How to Save the Environment - Recycling, Reusing, Composting
Eco Tips for Green Living
We all love saving and protecting our environment. We all deserve clean air, drinkable water, and long-lasting preserved ecosystem. The three concepts, 3Rs, Recycle, Reuse, Reduce are highly popular. About environmental protection and the 3Rs we learn in schools and even in kindergartens. Some more ideas for environmentally friendly and responsible green living, composting tips, and information about recycling are collected for you in this article.
Many of us know the family of Béa Johnson and their Zero Waste Home well. With their idea, they seem to be the environmental angels. Furthermore an example of the trend is a whole city. It is San Francisco with its successful Zero Waste program.
So, let's do the best we can; let's save us in our green environment!
Many Ways to Help the Environment
- Most importantly, be friendly to each other. Appreciate and respect your fellow creatures great and small and all the resources around you.
- Commute to your working place. Use public transportation.
- Walking is fun and exercises our mind too.
- Don't buy bin liners or other garbage bags. Reuse those bags you receive in grocery stores as a bin liner or trash bags.
- Biodegradable plastic bags are better than the usual plastic bags. However, they are not ideal because of energy levels needed to produce them.
- You will use less plastic bags when you reuse them. Deposit some of them in a canvas tote hanging on your doorknob, so that you cannot forget them while going shopping.
Nature is All Around Us
Some More Eco-Ideas
- To use less plastic bags, go shopping with a plastic container in the trunk of your car. You can buy a portable folding plastic case, use a clothes basket, or similar box for this purpose.
- Do not litter plastic packaging in the landscape. Dispose it properly in a trash.
- Do not buy storage containers. Use used packages for storage, like glass containers and plastic boxes from yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, whipped cream etc. They are fantastic storage utensils, and I use the plastic containers even in the freezer. Small glass containers are also great to keep tiny tools in them, and higher glass containers are excellent for elongated utensils like pencils and pens.
- Do not buy yogurt in small plastic containers; this is waste. Buy yogurt in bigger ones and use them for storage.
- Consider to follow family of Béa Johnson from Zero Waste Home, and bring empty glasses with you while shopping. These glasses would substitute wrappings and plastic packaging for products such as meat, fish, or cheese.
- Do you own an unwanted item? Do you want to buy something? Consider first, contacting a swapping group of freecycle.net near you.
- Consider not to throw things away; fix and reuse them.
- Think about using starch based and biodegradable foam peanuts also known as packing peanuts.
- Do not toss hazardous waste in the drain or landfill. For more information go to the pages of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Used computers, phones, monitors, printers, washing machines, etc. - dispose your redundant electronic or electrical items safely. Find an IT recycling company near you or contact your local waste management office, donate it to a charity or give them back to the manufacturer. There are many ways to recycle your used items; however, IT waste shouldn't be dumped in any landfill. Electric or electronic waste is hazardous garbage and contains such poisons like lead, dioxins, cadmium, radioactive isotopes, chromium, and mercury.
- Every non-rechargeable battery you use is hazardous waste. Buy preferably rechargeable ones and dispose the non-rechargeable batteries in drop off centres. In Europe, many supermarkets collect used batteries. For more information you can also visit Call2Recycle.com. Call2Recycle is, since 1996, the only free rechargeable battery and cell phone collection program in North America.
- Reject tiny pieces of candy wrapped individually. Sometimes small portions of candy are packaged in three or four different wrappers. Do not waste your money buying waste.
- Try to get milk in bottles. Buy milk in bottles, and return the empty bottles back for store credit. In Europe, it is a tradition to do so.
- If possible, buy drinking water in reusable glass containers. You can also use tap water (mostly we have clean and drinkable tap water!) in your own bottles. This is less expensive choice. If you are not sure how secure your tap water is, you may use special filters to clean it additionally (Britta Filters or alike); you may also ask your water provider about the quality of drinking water in your area.
- To reduce waste in your house, leave the bulky carton boxes in the store. This is also a European tradition; they leave very often packages immediately in the store. For example, they take the cereal, but leave the cereal boxes as waste in the store. Every supermarket does have trash containers in front of each store. There, you can dump all the boxes you do not need at home. This is rubbish, and possibly the manufacturers will learn to produce less waste when customers will abandon the oversized unnecessary packages.
- Think about eating less meat and consuming it only occasionally and consciously. The carbon dioxide emission from the meat production is apparently higher than the total emissions of all vehicles.
- When you own a garden, use it for herbs and vegetable cultivation. It is beneficial, satisfying, and environmentally correct to grow your own food.
- Buy vegetables, preferably in their harvest season, and use locally grown food to avoid high-shipping costs and to save on greenhouse energy costs.
- Do not waste food! Do not buy too much food, and then do not throw it away! Use it, if you can't use it, give it away, but do not waste it! Buy less, weigh less, waste less, spend less, and have more money in your pocket. Reuse your leftovers before they go bad. Almost 50 % of produced food worldwide lands as in waste landfill! This is scandalous. Check for inspiration the internet pages of Love Food Hate Waste, and click, for example, on England or other part of the UK (this page comes from the UK).
- Reuse egg-cartons for storage of small items.
- Decorate such used egg-cartons, other storage boxes, or empty of their contents glass containers. You can paint or decorate them. I know that you have an imagination and that you are creative. Use these gifts to make your life beautiful in yellowish-greenish-blue colors with some spots of red...:-)
- For your drawer-dividers use shoe-boxes.
- Use old hanging shoe organizers for storage of small items in your garage, basement or storage space.
- Use compost, a natural fertilizer, in your garden. If you do not have a garden, use community compost near you. Having a compost pile in the garden is clean, odorless and free of pests. You can compost leftovers of not cooked vegetables, fruit scraps, shredded leaves and weeds, grass clippings, egg shells, coffee filters, tea bags, used kitchen towels and facial tissues. You cannot compost meat leftovers, dairy products, and cooked-food leftovers.
- Do not try to print everything. Try an external hard drive, memory stick, or Google Cloud for storage. CDs and DVDs are the second-best option for storing purposes.
- Dry your clothes outside or indoor on a folding rack. Don't use your electric dryer all the time.
- Try not to use cosmetics based on petroleum. Check the pages of Skin Deep CosmeticsDatabase.com.
- Go organic! Pesticides are not acceptable for you. An example, they cause even lower IQ in newborn babies!
- Please, reuse plastic or paper cups. Even Starbucks has realized its influence on saving the environment. They encourage their customers to order coffee in their own (brought into the store) cups; this is a brilliant idea. Okay, you must clean your cup, but at the same time, you will avoid to pollute the environment with unnecessary waste.
- Use plastic spoons, knives, forks, and plates only when you clean and reuse them.
- Stop receiving junk mail. Here, you will find more information CatalogChoice.org or obviously.com/junk/mail/.
- Consider not to buy products from distant countries because of the energy used for their shipping.
- Take few one-side printed pages of paper (it can be from your unwanted mail or other sources), fold in half and cut, fold again in half and cut. Join the new, smaller pages with the stapler in one corner and use as a notebook.
- Green plants naturally purify the air and increase oxygen in your home; have as many plants around you as you like :-)
- Don't smoke :-)
Water the Source of Life
A great place for a gazillion of ideas connected with recycling is on internet-pages of co-oproduct.org! There is a mine of ideas, notions, projects, images, tutorials, etc. I was surprised about their well developed pages and vast of concepts and designs.
- They are champions in "Creative Reuse" of packaging and waste materials.
- They are an international platform to share your and others ideas and projects about recycling and reusing.
- Jamie Billing and Tracy Cordingley, the founders, "wanted to create a creative space where everyday people could openly share product design ideas, maximising knowledge for all." (This is a citation directly from their pages, and here is the link to them.)
Let's Save Water
Do you have any dripping tap in your home? Repair it.
- If you have a garden, capture rainwater in a container and use it for watering plants.
- Mulch around the plants in your garden is able to hold moisture in the soil for longer.
- Don't cut your grass in the garden too short. Higher grass means roots grow deeper and more moisture stays conserved in the soil.
- Place a brick in the toilet tank; you'll use less water while flushing.
- Don't clean dishes under running water.
- To save water, take shorter showers.
- Turn off water while brushing your teeth, soaping your hands or body.
- Boiling just enough water for your coffee or tea saves energy and water.
- Check your house for a hidden water leak. Read your water meter, and after few hours of not using water at all (for example because you weren't at home), read your water meter again. If the water meter reads exactly the same, there is no hidden leak in your home.
- Commercial car-wash that recycles water is much eco-friendly than car wash at home where the waste water contaminates the soil and ends up in rivers, lakes and the oceans.
- Install water-saving showerhead.
- Don't clean your driveway with water. Use broom instead. If its too dusty, sprinkle a little with water and brush the dirt away. In this way you would use much less water.
- Do you have any other ideas? Please feel free and write them in comments. Thank you in advance.
Composting, Reusing, Recycling
Do You Have any Better Ideas? Please Write in Commetns.
What is your greatest contribution in saving the environment?See results without voting
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
- Eco Friendly Holidays. Let us Celebrate Green Christmas.
Please think about your environment during the holiday season. You’ll find here ideas about eco-friendly gift wrappings and green presents, about Xmas trees and how to stay in love with the nature and have great holidays in sync. Let’s dream about wh
© 2011 Maria Janta-Cooper
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