Recycling is a great way to transform old things we usually throw away. Whether you find eco-friendly ways to get rid of clutter or are interested in specific items that can be recycled at home, there are many practical ways to recycle household items or give old things a new life.
You probably have a lot of things around your house that you can reuse, recycle, repurpose, or upcycle. You’ll see everyday things differently when you change how you think about throwing things away (where is “away” anyway? ).
Figures from the United Nations show that the world makes 2.12 billion tons of trash annually, and that number is increasing. By recycling things that aren’t used very often at home, we can do a small but important part in protecting the environment and bringing back the glory of our city.
Many things can be used for different things, including things that can be recycled. This keeps them out of landfills and keeps you from having to buy something new to do the same job. This will help you have less of an effect on the environment and live in a good way for the planet.
In this blog post, we will be looking at household items that can be recycled and the recycling reasons. Let’s look at the recycling reasons first. Keep reading.
Reasons For Recycling
There are several good reasons to recycle. Of course, the main reason is that it’s good for the environment, but there are also many other good reasons.
- Recycling cuts energy use by a huge amount. For example, it takes 92% less energy to make aluminum cans from “secondary production” than raw materials.
- It can be a lot of fun on your own or with your family when you have some free time.
- Even though modern landfills are made safer than they used to be, it’s still a bad idea to send things there that don’t need to be.
- Recycling cuts down on global warming and keeps greenhouse gases from getting into the air that doesn’t need to be there.
- Recycling (and upcycling and downcycling) is good for wildlife. For example, it is well known that plastic bottles in the ocean hurt sea life.
- Recycled products are turned into new raw materials, which can be used to make new things without using up resources that may be limited.
- Materials used for more than one thing can save a lot of money.
7 Household Items That Can Be Recycled
Most cities’ recycling programs take these kinds of household items. Earth911 can help you find the closest recycling center if you don’t have curbside pickup.
- Paper, cards, junk mail, magazines, newspaper
- Bags made of brown paper, shoe boxes
- All types of paper, as long as they are clean and don’t have extras like glitter, etc.
- Shredded paper
- Paper/cardboard or plastic egg cartons?
- Cardboard boxes that have been flattened and cut into sizes that are easy to handle
- Aluminum cans/steel cans
- Glass and plastic bottles
- Plastic & glass jars
- Yogurt containers
- Aerosol cans
- Clean foil
The most important of the 3 R’s for going green is reducing. If you cut back on how much you use, you’ll have less stuff to recycle.
Here are seven common household items that can be recycled and given new life.
1. Plastic Bags
As you try to use less plastic in general, don’t use plastic bags when you can. Bring your bags to the grocery store and farmer’s market. It’s easy to switch once you’re used to using them.
But sometimes, you still end up with a plastic bag, like when your local newspaper drops off a free trial or a set of sale ads in a plastic bag. There are ways to recycle or reuse them at home.
- Instead of buying plastic bin liners, you can use them to line your trash cans.
- For projects like painting, put a plastic bag over the lid of the paint can before putting it back on. This keeps dirt or flaky bits of dried paint from falling into the liquid.
- Save them to wrap fragile things you want to store or send.
- You can recycle them at grocery stores and on some curbsides.
- You can find ideas for crafts that reuse plastic bags on Pinterest.
2. Plastic Water Bottles
Most importantly, use fewer water bottles by using a water filtering system and drinking from real glasses or mugs at home. Bring a water bottle that you can use more than once.
- If you don’t have a low-flow toilet, you can add water-filled plastic water bottles to your tank to compensate for the excess water flow.
- Water bottle bottoms can be detached and used to grow seedlings.
- Check out craft sites like Pinterest for craft ideas that use recycled bottles.
- If a plastic water bottle is necessary, put it in the recycling bin instead of adding to the problem of single-use plastic waste.
Similar: Best 10 Eco-friendly Water Bottles
3. Old Television
There are dangerous chemicals in TVs. Up to 8 pounds of heavy metals like lead and other metals. Most TVs can’t be donated to Goodwill or other stores.
Your old televisions must be put in with the rest of your recycling.
Do some research to find the closest place to recycle. Most big cities have them, and some electronic stores also have recycling programs. If you wish to get rid of your old electronics instead of taking them to a recycling center, remember that many contain chemicals and heavy metals that are bad for the environment.
4. CDs, DVDs, VHS Tape
Did you finally get around to digitizing all those old home movies? When you’re ready to dispose of your old media, check with your neighborhood recycling facility to see if they will accept it. This is the simplest way to recycle at home. If not, here are some interesting ways to keep them from ending up in the trash.
- Use CDs to make a creative scarecrow. Birds and some daytime animals will stay away from your garden because of the light. Or, if you have a pet that lives outside, it keeps crows from eating the food you put out for the pet.
- Take them to the local arts and crafts center to be recycled. They will be used to make bases for gift bags or drop spindles for spinning wool.
- Make a collage on your wall or ceiling from CDs reflecting light.
- Instead of buying plastic rope to tie your garden posts together, use old VHS tape.
5. Skincare and Makeup Containers
It’s time to go to your bathrooms and organize those bottles of foundation and moisturizer at the bottom of your drawers and makeup bags for months or even one year or two.
Think twice before you toss out those things you didn’t like or use. Many makeup companies now care a lot more about the environment and use more recyclable materials in their packaging.
So, to reduce your carbon footprint, check to see if the packaging is recyclable and made from safe materials for the environment before you throw it away.
Before you recycle something, you should do your research. Calling your local recycling center will help determine what items are safe. Just make sure there’s nothing in the containers.
On the other hand, more expensive makeup brands are doing more to get their customers to recycle their containers. With MAC Cosmetics’ “Back to MAC” campaign, you can get free lipstick if you return six empty containers to your local MAC counter.
Other brands, like Lush and Kiehls, have similar recycling programs. Depending on how many containers you bring, you can get special products in exchange.
6. Toothpaste Tubes and Toothbrushes
About 59% of us throw away our toothbrushes when the bristles are worn out. Many of us don’t know that we can now recycle a lot of toothbrushes. We only need to examine the packing.
Manufacturers are now making toothbrush handles out of plastic that can be recycled. This is helping to cut down on waste all over the country. If your toothbrush isn’t recyclable, you could also use it again.
Even when they should be replaced, old toothbrushes still have a lot of life left in them. A toothbrush can be used to clean a lot of different things. It can get between your bathroom tiles, shine your silverware, and even clean your shoes.
It’s a great little tool around the house for odd jobs. So, if you can’t recycle it, try to find another use.
Many of us don’t think about recycling a mattress when it’s time to get a new one. But it turns out that our mattresses are made of things that can be recycled. Everything, from the metal springs to the foam and cotton, can be used again.
There are ways to get rid of your mattresses in an eco-friendly way. You can have it picked up by your local council, as many now offer bulk item collection services to help with recycling.
In some places, this is free, but other councils may charge a fee to pick it up. Private companies like Collect Your Old Bed can pick up mattresses all over the UK and take them cheaply to the nearest recycling center, where all the parts are properly cared for.
Household items are essential in our homes for our comfort and relaxation. We often tend to trash most of these items when they get spoilt or no longer need them.
Recycling these items can help us keep an eco-friendly environment and save more money.
For a sustainable environment, always look out for items that can be recycled.