The mantra of “reduce, reuse, recycle” has become more and more commonplace over the last ten years, but while that’s a great improvement, we sometimes wonder how many of us really do the first two things? Many of us simply stick to the last bit “recycle” and forget about all of the other green things we could be doing. In actual fact, the three R’s are ranked in order of importance, so while recycling is a great thing to do, it should still be a last resort.
Reduce means just that – reduce the amount you consume, or consume things that are sustainably sourced. Re-using things is also important – do they really need to be thrown out? The Recycle bit, when you’ve classed something as “waste”, should be the last stage in the scenario. If you want to really make an impact on how much stuff you personally send off to the landfill, then all three need to be kept in check. So here are some easy tips to help you be green.
Know What You Can Recycle
Do you really know what items can be recycled? This might differ from county to county, and from state to state, so keep up with the rules. It might be interesting for you to know that plastic, paper and cardboard are not the only commonly recycled items. In 2009, an American company released these statistics as to the top ten most recycled items that year, and they were: Computers, Batteries, Televisions, Paint, Aluminium Cans, Used motor oil, CFL’s, Glass, Fluorescent lamps, and Christmas trees. So if you tend to just send these to the tip, it’s time to have a re-think – they can have other lives after you think they are just “waste.”
Think Recycled – Buy Recycled
The more you buy recycled items, the less virgin material is needed to produce them. Nearly all paper products can be bought recycled these days, from toilet paper to paper for the office. Why buy brand new, when you can buy things that other people have loved and no longer need – this applies to everything from clothes to furniture. Second hand goods aren’t just sold in charity shops; you can find many classy vintage boutiques.
You can even buy products made from recycled materials such as custom kitchenware like Preserve Kitchenware. Preserve products are made in the U.S.A from 100% post-consumer paper and recycled materials. By using these recycled materials, they preserve natural resources and save energy.
Another idea is to buy biodegradable products that contribute to a green lifestyle. For example, Biokleen laundry and cleaning products are fully biodegradable and never biodegrade into harmful compounds. Right now, you can even save 15% on Biokleen products at Vine.com!
Green Your Water Works
Water is one of the biggest things we tend to waste in the home. Switching to showers is all very well, but what about keeping that “grey water” for use on the garden, too? Just remember to use biodegradable soaps and shampoos, which are now readily available. If you own a home, why not switch to using rainwater to flush your loo – it only takes a few clever tricks with the plumbing. Rather than buying bottled water, eliminate the bulk of plastic bottles you recycle by using a re-usable water bottle instead and filling it up at home. It’s easy! So while it’s still great to recycle plastic, glass, and paper, it’s clear that there are lots of ways we can improve on being green!
Shop at Vine.com
With thousands of environmentally friendly products from organic cereal to sustainably-made furniture , Vine.com has everything you need to live life green. Right now, Vine.com is offering BerryRipe readers 20% off your first order when you shop and use promo code VINE012. You know that every product available at Vine is good for the environment, so you’ll have peace of mind that you’re living life to the “greenest.”
Gavin Harvey is a personal trainer with a passion for all things green. When he’s not off trying to save the world, he’s busy partying at festivals or watching classic films. He writes blogs for Merritt Plastics in his spare time.