We’ve all heard the adage “reduce, reuse, recycle” and many of us already follow a few of the principles. But what else can we do? Discover our inspirational recycling tips to help turn your home green in no time.
Be prepared when you leave the house – carry a reusable take-away cup if you’re likely to go for coffee and bring reusable bags and containers for loose items when you go food shopping.
Ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle at home
Regardless of how much time, money and effort you want to spend making your home more environmentally friendly, there are lots of things you can do. From extensive overhauls to little changes in your daily routine, the most important thing is to do something.
Recycling waste materials
Unsure about what can we recycle at home? Your local council should be able to help you, but here is a starter list to get you thinking:
Metal – food cans and foils
Glass – bottles and jars
Cardboard and paper – packaging and newspapers
Plastics – packaging (look for the triangular recycling symbol)
Textiles – clothes and fabrics
Always check with your local council and organise your waste system at home to ensure you don’t mix your recyclables. Use different containers in your kitchen to help separate waste and get the kids to make signs that help identify what can, and what cannot, be recycled.
Recycling clothes and other materials
It’s not just waste packaging that you can recycle at home, even old clothes, fabrics and other household items can find a new lease of life.
For clothes, you should donate those in good condition to charity shops and try and repair anything with only minor damage. Items past the point of repair may be suitable for textile recycling so be sure to check this in your local area before reaching for the bin. Aim to clear out your wardrobe, and those of your kids, a couple of times a year to stay on top of things.
For other household items you no longer want, such as appliances or furnishings, use sites like Freecycle or online auction sites to give them away or get a little cash for them. You’ll need to prove the items are usable, and safe, but it’s better than chucking them in landfill.
Ways to recycle outside the home
Recycling isn’t only possible inside the home, you can also make use of things outside your home too. Whether you apply these recycling tips to your garden or your place of work, it’s an easy way to make sure you’re doing your bit for the environment.
Recycling at work
We spend a lot of time at work, so we might as well do what we can to look after the environment while we’re there. If your place of work doesn’t have a recycling station yet, speak to management about getting one and see what other initiatives you can try.
Why not see if any of these ideas work:
Encourage co-workers to use hard cups for their beverages instead of disposable options. Your company may even like to create their own branded versions for staff!
Introduce a “no carrier bag” policy and provide durable fabric bags for shopping
Save energy by switching lights and heaters off in meeting rooms and other areas not in use. The same applies to laptops, computers and other electrical items at the end of the day so why not introduce a locking-up routine that involves switching everything off properly
Recycling in the garden: How to reuse water
Fresh water is one of our most valuable natural resources, but we let a lot of it go to waste. Thankfully, learning how to reuse water in your home and garden is pretty simple.
First, use a tank to collect rainwater in your garden and use this to water plants or even to flush your toilet. If you have the budget, you can also install a sustainable household irrigation system. This reuses safe greywater (water used in your bathroom and rainwater) in other areas to reduce water usage. You cannot use blackwater (water used in your kitchen and toilet) in the same way without expensive chemical treatment.
These tips on ways to reduce, reuse and recycle at home should help you kick-start a more sustainable lifestyle, and hopefully also get the people around you more engaged in doing their bit for the environment.
Arrange a recycling station at home with as many compartments as needed – check with your local council to see if you need to separate different types of recyclables
Recycling clothes by mending those with mild damage, taking unwanted items to charity shops, and donating garments past repair to a textile recycling station
Use sites like Freecycle to donate items rather than throwing them away