When it comes to being environmentally friendly, we must keep the green mantra of “reduce, re-use and recycle” in mind. Each of these three practices will effectively reduce waste, but the question is where to start and what are the best ways to reduce waste.
Transitioning to a greener lifestyle is a process that takes time, and aiming to go zero-waste is too extreme for most. Instead, it’s a good idea to make changes incrementally, so as to develop new habits in the long-term.
The “three R’s” of solid waste management reduce, reuse, and recycle are listed in order of significance for measures that should be performed to manage solid waste.
In this article, you will learn simple yet effective tips that will help you to reduce your waste and how to reuse waste, so you can play your part in saving the planet.
If you have not yet heard about pre-cycling, it is among the most effective methods for reducing waste. Pre-cycling, as the name suggests, is all about selecting products with as little packaging as possible.
By choosing to purchase “nude food” (wholefoods free of wrappers), consumers can reduce energy expenditures associated with recycling itself.
Additionally, although technically there is technology available for the recycling of plastic, plastic-recycling plants are few and far between. As a result, most plastic packaging ends up being sent to landfills, or even as pollution.
Pre-cycling helps to reduce the amount of waste ending up in the oceans and earth, not to mention it simplifies life. For example, there will be less recycling to manage, essentially freeing up more time.
Pre-cycling also involves purchasing products that have been packaged in biodegradable (or recyclable) materials.
In other words, pre-cyclers must learn to consciously consider the environmental impact of every product bought. Although it may take a while to develop this habit, it is among the most beneficial methods of reducing waste.
Another simple and effective method of reducing waste is composting. Composting is the art of returning organic materials to the earth, where they decompose naturally and contribute to the nutrients in the soil. On the other hand, natural matter sent to landfills actually contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
This is because the packed landfills do not have enough oxygen to support the natural decomposition process. This applies to all organic materials, from compostable packaging to food and garden refuge.
Although the word “composting” generally conjures up images of a dirt heap in the garden, there are modern alternatives to consider. For example, a Bokashi bag is a composting system designed for those living in apartments without gardens. The bag itself is biodegradable, meaning that the entire structure will ultimately disintegrate naturally.
In addition to composting bags that can be easily stored in small spaces, worm bins offer a second alternative composting method. Worm bins produce the best compost, given the precious earthworm secretions filled with nutrients.
In the ways to reuse waste, the best place to start when it comes to reusing is with the notorious plastic bag. Plastic bags are used for an average of twelve minutes, and yet these account for the majority of plastic waste in our oceans and landfills. It has been estimated that a typical American family will purchase and throw away 1500 plastic bags per year.
With this in mind, a simple switch to fabric or canvas carrier bags can make a big difference, and it is one of the easiest habits to cultivate. To take your “reusing” to the next level, invest in smaller fabric bags for the weighing of fruits and vegetables.
As environmental trends continue to gain popularity, a number of waste-free stores have popped up around the globe. These stores allow customers to bring their own reusable containers, and to decant food or household products into the reusable storage items.
This ingenious system is the future of eco-friendly waste reduction, and yet there are more convenient ways to cash in on reusing. The principle of reusing can both benefit the health of the planet, and your pocket provided that you buy second hand.
The Benefits of Reusing
- Reduces or postpones purchase and disposal expenses
- Minimizes waste
- Produces less pollution than recycling or manufacturing new goods from virgin materials
- Makes essential commodities available to people who cannot afford to buy them new
- Conserves materials
Also, You may take some responsibility for the garbage you generate by reusing it. It is liberating and satisfying to use your creativity to visualize what you want from what you have. You can be proud of yourself for conserving money and resources.
As a person how can you use reuing?
- Recover or reupholster worn-out furniture. Make your own wrapping paper out of comic book and magazine pages, or repurpose existing present wrap.
- Aluminum foil and plastic sandwich bags should be washed and reused.
- Use paper shopping bags to wrap mail parcels.
- Daycare centers might benefit from used paper on one side.
- You can donate magazines to libraries and hospital waiting rooms.
What can government do to reuse?
When saying government, it might mean business, industry, institution, and local government. And a factory or industry has huge capabilities and resources making it able to generate new ideas for reusing strategies.
- Developing items that can be reused.
- Recycle and repurpose waste heat, trimmings, plastic debris, cooling waters, chemicals, and other manufacturing products.
- Toner cartridges that can be refilled and reused should be used.
“Recycling is the collection and processing of items that would otherwise be discarded as garbage in order to create new goods. Recycling has the potential to help both your community and the environment.”
Recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills, and lengthens the lifespan of existing materials. For example, aluminium and glass can be recycled endlessly, meaning that there is less demand for the natural resources used to make products.
By recycling, we can maximize the resources we already have, reusing raw materials again and again. It should be noted, however, that not all materials have the same infinite lifespan as aluminum. Paper, for instance, can only be recycled between five and seven times.
After this, the paper can then be made into compostable packaging, before it can eventually return to the earth. But these days there are more options available in terms of what can be recycled.
Depending on the services provided by your local depot, recyclable materials include tetra-packs and various types of plastic.
There are seven different kinds of plastic in total, and each one requires a different recycling process. For this reason, recycling plants for plastic are uncommon, and so it is a good idea to practice pre-cycling with plastic items.
In fact, there are three kinds of recycling: mechanical, energy, and chemical. Each category is further split into lesser groups, but knowing them provides us a better grasp of how the planet manages the majority of its wastes.
Mechanical recycling is perhaps the most often utilized method for reusing leftovers. Plastics are mechanically changed without affecting their chemical properties in this process, allowing them to be utilized to create new materials.
Energy recycling entails turning plastic into both electric and thermal power by utilizing the heating power generated by these materials in the form of fuel through burning. Energy recycling is essential because it has the capacity to vary the energetic matrix while also maximizing the space available in densely populated places with limited space for landfills.
The most complicated method is chemical recycling. Plastics are remanufactured and their chemical structure is changed using this approach, allowing them to be utilized as raw materials in various sectors or as a fundamental input in the manufacture of new plastic goods. Chemical recycling, on the other hand, is more costly and requires a huge volume of plastic to be economically viable.
What can recycling make for us?
- Reduces the quantity of garbage that is disposed of in landfills and incinerators.
- It promotes world industry while conserving important resources.
- It conserves energy.
- Natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals are conserved.
- Increases economic security by utilizing a home material source.
- Reduces the need to acquire fresh raw materials, therefore decreasing pollution.
Materials Recycling Procedures
Collecting: Recycling can be collected in a variety of ways, including curbside pickup, drop-off sites, and deposit or reimbursement schemes.
Processing: Recycling materials are transported to a recovery center where they are separated, cleaned, and processed into resources that may be utilized in manufacturing.
Manufacturing: Material is being used in an increasing number of today’s products. Recycled materials are also being used in novel ways, such as recovered glass in asphalt for road paving and recovered plastic in carpets and park seats.
Examples of common products made from recycled materials:
- Cans made of steel
- Paper towels and newspapers
- Bottles of laundry detergent made of plastic
- Soft drink cans made of aluminum, plastic, and glass
The Bottom Line
In this article, we can learn how to reduce waste in environment, so when it comes to reducing waste, the key is to develop an awareness and waste-free mindset.
By considering every purchase through an environmental lens, it is possible to refrain from making impulsive decisions. Whether through pre-cycling or re-using existing items, the art of waste reduction begins in the mind.
Transitioning from the trash can to the recycling depot is a habit that can be developed, as can the practice of composting. These methods of waste reduction require very little effort, for a very big reward. The future of our planet hangs in the balance, and it is up to us as individuals to each play our part.
The more people who adopt eco-friendly practices, the more public awareness grows. In years to come, these methods will become the norm, so it’s better to start sooner than later.
So learning how to reduce waste in everyday life and practicing the most effective ways for that, will definitely help us to become friends to our environment and world.