Recycling Life Cycle
- Friday, 03 April 2009
Garbage day in my household has evolved into an entirely different process throughout the years. In the earlier days, it was simple; fill up the blue bin with all plastic and glass. Today, not only do we think about plastic and glass, we have to consider paper and paper products, compost and separating it all, which is a chore all on its own.
It is time to begin changing our traditional thoughts on recycling to encompass the entire process; rethink, repair, reduce, reuse and recycle.
How many of us really think about our waste? Why not rethink the way we purchase our coffee in the morning? You could bring your own mug or travel cup.
Rethink how you shop. Re-usable cloth shopping bags are sturdy, versatile and contribute to a decrease in the number of plastic bags that end up landfills. When shopping for produce, re-usable bags come in very handy too.
Most recently, I have re-thought the way I wrap gifts. Like the majority of society, I enjoy pretty wrapping paper and extravagant bows, but other than their aesthetic appearance, there is no further use for these items. So, why contribute to the waste? I have opted for reusable bags with no tissue, or the comic pages in the newspaper for children’s gifts.
You can also pick-up takeout food in your own glass containers. When you place your order, inform the employee of your plan. The restaurant may ask you to be punctual because they may not want the food taking up space in the kitchen. Another bonus is that glassware does not leach Bisphenol-A (BPA).
Purchase your own stainless steel or BPA-free water bottles. Purchasing plastic water bottles adds up! The celebrity Eva Longoria, from Desperate Housewives, just made this switch.
How often do we opt to throw items away instead of taking the time to repair them for further use? Tires on cars would be a prime example; why not repair a slow leak instead of purchasing a brand new tire. Not only will it protect the environment from added waste, it would also protect your pocket book.
We are often quick to dispose of items due to their minor deficiencies; why not take the time to repair and continue to use the item?
We can reduce and cut back in every aspect of our lives. We can reduce the amount of driving we do with our cars or reduce the amount of garbage we place on our curbs. Even the simple act of not littering our streets would contribute to reducing our ecological foot print. Less is more. The less waste we produce, the more we will get to enjoy our planet.
This original “R” is often overlooked and underrated. Reuse can apply to everything. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Donate your own clothing to local shelters. Reuse your children’s toys, clothes, and athletic equipment by passing it down to another sibling or friends. Use all items to their fullest potential before sending it to our landfills.
If there is no other home for the item, we must recycle it. We must be socially responsible and accountable to ensure recycling everywhere. From Day Cares to offices to schools, it is a practice that must be replicated in all places we visit. We must all consistently respect the process and instill it in our children and in our personal environments, every day.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “We must become the change we want to see”. We are all accountable in sustaining the planet, so adopt your own Recycling Life Cycle.