Reduce, Reuse and Recycling at Home

Related imageWe should all strive to ensure that our resources are conserved, collected and recycled in a circular economy.  Doing your part in reducing waste can be easy.

Our Region is moving to make manufacturers and first importers of products and packaging responsible for recovery programs. instead of sending the waste to landfill, or to be incinerated.  The Goal is to reduce greenhouse gasses and help to fight climate change, and at the same time stimulate economic growth.

Here are a few small things that you can do to make a very big difference.  

Compost

Garden Compost Bin royalty-free stock photo

The reason?

More than 50% of household waste is organic and can be composted – Composting is an easy way to deal with food waste (vegetable and fruit, tea bags, coffee grounds etc.) and yard waste (grass clippings, weeds, small branches, leaves etc.) right at home.

How do I do it?

The organic waste becomes compost and is ideal for soil enrichment. Many municipalities have collection but it is quite easy to have a compost collector in your own backyard.  Purchase or make a small bin or compost pot or crock for kitchen collection – Collect yard waste in paper yard waste bags for disposal, you can also Purchase or make a yard bin.

Recycle

The reason?

Containers, cans, lids, cardboard, paper, metal etc…To conserve our natural resources and reduce waste by about 15% by recycling.

How do I do it?

Sort paper, plastic bags, containers – cans, cartons, bottles, jars etc. and place them in different collection boxes.

The reason?

Recycle old appliances by selling or giving them away to an appliance store for reuse for parts, or by recycling as opposed to sending them to landfill.  The valuable metal and plastic material can be reused to make new raw material.

How do I do it?

If you are replacing your old appliances, some municipalities offer curbside pick up. Check with your local government agency responsible for curbside pick up.  You may also consider finding a local scrap dealer who will pay you a few pennies a pound for your old appliances.

Don’t feed landfills!

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Feed the Earth!

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6 Comments

  1. W Tucker

    A good reminder about a lot of things I know but sometimes forget.
    The apartment I live in does recycle almost everything. They don’t have a compost, but it’s a very green building, even being rated Silver LEED. They have the right attitude and are doing a lot more than many other apartment complexes.
    I might suggest a compost for them. They’re the type who would welcome suggestions like that.
    Thanks for the article. It’s so important for each of us to do our part to recycle and to do our part..

    • admin

      Hi W Tucker,

      Much appreciate you stopping by and visiting http://www.easywaystobegreener.com  

      Your building sounds like one owned by a very progressive and earth caring company. Achieving the Silver LEED is quite an accomplishment. In order to get this type of designation, a building is rated on a point system – LEED rated buildings are deemed to use less water, energy and have reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The bonus is this all saves money. 

      Excellent idea on recommending the composting, I hope that you are successful in getting composting implemented. 

      Yes, we all do a little bit, it will add up to a whole lot.

      very best regards,

      claudio 

  2. Barb

    Hi! Thanks for this wonderful article on recycling.

    I remember back when I was a kid and there were no recycling programs offered my municipalities. Everything went in the garbage and those who composted were considered unique and super gardeners.

    I believe that people need to be more mindful of exactly what they can and cannot recycle. I just went down to my local recycling facility and found out that I could recycle all these old electrical products like room heaters etc.

    It’s a matter of educating oneself. However, I do believe that municipalities should create more awareness as to what can and cannot be recycled. What do you think?

    • admin

      Hi Barb,

      Thanks for visiting http://www.easywaystobegreener.  Glad that you enjoyed the piece on recycling at home.  You pose a very good question. 

      Unfortunately I remember the “old days too” but the good news is that are a lot of initiatives underway to end that way of thinking.  As an example, in our municipality, the latest estimate is that more than 65% of people are collecting compost materials and either composting it themselves or it is picked up at the curb weekly to be composted by our regional landfill sites – they estimate that this as a 20% diversion (from going into landfill) of this waste type.

      You are right, being informed as to what is recyclable and what is not is very important and doing your own research helps.  Unfortunately the way this information is shared seems to be done differently in different areas. I think one of the issues is that the collection role is the responsibility of different levels of government in different areas – Here it is done by the region, which is an amalgamation of 4 municipalities.   Municipalities (or the government level  responsible) is the most logical entity to create more awareness and more fluid communication as to what can and cannot be recycled.   

      One suggestion I have is to also seek out private recycling companies – We cannot put electronic waste  (old TV’s, computers etc.) out for curbside pick-up.  We have to bring it to landfill.  In our area, we have a company that will accept electronic waste at no charge.  Also, we have a metal recycling facility that will accept the old electronics, any big appliances, plastic (like old outdoor furniture) and actually pay by the lb., it is not much but at least it doesn’t cost us.

      All the best!

  3. Netta

    Hey Claudio:

    Your post does point up the fact that reducing, recycling and re-purposing are life-style choices that can become routine practices and ways of developing criteria for choosing what we buy.

    It’s a cool thing that there is so much more awareness-education and support for these practices that are basically just good stewardship moves, I say.

    I find that being mindful of how we deal with the stuff we accumulate as we go through our days does make for a certain gracefulness and appreciation for the abundance in our lives.

    It also helps us see the value and worth of the things we do choose to surround ourselves with. (It’s a lot harder to make something else out of cheap junk.)

    • admin

      Hi Netta,

      Thank you for visiting easywaystobegreener.com and your insightful and thoughtful comments. 

      Absolutely, our choices can make long term effect on the environment and as you stated our own personal surroundings. Awareness and education will most certainly lead to better stewardship as we move forward. 

      All the best,

      Claudio 

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