Especially over the last couple of years the world, or at least a lot of it, has started to wake up to how much damage we are doing to the planet we call home.
The first world-wide lockdown actually gave us a little respite from the lack of cars, trains and planes crashing around and smogging up of our skies, though we could probably all admit to using a little more electricity by watching endless hours of TV or sitting in front of a console. But, now the word has seemed to opened up a lot, lot more, we are seeing that the good it did the planet, is being reversed again!
There are more and more trains and planes being used again with companies trying their best to boost their profit margins after a couple of years of a slower pace and more and more people are looking to get away on a foreign holiday to beat the monotony, can’t say I blame them, so the world is opening up more which is great news, but it is coming at a cost.
According to the Office of National Statistics household emissions in the UK dropped by 10%, a staggering 15 million tonnes, in 2020 because people were, by the large, working from home, not flying, not driving anywhere and not travelling abroad. That is a lot considering we were only shut in for a relatively short while.
But it is not just the travelling and driving that is harming our beautiful planet and destroying nature. It is the other everyday things we would never have a second thought about; from driving instead of walking or cycling, throwing away recyclable items instead of recycling them, buying clothes from unsustainable sources that are part of throw away fashion and annoyingly, a lot of other things.
Many people believe it is just cardboard and paper which is recyclable, but according to Conserve Energy Future, there are 35 different everyday items that can be recycled very easily.
So, what are they? To name a few of the items that can be recycled are electronics, clothing, aluminium cans, batteries and clothes hangers. Items that are used every day that usually end up in the bin can actually help to save our planet. Recycling is one of the simplest ways that we can all do our bit to ensure that our world can carry on and people and animals living it live healthy lives.
How do I recycle these items?
First we should look at what ‘recycle’ or ‘recycling’ actually means. According to the Cambridge Dictionary recycling is to reuse an item for another purpose or to sort and collect rubbish in order to treat it and produce useful materials that can be used again. So when you give your old things away, they will either be repurposed or reused again for the same purpose.
By recycling, we are all reducing the waste of products and materials that end up in landfills around the world.
Around the country there are plenty of places that will take unwanted electronics that are either good to use again or destined to be recycled into something else useful. If you simple Google recycle electronics near me or donate unwanted electronics, you can find plenty of options of how to responsibly clear the clutter of which is your techy-graveyard. That old laptop, discarded tablet or unwanted phone could be one of the devices that could help save the planet.
If your item is reused or recycled, it won’t end up in a landfill as part of the millions of tonnes of fast, throwaway electronics that are wasted each year.
We’ve all been there, a new top for a good night out, a pair of jeans because they were a good deal or a pair of shoes because the advert told you it was a good idea… all just to be worn the once.
So, what usually happens next? You do a good old sort out of your clothes and bin a lot of it. But in reality, you can do so much more with it that won’t cost us all the earth. Millions of Pounds worth of clothing is wasted each year in the UK and is dramatically contributing to the damning affects of global warming. So instead of just wasting your old clothes, look for a new way to help the planet.
Pebblemag has got some great ideas on how to upcycle your clothes for beginners. Learn how to turn your old in to new, your boring in to glam and your tired into exciting.
You can repurpose your old clothes by using them as cleaning utensils or making something crafty out of them.
Or you could donate your unwanted clothes to charities who are always on the lookout for clothes that they can give to those who need them most or sell them in their charity shops and use the proceeds for the work they do in the community.
They either get broken or chucked out but the ones that survive that you don’t need any more can be given in to a lot of shopping centres and recycling points. If you simply recycle them the material they are made from, usually wood or plastic, can be used to make something else, can be given to charity shops or shops that will use them in store or can be given to someone to who will make good use of them.
Whatever you do with them, don’t just throw them away!
Another seemingly every day object that escapes the recycling bin is the humble ali-can. Once you’ve emptied it out and eaten, simply clean out all of the leftover food, and pop it in the recycling bin out the front of your house or flats. It is really that simple.
It’ll be collected, cleaned and turned into things like car parts and other cans. The amount of canned food that is eaten in the UK can only man that there are a lot of cans to reuse instead of throwing away.
So you see, by recycling just the everyday items that we could not live without could make a huge change to the world we live in and help to slow down the horrible effects of climate change and increased tonnage of greenhouse gases. By just changing the smallest of bad habits that, I’m guessing 99% are guilty of, can ensure that we look after our planet and not waste what is available to us.