We all recycle to some degree, but are we doing our best?
Providing a mandatory and designated recycling bin was a huge win for Australia. But really consider for a moment just how much (or how little) you know about recycling. It’s not as though your bin came with a nifty little booklet printed on biodegradable recycled paper covering off the how’s and why’s of recycling, which leaves a lot of us in the dark on the importance of recycling.
By educating ourselves, our friends and our families we can make a real difference to the planet, and discover myriad simple and effective ways to recycle like a pro.
The hard facts
- Australia is one of the highest waste producers in the world. We recently made the top 5 list – awkward…
- And if that isn’t embarrassing enough, this equates to 18 million tonnes of waste per year. This is approximately enough rubbish per Australian family to fill a 3 bedroom house from floor to ceiling!
- Around 30% of all waste produced in Australia, comes from households.
- Over 100,000 animals die every year as the direct results of human produced waste.
The onus is on us to make smart choices when it comes to choosing what we buy and how we dispose of it. Simply separating the recycling from the garbage isn’t enough to make a substantial impact on these statistics.
So what do we need to do?
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
- Do you look for low-waste alternatives when comparing products at the supermarket?
- Do you bring your own bags shopping, or do you keep growing your collection of plastic bags?
- Do you buy fresh or prepackaged ingredients?
- Do you avoid plastic packaging and always opt for biodegradable materials like recycled cardboard?
Just asking these questions already ignites the conscious-decision making process vital to getting into the groove of going green. There are always smarter choices when it comes to shopping, and being aware of this is the first step to reducing your households waste.
How often have you thrown something out because it no longer serves the purpose you bought it for? We’re guessing a lot! You can make a real difference by thinking outside the box when it comes to reusing items.
Here’s some idea to get you started:
- Reuse glass jars by turning them into vases, cups, organizers – paint them, dip them in glitter, fill them with flowers, hang them from the ceiling – we love this list of 50 ways to repurpose and reuse glass jars.
- Love wine? Turn your wine bottles into candle holders! As the wax melts around them, they only get more awesome.
- Milk and soda bottles can be converted into planters and herb gardens with a little of imagination and creativity. Watch this video to make your own kitty planters.
- Old lotion bottles can be converted into a mobile phone charging dock. Here’s how.
These are just a couple of THOUSANDS of ideas clever humans have come up with. We’ll be posting many more ideas in the coming weeks, and we’d love to hear yours!
Recycling isn’t just about putting paper and glass in the bin. Your recycling bin should include all of these items:
- Plastics: milk bottles, ice cream containers, takeaway containers, etc.
NOT plastic bags, cling wrap, other flexible plastics (check the label)
- Aluminum and Steel: drink cans, aerosol cans, foil pie trays, empty food tins
NOT cookware and crockery
- Glass: empty bottles, glass jars
NOT oven-proof glass, light bulbs or broken glass
- Paper and Cardboard: newspaper, magazines, cereal and food boxes, envelopes and mail, drink cartons
NOT whole phonebooks. Break it down first.
So now you know the basics, how much of an impact do you think you can make to your daily waste producing pratices?
By simply being aware, you’ll find that are able to make better choices when you’re out shopping. Over time, all these little adjustments add up – so it’s important to educate our friends and family on making the right choices to recycle so we can see a big difference and get Australia off the top 5 waste producer list.
Go forth green thumbs, and make the planet a better place!