A Lazy Man's Guide to Recycling
Every day you hear about global warming and how this will affect everyone in the future. You know you should be doing something to keep the planet clean for future generations, but you haven't quite figured out where to start or what to do. This guide will give you a good starting point for recycling at home and help you on your way to getting greener.
When most people think about recycling, they automatically think about the plastic bottles and aluminium cans they use and then throw away at home. Recycling is about much more than these two specific items. Most products we use every day can and should be recycled when they are at the end of their use and this guide will tell you about the most common products and how you should go about recycling them.
Glass, Plastics, Aluminium
These are the obvious products that we have recycled for decades now. They should always be separated from normal waste and kept in separate bins for recycling. If your community isn't recycling then you can take these items when they get too much to be managed to a local recycling centre which is usually run by the council and turn them in. This is really an easy recycling choice and it doesn't take up much time or room.
Unfortunately no one really repairs electronic devices anymore these days, and most electronic goods are made to be disposable at the end of their use. That doesn't mean you should just throw them in the regular garbage or take them to the dump. These electronics contain hazardous chemicals such as mercury and other dangerous metals that are not only hazardous to the environment but last for thousands of years polluting the earth. There are now recycling centres in every community where you can drop off electronic equipment and they will strip them of all the parts, separate those parts, and make sure they are disposed of properly. Here's a hint: Most electronics these days contain a small amount of gold, so you may want to start reclaiming some parts on your own.
When it comes to car batteries we all know they should be disposed of properly and most recycling centres and mechanics can and will take them from you. Unfortunately, the bigger problem comes from those small batteries we use and throw away every day. These batteries contain dangerous chemicals as well and literally millions are discarded in the trash every day. When your batteries die in the remote control, your wireless mouse or that fun remote control car, think before you throw them in the trash. Keep a small box or plastic bag and thrown them in there. At the end of the year take them to the local recycling centre and turn them in to be disposed of properly. There is no inconvenience to you and they take up very little space.
With everyone going green these days, fluorescent lights have become the norm because they are so energy efficient and save so much money. What most people don't know is that fluorescent lighting is probably the least green thing you can do. Fluorescent lights contain mercury that will last thousands of years in the earth and when these lights stop working you can't just throw them away. This is the one product in your home that should always be saved and sent to a recycling centre for proper disposal. Again, these are normally compact bulbs that take up very little room and once a year you can take them to the reclaim centre with the other products you need to recycle.
Most people aren't as concerned about recycling paper anymore because paper has been disappearing in the last decade. Paperless billing, newspapers going out of business and more reliance on technology have really curbed our paper usage. Unfortunately, we still throw away too much paper and we don't think about it because we do it one piece at a time. Instead of throwing out that magazine, flyer or postcard, throw them into a box by the door and when the box gets full set it outside with the normal recycling and it will be picked up for you..
These are just a few ideas to get you to become greener in the future without having to go to extremes or work very hard at it. Just following this simple guide will help you to help your community, country and the global problem of pollution. It may not seem like much but every little bit helps, and by doing your part and keeping a watch of what you are disposing of you are not only making the planet a better place for yourself but for future generations as well.
You will probably recognise that annoying screechy, unmistakeable sound of your local metal collector. If you are as lucky as we are you might even have 2 :'(. Do not get me wrong they do serve a purpose and that old metal shed was gratefully handed over but after a late night the last thing I want to hear on a Saturday or Sunday early morning is "Any olllllllld wirrrrre!" in this American country accent with an equally annoying background tune. Back to the point! These are a great way of recycling your old metal products, a lot of this will end up sorted, melted and on a boat to China to be turned into shiny new things!
- Recycling: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recycling
- Going green: http://www.worldwatch.org/resources/go_green_save_green