Sunday, April 8, 2007

Recycling - find out a new way of living.

What is recycling and what do we need it for? In fact, recycling is the processing of old items and materials into new products. I think, we all have loads of stuff in our houses and apartments. Usually we don't pay much attention to it. Tonnes of trash like plastic, aluminum cans, textiles, aerosol cans are thrown away every day. We manage to get rid of that, but how about the earth? Rubbish stays there for years. Meanwhile, all that stuff can be recycled and reused.

Paper recycling began in Britain in 1921, when the British Waste Paper Association (now Confederation of Paper Industries) was established to encourage trade in waste paper recycling.

Then, during the World war II there was a lack of resources. Massive government promotion campaigns were carried out in nearly every country involved in the war. Citizens were assured to donate metals and conserve fiber, as a matter of significant patriotic importance.

In USA in 1989 the use of polystyrene packaging for keeping McDonald's hamburgers warm was banned. That led to some efforts from the side of Dow Chemical to show that plastics can be recycled. By 1999, there were 1,677 companies in the USA involved in the post-consumer plastics recycling business.

Such materials as glass, plastic, newspapers, aluminum, used motor oil, batteries, textiles, timber can be recycled. No doubt that benefit of it does exist. There are some hazardous materials which are better be left at home until you can get rid of them safely. Recycled material is purer; less energy is needed to process it. For example, Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy cost of processing new aluminum because the melting temperature is reduced from 900 °C to 600 °C.

By recycling we conserve more resources for the future, save energy, decrease pollution of the environment!

Everyone is able to do just some of these little steps in order to reduce the creation of garbage. Here are some tips:

  • Choose products with the least amount of packaging. Avoid juice boxes, plastic outer packs, individually wrapped cheese slices, etc.--anything you throw away even before using the product!
  • Choose packaging that can be recycled in your community.
  • Select no hazardous cleaning and household products. Clean ovens and toilets with baking soda. Use salt and boiling water, a plunger or "snake" for clogged drains. Clean windows with a vinegar and water solution.
  • Buy canvas or string shopping bags you can use again and again.
  • Say "I don't need a bag" for small purchases.
  • Buy razors and other products with a long life instead of one-use disposables.
  • Store leftovers and pack sandwiches in reusable containers, not foil or plastic wrap.
  • Use sponges and washable rags instead of paper towels.
  • Use cloth instead of paper napkins.
  • Use china or plastic dishes instead of paper plates.

You may already know, that buying recycled items is cheaper. By that you are not only saving your money, but also preserving natural resources and reduce toxicity of waste (since you select less hazardous alternatives for certain items).

Furthermore, recycling is a good business. When a factory manufactures its products with less packaging, it's buying less raw material. Also development of mechanical and chemical systems for recycling can be a good business with a good income.

Also you can reuse useless items that are simply not used at home. And everybody can find little things for the reuse. For example, when we go to the store we can snatch some plastic bags and bring them back to it.

Some tips on how to reuse:

  • Buy a battery charger and recharge and reuse batteries.
  • Bring paper and plastic shopping bags back to the store and use them again; some stores will even pay you for them.
  • Use paper and plastic shopping bags, rather than purchased bags, to hold your trash.
  • Pass magazines and books on to friends or to hospitals, senior centers, and others who would enjoy them.
  • Give old clothing, household goods, and furniture to charitable organizations. Or hold a garage sale. Other people will pay you for things you no longer want.
  • Create a market for what you recycle by buying products made of recycled materials. Cereal and other boxes that are gray inside are made of recycled materials. More and more products are labeled to identify recycled packaging.
So you can do "3 saves": 1. save nature resources 2. save your money and 3. save our environment.

See also:

A useful article about recycling, reusing and reducing.

Benefits of recycling. You can read some interesting facts about recycling.

Reduce, recycle and reuse. Learn more.

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