Depending on where you live, you may already do a lot of recycling. Many local councils provide recycling bins that make it easy to recycle glass, plastics, cardboard, and other materials commonly found in household waste. Some councils are testing out initiatives to arrange for the recycling of food waste, and there are other recycling schemes for furniture, and other major items. One environmentally conscious council is even pioneering a scheme to recycle mattresses. Since the scheme began, just four months ago, they’ve recycled 159 mattresses, saving them from landfill.
Recycling in Your Own Home
You don’t have to rely on your local authority to help you recycle, though. There are lots of small changes that you can make to your lifestyle to reduce the amount of waste that you need to throw away; saving the environment, and saving money at the same time.
If you take water to work with you, why not buy a flask and a water filter? This will help you to avoid having to throw away lots of plastic bottles. When you’re buying food, consider how far the food travelled to get to you. Do you really need Strawberries from Spain? Buy food that is produced locally, and is in season.
Do the same with soaps and detergents – buy refillable products instead of ones with wasteful packaging.
When items start breaking, see if you can repair them, rather than just throwing them out. Of course, if your mattress is coming apart at the seams then you probably do need to take a trip to the mattress discounters, but if one of your chairs has a slightly ragged cushion, why not just get that re-covered?
If you do make a major purchase, such as a trip to the mattress discounters, ask them if they can help with safe disposal or recycling of your old item. With some items, safe disposal is vital. This is especially true for electronics. Many department stores are willing to help with the disposal of batteries, and even small electronic products.
Cash for your old goods
When you upgrade your phone, don’t just throw the old one away. No matter how old it is, even if you think of it as “a brick”, there’s a good chance you’d get some cash for it from one of the mobile phone recycling sites. Make sure you erase your phone’s memory and remove the sim card before you sell it on, just in case the recycling company fails to do so. Most of the companies are reputable, but there’s always the risk that your phone might slip through the net, so it pays to be cautious.
Some final thoughts
When it comes to saving the environment, the best option, really, is to not use the product at all. Of course, that isn’t always practical. If you buy with the environment in mind, and only buy what you really need, then that’s a great start. If everyone contributed just a few small changes to their lifestyle, the impact on the Earth would be huge.
This article was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of The Original Factory Shop; a mattress discounters who also offer budget beds and other cut price goods for the home.
Crispin is passionate about recycling and all things green.