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Rethink before You Recycle - Vigilante Tips

Rethink before You Recycle - Vigilante Tips

11 easy ways to rethink your lifestyle and save a corner of the planet

For many people, recycling their paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, glass and cardboard in the recycle bin is the end of the story. But what if you discovered that most recycling is extremely expensive, resource intensive and should always be the second last resort to landfill?

The other alternatives to recycling are to rethink, repurpose, refuse, reuse and reduce. What if you simply didn't produce so much recyclable stuff in the first place? Here are ten tips to set you on your way to reducing your recycle bin substantially. And best of all, they are so easy, you probably won't even notice the change.

  1. When you do buy food in a container, think about what you might use the container for later. For instance, if you always buy mayonnaise or vegemite, think about buying it in the same size jar each time and you will be more inclined to keep the jar and store other items in it later. 
  2. Choose glass containers over plastic every time. Glass will last a lot longer, stores food better, is clean and won't contaminate your food.
  3. Anything that doesn't leak can become a vase for flowers, fruit or other decoration. 
  4. Get a metal water container and stop buying those ridiculous plastic water bottles.
  5. Get a soda stream instead of buying mineral water, soda water and soft drinks.
  6. If you have the storage space in your fridge or pantry, buy bigger amounts and reduce your packaging.
  7. Say no to shopping bags of any kind - plastic, paper or foil. Keep reusable ones in your common hangouts - in your briefcase and handbag, in your desk at work and the car boot.
  8. Reuse hand pumps and spray bottles for future bulk purchases like liquid soap.
  9. If you receive cards or gift wrap, reuse the gift wrap and turn the cards into tags.
  10. Cancel the newspaper and magazine subscriptions and go online.
  11. Reduce the size of your kitchen garbage bin and use all bags of any kind - plastic and paper as rubbish bin liners. If you make sure you empty daily, it won't matter if the bag previously stored food.

The key thing to remember about changing habits it to treat any change like getting fit. Don't try and do every thing at once. Take one thing. Change that and move on to the next.

Image: Nailia Schwarz/Shutterstock

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