out more than any other nation — an estimated 30% of the total waste in the world — from papers and metals to electronics and plastics, such as water bottles, and some of it even ends up in our oceans and waterways. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of ways to recycle at home that make it easy to “go green.” Why recycle? Because it will cut down on the amount of waste in our landfills and water, and it can also contribute to better air quality as the need to produce more disposable items decreases.
If you’re looking for solutions to cut down on waste at home, check out these simple ways to recycle at home every day.
Paper is, by far, the easiest material to recycle. If you don’t already have a paper recycling bin at home, be sure to get one from your local recycling company; it’s the perfect place to put newspapers, junk mail, and other waste instead of in the trash can. Also, limit the amount of paper you use on your home’s printer. Have extra paper left over from a print job? Give it the kids for art projects, or use it as scrap paper to take messages by the phone.
Metal and Glass
Tin cans and glass bottles can also be recycled by your local recycling company, but there are also ways to recycle at home using these materials. You can turn glass bottles and jars into vases, or use them as a decorative storing solution for small objects. Metal cans wrapped in recycled paper and decorated make for a fun pen holder for a desk, and you can even get kids to help make them; they’re also great for storing your children’s art supplies and small toys, too.
Plastic bottles can be used in the same ways as metal and glass containers, and many of them can be recycled, too. You could also save a water bottle to water your plants and wash and reuse plastic bottles for drinking water. To cut down on the amount of plastic soap bottles at home, try buying larger bottles of soap to refill the small bottles instead.
Did you know that electronic waste (or e-waste) is creating big problems in other countries? Many of our computers and other electronic devices are shipped to developing countries, where other people sift through them for the precious metals inside the machines. This type of pollution, along with many others, affects over 100 million people in the world, making it the globe’s biggest killer. Be sure to recycle electronics only with places that recycle the materials rather than shipping them overseas. Also, try to curb spending on electronic items. If you don’t need a new TV or computer, then don’t throw out your old electronics. If you have to replace them, give them to a shelter, school, community center, or other organization that helps others.
Have other suggestions or questions about ways to recycle at home? Be sure to leave a comment below.