I am somewhat anal when it comes to recycling and very proud of it too as it’s one small thing that we can all easily do that when lumped all together will make a big difference. Take a moment to read through the above table of decomposition and I challenge you not to be a little bit shocked! Plastic bottles for instance- it says it takes 450 years for them to decompose naturally!! OMG! That’s FOREVER! All those billions of plastic bottles just sitting there rotting and contributing towards the deterioration of the environment….
I wanted to share this table with you so you can get some measure of the importance of how every little helps.
I think where I live we are quite lucky in that our local council makes a decent effort in the recycling stakes which in turn makes it easier for us to recycle. Every fortnight the council lorries pick up our varied recyclable matter- for us this includes paper, cardboard, magazines, glass bottles, tins, plastic bags and plastic containers numbered 1 to 4 (these are the numbers you can find imprinted on the base or somewhere on the plastic tub/bottle and is an indication of the type of plastic it is made of). Our recycling bin is overflowing every fortnight so I know we are doing as much as we can – although I do often have to pick up after my partner and kids – I don’t relish fishing things out of the bin to put into the recycling but needs must…Actually on that note we have a bin with two sections (as seen in the picture – this is my actual bin- apologies if it looks a bit manky :-D) which really makes it easier to separate the waste at the outset (well, easier for me if not the other members of my family….but they’re getting there!)
Unfortunately my local council is yet to recycle Tetra Paks which is a real shame as this is the material used for a lot of drinks and soup cartons so I try to avoid buying these where possible. Despite my council not recycling these there are some councils/areas that do – for further information please check out the website on Tetra Pak Sustainability which will also tell you whether your area recycles these (UK only). In addition my council does not yet collect green food waste for compost, however there is a monthly green garden waste collection but as we only have a small garden any green matter we generate just goes into our little composter.
In addition to recycling the above: paper, cardboard, tins, plastic bags, plastic bottles/containers, etc. either through your council or the various collection banks that are dotted about in your local area (you should be able to locate these via your council website) it is also really easy to recycle things like clothes, linen, shoes, books, toys, handbags, etc. which are readily received by most charity shops or again via various collection banks. Some organisations even pay for your old clothes (I’ll have to dig out some more info regarding this in a subsequent post!) or there are sites like Ebay where you get to make a little bit of money and your old things are put to good use by someone else rather than being thrown in the bin and left to rot for decades! (Note: I have sooo many recycling ideas so this post is only just scratching the surface (you’ve been forewarned ;-)).
All recycling takes is a little thought and planning and the commitment to make this an ongoing thing. I promise you will feel better for it and the Earth and the Universe will thank you in its own special way…..