On rubbish collection day, no one puts much thought into what’s leaving their property. You’ll have a wheelie bin full of trash, but could you have lessened that load – even by a little?
When something’s out of sight and out of mind, such as a wheelie bin laden with unwanted items, it’s easy to turn a blind eye to the problem at hand. But, it is a problem and one we can all work together to fix. It’s time to gather the family and find out how you can do your part to save the planet.
Why Is It Important to Recycle?
You may not think that reusing trash you’d usually send to a rubbish collection facility is a big deal, but it is. Many types of rubbish you send to landfill release greenhouse gases and chemicals into the environment. By recycling, you can reduce pollution and help the planet to heal itself.
Ways to Recycle
You would be surprised at how many ways you and your family can recycle. Once you start, your wheelie bin may look eerily empty on rubbish collection day. It’s important to start recycling without delay. If everyone in the world lived as we do in New Zealand, we would need close to three planets to sustain the demand. That’s a terrifying thought, so here’s what you can do to help.
- Buy Recycled Products
Browse the aisles of your local supermarket and see what you can find. Many manufacturers are now being more eco-friendly with their manufacturing processes. Some use recycled packaging, while others are being more careful with how they source their materials.
Take reams of paper, for example. When you buy recycled paper, you can save as many as 17 trees and around 26,500 litres of water. Even using both sides of your paper in the printer will make a significant impact. Alternatively, you can purchase products from businesses who dedicate their time to sourcing and creating eco-friendly products.
- Be Conscientious with E-Waste
Are you guilty of throwing your old CD player in your general rubbish collection bin? Actions like that are causing severe harm to the planet, including harmful chemicals that leach into waterways. E-waste is a growing problem, so think twice before you throw your electronics in with your general household waste. Find out what your town or city does to take care of E-waste.
- Say Goodbye to Disposable Coffee Cups
Did you know around 295 million disposable coffee cups end up in bags for rubbish collection every year? Most of them are not or cannot be recycled, resulting in millions upon millions of cups needlessly piled up in dumping facilities. Your family can do their part by investing in reusable coffee cups.
Instead of stopping off at a cafe on the way to work, make a brew at home and take it with you. Alternatively, visit your local cafe, but take a reusable cup.
- Be Eco-Friendly with Ink
Ink manufacturers and printing companies have been doing their part for the environment for many years. Large printing presses use reusable toner cartridges, and you can buy recycled ink cartridges for home printers as well.
But what are you doing with yours once they are empty? Do you throw them away? Get into the habit of taking your ink cartridges to someone to refill them, instead of bagging them up for weekly rubbish collection. The environment will thank you for it.
- Have Fun at Home
Kids don’t need electronic devices to have fun. All they need is their imagination and a few helpful things lying around the house. Make use of those old cereal boxes, cardboard tubes, and leftover plastic biscuit trays. Give them plenty of tape and pens and let their creative juices flow. You will be amazed at the robots, monsters, and other fun things they can come up with.
- Choose Rechargeable Batteries
Finally, make better choices when it comes to your battery use. Even though single-use batteries are by far the cheaper option, are they the best for your family? Rechargeable batteries may cost a little more, but you can use them over and over again. The more uses an item has, the less of it you are putting into your wheelie bin for rubbish collection every week.
You may think that swapping to a reusable cup and using recycled ink cartridges is not doing a lot. You may not even think it’s worth your time. But imagine if the entire population of New Zealand made that change? Imagine four million New Zealanders no longer choosing to use a single-use coffee cup?
Small changes can mean big differences. Now’s the time to get your whole family involved. Make conscientious decisions with your recycling and watch as the wheelie bin you put out for rubbish collection feels oddly light.