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In recent years, we’ve been faced with a lot of evidence that the exploitation of nature needs to be stopped. Bushfires devoured a huge part of Australia, and horrendous fires devastated Amazonia. The desire to adopt more environmentally-friendly lifestyles has become increasingly popular.
Ecologist movements and political parties worldwide continually warn about the future of the potential dangers if we continue living the way we always have. But ecology isn’t just a job for multinational corporations, politicians, and others with decision-making power. Each one of us can make positive changes to live more sustainably by reusing and recycling items in our own homes.
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Learn About the Waste Problem
Waste is something that many of us don’t think about very often. We buy plastic bags, bottled water, prepackaged food, and many other disposable items for our convenience, thinking that it is going to be recycled so it is not a problem.
In reality, though, a 2022 report from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that only 9% of the world’s plastic was recycled. The total generation of solid waste in the United States alone in 2017 was 268.7 million tons.
The amount of waste we generate affects the environment in multiple ways. First of all, it exacerbates the effects of global warming. Waste is also destructive for wildlife. Many fish and other animals die as a result of ingesting plastic and other waste products.
Although the way we think of waste disposal is pretty troubling, there is space for change. You have probably heard by now of the famous 3 Rs — reuse, reduce, recycle. In this post, we will discuss five modern and simple ways to reuse and recycle at home. Read on to find out how you can do your part to preserve our environment.
Find Another Purpose for Cardboard, Plastic, and Glass Containers
Almost everything is sold in plastic or cardboard packaging. Our choices may be limited when it comes to shopping for our food, clothes, appliances, etc. However, we can choose what to do with all this packaging. We can simply throw it away and forget about all the ways it affects the environment.
Alternatively, we can find a way to reuse all those boxes and bottles. For example, plastic water and soda bottles can become flower pots. You only need to cut the bottle in two and wash it, and you are ready to use your brand-new flower pot. Plastic and glass jars can be used to store spices or mix sauces, marinades, and dressings. You can also put candles in glass bottles and jars and create a wonderful recycled centerpiece.
Since cardboard isn’t as durable as glass and plastic, many people think that they have no other option but to throw it away. But some cardboard boxes, such as shoe boxes, are pretty solid and can be reused for many different purposes.
Instead of throwing them in the trash, you can decorate them and use them to store jewelry or other valuables. You can even make a piggy bank for your kids.
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Put All the Plastic Bags in the Drawer
These days, there are many options if you don’t want to use plastic bags. First off, you can get paper bags in supermarkets. You can bring your own, reusable bags or a shopping trolley. There are, however, options if you still prefer to use plastic bags. You can store your plastic bags and reuse them when necessary.
For example, instead of throwing out small plastic bags, you can use them to line your bathroom and kitchen trash cans. We also have a special hack for breading meat that involves plastic bags! Simply put the breadcrumb-and-spice mixture in the plastic bag, add meat, and shake for several minutes. We promise that you will be impressed by the result.
Use Newspapers as a Wrapping Paper
The concept of buying newspapers is a thing of the past. With all the electronic devices and accessibility of the internet, of course, most of us read news online. But some people still get their daily paper from a kiosk or delivered to their home.
If you are one of these old souls, there are plenty of ways to use old newspapers once you finish reading them. They’re perfect to use as wrapping paper for fragile items or gifts. An old newspaper makes a good cleaning aid, too. Instead of using paper towels or rags, you can substitute newspapers while cleaning your windows.
Organize a Yard Sale
Many of us have a tendency to pile things up over the years. It seems that everything, from baby clothes and books to pieces of furniture, has memories attached to it. But eventually, you may decide that all of these items are just collecting dust and determine that it is time to get rid of them.
The first impulse, of course, may be to throw everything into the garbage. But instead, you can organize a yard sale. Maybe you don’t like or need it anymore, but that doesn’t mean that someone else cannot reuse your old furniture in their own home.
Turn Old Bedding and Clothes into Rags
You only need a pair of scissors to cut everything into smaller pieces. Instead of continually putting money into new cloths and mops for cleaning, use old sheets, T-shirts, etc. Cut them into smaller pieces and store them with other cleaning supplies. This way, you will spare some money and help protect the environment at the same time.
Developing more sustainable habits doesn’t have to be a hassle. With a little creativity, you can take simple steps to reuse or recycle household items and lower the amount of waste you produce. You may even find it makes your life easier!
Try implementing a couple of these ideas in your own life, and see what a difference it makes. The environment will thank you!
In-Home Recycling Bins
There are recycling bins available purposely made for in-home recycling. These are a great way to sort out all of your rubbish directly into the right recycling container, making it much easier for you to sort out for disposable. Consider getting in-home recycling bins to help to dispose of your waste in a better and safer way.
What about Terra Cotta, Ceramic or Cement Pots?
While these materials are not as toxic as plastic or aluminum, they are still not biodegradable and can leach into the soil and pollute the water. These materials are not good for the environment.
Terracotta is a beautiful, durable material, but it’s not the most environmentally-friendly choice. Because it’s made from clay, it’s non-biodegradable, which means it won’t break down naturally.
These materials also require a lot of resources to produce. Terra cotta and ceramics are fired at temperatures around 1700 degrees, which takes a lot of power. It is a ceramic material made from the clays found in the Earth’s crust. It’s a very durable material that has been used for thousands of years.
Nothing will happen to terracotta products even after multiple centuries. The changes in the chemical and the physical properties of the clay in the kiln after re-arrangement of crystal structure and vitrification make the terracotta products immune to natural or biological degradation.
Hence the reason we keep finding ancient urns, potteries, and stone figures around the world at different excavation sites. The impact of cement is even worse. The Guardian reported that if the cement industry were a country, it would be the third-largest producer of CO2 emissions.