Recycling is one of the most effective ways that we can help preserve our planet and make sure that it is a healthy and happy place to live. But what is recycling and what should we recycle? What are the main reasons why we recycle?
What is Recycling?
Recycling is the process of turning used materials and waste into new products. A lot of our household waste can be broken down and reprocessed to make new things – this process uses less energy and resources than making items new so it offers a big boost to our environment.
What Should we Recycle?
We should all recycle everything that is capable of going through this process. In the home, some common materials that should be recycled include:
- Paper – such as newspapers, magazines, and cardboard packaging
- Metal – such as cans, metal food containers, and foil
- Plastic – such as bottles, carrier bags, tubs, food containers, and wrappers
- Glass – such as bottles, jars, and food containers
Why do we Recycle?
There are several important reasons why we need to recycle our waste at home but the following list summarises some of the main reasons why we should recycle waste in our homes:
- Recycling reduces the air, water and land pollution that is caused by discarded or burnt waste, meaning that the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land we live on is safer and healthier.
- Recycling reduces our reliance on increasingly scarce natural resources and raw materials when manufacturing new products.
- It takes less energy to recycle used materials than it does to produce items with raw materials, which is good for the environment, but also good for us, because it brings down the prices of products.
- Recycling also creates jobs for people, as recycling companies employ many thousands of workers all over the world. The reasons why we need to recycle are therefore to help more than just the environment.
7 Tips for Home Waste Recycling
Follow these recommendations for easy and successful recycling at home.
- Use a recycling bin to make your recyclable waste easier to organise.
- Look for the universal recycling symbol on packaging if you are unsure if an item is recyclable. One of the reasons why we recycle is to reduce the use of resources and energy when making new packaging so this could really help.
- Always wash containers before recycling, especially if there are remnants of food on them. Remove labels and bottle tops.
- Give unwanted clothes to charity, friends and family, or take them to a clothes-recycling service if they are no longer wearable.
- Recycle your food waste by making compost out of it. Simply collect organic food waste, such as fruit, vegetables, coffee grounds and eggshells, in a plastic bin with a lid and leave until it is decomposed. This works particularly well in warm climates but you will need to add a little water to keep it moist.
- Start using biodegradable soap so that you can water your plants with leftover bath or sink water.
- Recycle electricals and gadgets where possible. Some companies offer collection services and may even pay you for your old gadgets. Just make sure you reset them first and remove any personal data.
With these tips, recycling at home has never been easier! Get stuck in and help protect our planet today – you can even get the kids involved so that next time someone asks “why do we recycle?” they know all the answers.