Millions of tons of waste are generated each year in our homes and communities. Due to how these wastes affect our health and environment when they are not correctly handled, every one of us has a role in saving our environment by reducing, reusing, and recycling materials and encouraging others to embrace sustainability.
The first place to start making a difference is right from our homes. Here are ways to reduce the amount of waste you generate, reduce your carbon footprint, and create a sustainable life.
What is sustainability?
Sustainability is a business approach or concept based on building long-term value by considering how a particular company operates in the ecological, social, and economic environment.
A sustainable business is one that incorporates the principles of sustainability into each business decision it takes, that is, one whose goals and actions are based on financial, economic, and social concerns. Such businesses have made enduring commitments to environmental principles, and so they supply environmentally friendly products to customers and are greener than traditional competition.
The most preferred and effective method of managing waste is preventing waste generation in the first place. The idea is to reduce what is produced and what is consumed since if there’s less waste, there will be less to reuse or recycle.
The ‘reduce’ process starts with assessing the items you use and the purpose they serve. To reduce production and consumption, you are expected to go for things that have multi-use. For instance, buying a KitchenAid mixer that can serve as a mixer, beater, juicer, food processor, food grinder, spiralizer, and ice cream maker with some attachments takes away the need to buy a separate item for each purpose; hence the need for new products will be reduced for the items you didn’t buy, and you’ll also generate less packaging waste material.
Also, ensure that the items you purchase are things you really need or consume since buying them encourages more production, waste resources, and generates waste.
Other ways to reduce waste include:
- Do not buy items that are over-packed with paper, plastic, and foil.
- Purchase durable/long-lasting products.
- Buy reusable plates, spoons, cups, and napkins instead of the disposables.
- Borrow, share, or rent items that you don’t frequently use, for instance, party decorations.
- Print on both sides of the paper and send emails instead of paper mails to reduce paper wastage. Etc.
Another method to save waste materials from our landfills is to find new purposes for them. Many items can be put to other uses different from what they are originally intended for. You may either reuse such items yourself or give them out to others to use.
Ideas on Reuse include:
- Turning empty jars into left-over food containers.
- Using old tires to make swings.
- Using water bottles as flower beds.
- Turning old jeans, t-shirts, and other clothes into bags and tote-bags with the help of online tutorials. Etc.
Recycling means transforming waste into raw material that can be made into new items. Using materials recovered from the recycling process leads to less solid waste. There are very few materials on Earth that cannot be recycled.
Recycling is beneficial in the following ways:
- Saves resources for future uses.
- Supplies valuable raw materials to industries,
- Prevents the emission of many greenhouse gases and water pollutants.
- Saves energy
- Reduces the need for new incinerators and landfills. Etc.
However, the job doesn’t end when you recycle your household waste. Buying recycled products and packaging is also vital to make recycling economically feasible.
In conclusion, the earth is ours to protect; hence everyone needs to adopt environmental-friendly practices to help manage waste better. The methods discussed here are not difficult to implement; you only need to make small changes to your lifestyle, and you are set on a sustainable life.
Lydia Keith started at Recycle Technologies after the company was purchased in March of 2020. Her organizational skills, ability to learn quickly, and familiarity with government requirements and guidelines will be immeasurably beneficial to Recycle Technologies and its path forward in the changing and growing world of recycling.