We all know recycling is important, but are we really getting it right? So many of us talk about making an effort to be more environmentally friendly and then do the bare minimum, myself included. Thankfully it’s usually possible for us to go so much further than that. If you’re stuck for ideas and don’t know how to recycle more at home, I’ve got some tips that might help.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult or time-consuming either. It’s up to you to find ways to recycle better and to make your life more sustainable because every home is different. But the ideas below all offer something important, so pick and choose the ones that will be right for you.
Get the Basics Right
Getting the basics right is important. Think about what you can do to create an approach to recycling that’s going to work for you. Being aware of which items can be recycled is a great place to start. Most packaging will tell you whether it is recyclable and if you’re still unsure Google is your best friend. Often local councils will specify which materials they accept for recycling, making the process simple and easy to follow.
In my house we have a basket in the kitchen for our recycling which sits by the door. All cardboard, glass and plastic packaging is thrown in throughout the week and as soon as the basket is full we take it outside to the recycling bin. Not only does it act as a good reminder, but it helps to keep the kitchen tidy too.
Get Everyone in the Home Involved in Sorting Recycling
In your home, it’s important that everyone has an understanding of the significance of recycling and living an eco-friendly life where possible. Not just for now, but for the future too. If you have children, they will probably already be learning about this in school. They might even be able to teach you a thing or two, so ask! Get everyone involved in practising good habits. Perhaps you could each have a designated day where you sort and take out the recycling box?
Use Reusable Bags, Bottles and Containers
Simple things like reusable bags, bottles and containers can make all the difference when you’re trying to reuse and recycle more. Have bags that you take with you when you head out shopping. Use glass containers to store basics like rice, flour and other dry food items. There are even shops which specialise in selling products without packaging to save on further plastic. It’s definitely worth taking a look to see if you have one local to you.
Creative products such as wax wraps are another great solution for kitchen storage which can replace cling film and other wasteful food wraps. The wax coating allows them to be moulded into any shape, making them adaptable to any container. Of course, they can be washed and used over and over. This pack from Amazon come in a really nice pattern too.
Create a Compost Heap
It’s a good idea to think about what you might do in the garden too. If you have space, the first thing you can do is start a compost heap. This is where you keep all of the things that you want to get rid of but are natural, such as leaves, cooking scraps and leftovers. You can add these things to a compost heap and later feed your garden with the nutrients dense mix. Rainwater is also something which you can recycle. You can also us slimline water tanks to catch and store rainwater that can be used for watering the plants.
Get Creative and Make Something New Out of Something Old
There are so many ways in which you can get creative and start making new things out of old items. Even something as simple as a toilet roll! If there’s something that can no longer be used, see if it can be repurposed instead. There’s plenty of inspiration for this kind of stuff online. Just look at how many people make new plant pots out of broken old toilets and kitchen sinks.
As much as I love a creative solution, I can’t quite imagine having a toilet plant pot in my garden. A more down to earth idea is re-purposing old storage such as a kitchen cabinet in your garage for tool storage. Use an old bookcase as a shoe organisation at the bottom of your wardrobe. Find a creative solution that suits you.
When You Have Something You Don’t Need, Pass it On
If you have something that you don’t need in your home, you should consider passing it on to someone who might be able to make better use of it. Just because you don’t want something, that doesn’t mean that no one else will. Offer items to friends and family or list them on a website such as Freecycle.
If you can’t find a friend or relative to give your unwanted things to, think about selling them instead. You’ll be surprised at how much money you might be able to get for things that you have no use for at all. There’s a buyer out there for almost anything if the price is right. To keep things simple, try Facebook marketplace. There are no fees and you can arrange sales quickly with people local to you.
There are so many ways in which you can recycle more at home. When you start to think about it and to take intentional steps each day to recycle and reuse more in your day to day life, it all becomes very easy and very normal. Make it a family effort so everyone can get involved.