We generate a great deal of waste that finds its way into landfills and oceans. Many of these products are harmful to the environment and to wildlife. It is thus very important that we find ways to reduce waste through recycling. It is important that we reuse what we can since so few products biodegrade or take such a long time to biodegrade.
Recycling results in lower energy and production costs and is better for the environment and wildlife. Several items can be recycled. For instance, many people receive a lot of mail such as bills and junk mail in the form of advertising papers. You can place a container for recycling of your paper near where you open your mail. Place the junk mail and any envelopes or unneeded papers in this container.
When recycling you often do need to separate different types of items, so for instance paper needs to be kept separate from plastic. It makes sense to sort these items at home to save you time. You may need to take the items to a recycling center or in some cities, if you are lucky, they may collect recyclables at the curb. When it comes to books it is a good idea to first look for a library or place which accepts donated books. For instance, some libraries or organizations may sell old books to raise funds. You may find that a school or hospital can use your books. This is a better idea than throwing the books away.
Shredded paper can be recycled at a recycling center or used as compost if you have a composting system in place. Paper cups and plates can also be broken down and used in a composting system, or they can be recycled, as can cardboard boxes.
Waste from electronic products can be toxic so see if your electronics store will recycle these products. Ink cartridges that hold toner, are toxic as are old batteries and these should not be thrown out carelessly. Even CD and DVD cases may be recycled by certain stores. CFL bulbs contain some mercury so you need to see if you can find a hardware store or other store that will recycle these for you. Old television sets, computers and other electronics that you need to get rid of should also be recycled. These products often contain harmful components. If you are upgrading your computer consider donating your old computer (if it still works) to a school or community center.
Plastic and Clothing
Plastic is a big problem today with many animals in the ocean being negatively impacted by plastic. There is a huge amount of plastic that makes its way into the home. Many items of food and drink come in plastic containers today. Plastic includes polystyrene containers. Instead of throwing plastic containers out you should clean them, dry them and put them aside in a separate container to take to the recycling center.
Clothing should be recycled as much as possible. Most cities have thrift stores or homeless shelters that can use old clothing and blankets. Shreds of clothing can even be used by an animal shelter. The items we have discussed can all be recycled, so think carefully before throwing something in the trash.