The gospel of recycling has been preached for quite a few years now and it’s a very good one, too. The UK has come a long way with recycling, but compared to other countries, it still has a long way to go.
The Purpose of Recycling
The main aim of recycling is to lower the amount of waste. Waste gets dumped in landfills, where it sits, often forever, since increasingly there are materials that can’t break down. Landfills release CO2 and methane, which add to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The other side of recycling, if you like, is to lower the demand for new products, be they plastic milk jugs, glass bottles, tins or whatever else. It takes a lot of energy to create new when already existing items can be recycled. Recycling paper, for instance, means we need to cut down fewer trees and that means much less carbon going into the atmosphere.
Councils now pick up recycling on a regular basis, and most also have cycling centres where you can take all manner of items, from televisions to refrigerators. We’ve been very extravagant with out resources, and now it’s vital that we cut back and conserve.
One thing that’s worth considering, though, is how far away the recycling centre is. Don’t make trips just for one or two things. You might feel you’re doing something good, but wait until you have a full load; otherwise you’re just expending petrol, and putting even more carbon in the air than you’re recycling.
What We Can Recycle
Yes, we can recycle cardboard, paper, glass, and some plastic. But there are many different types of plastic, and we need to be able to recycle more of them, as they do in America, for instance.
But you can also recycle things within the home. Save jam jars and use them for storage, or pass them to someone you know who makes jam. An old bath can make a large, imaginative planter sunk into your garden; it’s a lot better than it ending up on the tip.
It requires thinking outside the box a little to make the most of recycling. But it’s worthwhile. Sometimes, though, you have to be careful when recycling. Older fridges can contain CFCs, for example, and need to be disposed of properly.
Charity shops are a similar idea. They’re a great place to shop and find items at low prices without new goods having to be produced. Of course, you can also donate items to them. It’s all a way of lessening your carbon footprint on the earth.
The overall point is that almost anything can be recycled. It’s perfectly feasible to reduce your waste by a large percentage. That, in turn, means less in the landfills and reduced carbon emissions, which helps us all.