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How to Save the Environment - Recycling, Reusing, Composting

Updated on October 25, 2014
Guanacaste Tree in Costa Rica
Guanacaste Tree in Costa Rica | Source

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!

This Angel will Save the Environment
This Angel will Save the Environment | Source

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 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 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
  • 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 or
  • 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


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.


A great place for a gazillion of ideas connected with recycling is on internet-pages of! 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.)

Composting, Reusing, Recycling

Do You Have any Better Ideas? Please Write in Commetns.

What is your greatest contribution in saving the environment?

See results

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

© 2011 Maria Janta-Cooper


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    • profile image

      Jill 2 years ago

      Great post! We love awesome tutorials on our Freecycle website.

    • profile image

      Sarika Pawar 2 years ago

      A very big thank you for awaring people.It is quite thoughtful. One can pondre over it.

    • profile image

      Preeti 2 years ago

      Plastic is useful and cheap .....but we should also remember that it is a very harmful enemy of our environment so we should make a less use of it ....because our next generation should watch our clean earth .

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 2 years ago from UK

      Glad that I could help.

    • profile image

      Somaya Sharma 2 years ago

      we should also conserve things for next generation.

      and thanxs it help me in da project

    • profile image

      Yashwanth Rathore 3 years ago

      the above given information is very helpful to me...!!!

    • profile image

      sharmilaa 3 years ago

      save energy


    • profile image

      vidya Dhiman 3 years ago

      It good for us it very important for every one pls save envirment it's good advice for humam life

    • profile image

      ritika 3 years ago

      It soooooooooooooooooo gooooood for every one i like this thankuuuuuuuuuuuuuu-.-

    • profile image

      asitha 3 years ago

      i think atleast now people should think about the ennvironment.

    • profile image

      AS 3 years ago

      i think atleast now people should think about the ennvironment.

    • profile image

      Nihel 3 years ago

      good advice for to save our environment

    • BNadyn profile image

      Bernadyn 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      Great article, I love being green, as well. These are useful and easy ways you laid out here to help our environment. I try to reuse and upcycle as much as I can, too. Every little thing we do really does go a long way to help out.

    • profile image

      Matthew Silva 3 years ago

      If you use lip balm and also want to save the environment than you need to make sure you use this all natural lip balm, which is also dedicated to saving the environment.

    • profile image

      amit sandhu 4 years ago


    • profile image

      fidha 4 years ago

      Good, interesting abd excellent

    • profile image

      Lukasas75 4 years ago

      I think that there is nothing more important nowadays, than to live in clean city with no air pollution. Now I am so happy, just because city I live in, managed to reduce air polution twice in few years, and there is no danger to live here anymore, just look- , there is nothing better, I believe every city should follow this example!

    • profile image

      nikhil saklani 4 years ago

      what a website i like this very much. a great and helpful website. you have a high thinking and great ideas

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 5 years ago from Pune, India

      Great ideas to save our environment. Thank you for sharing.

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      Khushi, thank you for visiting and yes giving away things is part of recycling and reusing process too.

    • profile image

      khushi 5 years ago

      Thanks for your useful information . Giving away used clothes,shoes,books and toys is a good way of saving resources

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      Hi Sai, this what you think is correct. Thank you very much about your deep thoughts about our environment.

    • profile image

      Sai Sirandana 5 years ago

      I am a 5th grader and I see my elder brother using a lot of gel pens to practice his maths and other subjects. I feel why can't he use a blackboard instead of wasting so much paper and also polluting the environment using gel pens.

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      Hi 2uesday :-) You're absolutely right. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 5 years ago

      It really is not difficult to get use to good habits such as recycling and reusing and once you adopt this better lifestyle it is enjoyable. We are fortunate to have a vegetable plot so can make and use compost from things that might otherwise end up going to landfill, like vegetable peelings etc. it is not difficult to learn how to do this.

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      Thank you Jamila Sahar for visiting and commenting. You know, doesn't matter where we live, we all want to save the earth. Let's do it now!

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      Thank you Pramod Gokhale for visiting and giving interesting sights about India. I'm sure in the future there will be boom on recycling, composting, and reusing in India. No country can survive without thinking and active saving our environment. Besides, some countries (like Germany) have made even businesses from saving environment. There are many profitable recycling companies. I'm sure, India will follow sooner or later. The sooner the better, of course.

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      Tiffany delite, thanks for reading and recycling. Can you imagine, some of us are composting inside of apartments? Apparently it works. They have special worms for composting too...

      Here is an interesting hub about composting

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      Thank you the madimadimadi for your comment about the cigarettes. I wish the smokers would think for a second... or two.

    • profile image

      spidermonky 5 years ago

      join the help save environment club!!!!!

    • jamila sahar profile image

      jamila sahar 5 years ago

      Incredible and such an important hub !!! I enjoyed reading how the Europeans don't keep all the rubbish and useless wasteful boxes and bags. We all need to pitch in more and be conscious of how wasteful we are and save this incredible planet, thank you so much for sharing this important hub. voted up, useful, interesting and hopefully will help make the planet more beautiful !

    • profile image

      hardeep multani 5 years ago

      THanks for helping

    • pramodgokhale profile image

      pramodgokhale 5 years ago from Pune( India)

      Thanks for providing new ideas and call for eco-conservation. In India we are late starter on this front. Corp orates are trying their best by recycling items and reuse it.

      It requires big investment to build recycle plants but public-private sector partnership in India can achieve the target. India has still long way to go.

      pramod gokhale

    • tiffany delite profile image

      tiffany delite 5 years ago from united states

      this is a great hub with some very eco-friendly tips. thanks to my daughter, we now recycle. i was surprised to find out that we typically have at least twice as much recycling as we do trash!! we also reuse many, many items; however, composting isn't something i have tackled day, one day. blessings!

    • themadimadimadi profile image

      Madison Gardiner. 5 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Wow so many great tips!!

      I wanted to add something about don't smoke point.

      By not smoking you're keeping the air cleaner and the ground cleaner!

      People who dispose of their cigarettes on the ground aren't only making waste but harming animals too. Many small animals, such as bunnies, find their food in areas where people find it appropriate to dispose of their tobacco. What a lot of people don't realize is these animals often end up eating old cigarettes, which is extremely harmful and deadly to them. Keep that in mind smokers. If you are going to smoke, at least dispose of your cigarettes properly!

      Great hub, love your environmental friendly attitude! Voted up!

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      Hyphenbird, I love your comment and your green way of life. Thanks for visiting :-) Yes! One at a time, and we can make a huge difference.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      You have great tips and advice here. Since we started composting, we got rid of our trash pickup. I take about one grocery store plastic bag a week to a friend's dumpster (one I got from someone else). We Eat virtually zero processed foods so we do not have all that packaging and take reusable bags to the grocery stores. Also about 90 percent of our clothing is from consignment and thrift stores. It all makes a big difference to the planet we are stewards of. Thanks for caring so much about the earth. One at a time, we make huge changes.

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      Thumbi, thanks for reading and sharing.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 5 years ago from India

      Thanks for sharing such usefu; information

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      Thank you Lady Wolfs for visiting and commenting.

    • profile image

      Lady Wolfs 5 years ago

      Nice hub and very informative. Many great tips to help our environment and keep it safe. It's a topic that's very important and if everyone did their part it would make a big difference. Thank you for sharing.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting!

    • profile image

      Jessie 5 years ago

      Hm...I just wish the people in my country can notice the littering, plastic and not recycling, I wouldn't make a large change if i was the only one doing it, but I will, who know? people might start copying me?? and Thanks, it was an awesome site for me! I am a teenager but I seriously care about the environmental i am living in.

    • profile image

      yenuli 5 years ago


    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      Thanks Sommer! Thanks a lot. I think even smallest contribution can make this place a better place. This is why I wrote this hub.

    • SommerDalton profile image

      Sommer Dalton 5 years ago

      I wish i could vote this up 10x! I wish more people would read this and choose to recycle and do more for our environment! Loved this voted up and more:)

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      Vibesites, thanks for stopping by and reading :-)

    • vibesites profile image

      vibesites 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks for sharing your valuable tips. The earth is our only planet, why don't we take care of it? Great great hub. :)

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      You're right spy, our place is unique and must be protected. Giving up? Never! It would be any solution. Is it challenging? It might be for some who are less caring or for those who are more short-sighted. This is why we write so often about the environment. We want that everybody knows and remembers how important is it to safe our planet.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      you're right whn you say saving the environment can be challenging. but if we give up, is there hope left on our declining planet? No. We must strive hard to protect our only world. You couldn't find another place like this outside the solar system. this is our own world. we must really save it and take care of it.

    • profile image

      aghila 5 years ago

      thanks yar......

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      I'm very grateful for all comments. Thank you very much. Let's save our precious world a little bit more. Every "bit" counts :)

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 5 years ago from Austin, TX

      Yes, saving the environment can be challenging, but it can be very rewarding. The earth is the only place we can live and breathe, so even in small ways, we can still make ways on how to save it (and save it now). Thanks for the great hub. :)

    • profile image

      deshabattula rakesh 5 years ago

      thank you all for this

    • profile image

      shireesh 5 years ago

      How to Save the Environment - Recycling, Reusing, Composting

    • profile image

      kaki . bhargav rajashaker reddy 5 years ago

      thank you for giving this matter its so use full . we love it . thank you all how struggle for this. i have compalied it

    • profile image

      rakesh 5 years ago

      its toooooooooooooooooooooooo gooooooooooooooooood

    • profile image

      garima 5 years ago

      pls give me the topic of save environment

    • profile image

      hapiss 5 years ago

      this idea is great....i want to follow your tips....your tip is easy to do a nice environment....

    • profile image

      catherina 5 years ago

      its very interesting.but if we reuse plastic materials it will affect our health.then at that time wat to do

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      These are the types of hubs which interest me the most. I actually get excited when I hear new tips on recycling. I like to hand out cloth shopping bags to people in our local super market. My goal? To see that everyone brings there own cloth shopping bags. If most people knew how many fish, turtles and such are killed from plastic bags they wouldn't use them at all.

      Each of us must begin to take responsibility for our enviornment. Thanks so much...


    • profile image

      mikayla 6 years ago

      i love this website and it was helpful to me.

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 6 years ago from UK

      Thank you kittythedreamer for your friendly comment.

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from the Ether

      Voted up and beautiful! More people need to follow these rules and we'd have a healthier planet! Great write-up. Keep preaching the word of recycling and reusing and treating our planet with respect.

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 6 years ago from UK

      Thank you Goodpal.

      You are completely right. Less packaging would solve, at least one of many, environmental problems. Thanks for your comment.

    • Goodpal profile image

      Goodpal 6 years ago

      What we call "waste" appear to come mainly packaging. So studies and legislations should be directed towards minimum needed packing for all items.

      Thanks for writing on an important topic. This hub should be widely circulated.

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 6 years ago from UK

      Thank you Alicia for your, very appreciated, comment.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing some great ideas about a very important topic, jantamaya!