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Waste has increasingly become a problem in recent years. Pollution buildup in landfills creates various harmful toxins that leak into the air and soil, and data shows that the average person creates over 100,000 pounds of waste during a lifetime. Every step we make towards reducing that waste helps the environment.

There are many ways that each and every one of us can help to protect and preserve the environment. Recycling is a practice that anyone can follow, and it doesn’t have to be a drastic change in your lifestyle. You can implement one practice at a time until they become a habit. Here are some of the things you can do:

1. Think Twice Before Dumping Electronics and Appliances

With our constantly evolving technology, many dumpsites today contain old computers, cellphones, and TVs, to name a few. Instead of throwing things in the trash when you get a new model, consider that others can make use of them.

For example, there are electronic stores and manufacturers that accept old models. They can reuse the parts or refurbish the item to put it back on the market. Some will even provide you a credit you can use for future purchases. Many old appliances and electronics have toxic parts that can destroy the environment. By bringing them to those who know how to handle them, you prevent these materials from leaking in landfills.

2. Know What to Recycle

You can recycle many of the items you use. All types of paper are acceptable, except for those filled with wax, grease, or food. Here are some other materials you can recycle:

  • Plastic: Many plastic items are recyclable. You can reuse a bottle if it has the number one or two at the bottom. Most recycling companies do not accept plastic bags as they don’t work well with their equipment.

  • Aluminum: Aluminum cans are the most common recyclable material. It’s best to clean them before giving them out to avoid any pests. If they take up too much space, you can also crush them.

  • Glass: Like paper, you can recycle most glass. As long as they don’t break or shatter, they will always have secondary uses. Make sure to handle them with care.

3. Have Separate Bins

We often accumulate waste in different parts of the house because we don’t have access to a nearby bin. Having a recycling bin that can collect recyclable materials like paper and plastic will make it easy for you to organise. You can throw materials that you can’t recycle into normal bins in the kitchen or outside. These separate bins can also gather old electronics, containers, and packaging.

4. Compost

We can use most of our food waste and compost it. Food breaks down and can later turn to fertilizer. You can do this yourself at home or purchase a kit for use. If you don’t want to compost, many companies will take your food waste for composting.

These companies accept various meat, dairy, and plant goods. If you’re composting at home, we recommend sticking to plant-based waste to avoid attracting pests and other animals.

5. Find Other Uses for Water

The water you use to cook pasta or wash clothes can have secondary uses. For example, you can pour it into a plant bed and keep your landscape supported. Think of ways you can use water to maximize its effectiveness. Some homes even adopt the use of greywater, which you can use for various chores.

6. Donate

Old clothes which are still usable can help the less fortunate. The same goes for many other items like books, toys, and appliances. As long as they still have a function, there will be a use for them.

However, avoid donating broken or torn items. Don’t donate expired food as it won’t have any use.

Keep on Recycling

By taking a step towards recycling, you reduce solid waste buildup, which helps the environment and the economy.

The government spends money on using landfills, and prices are becoming expensive. By recycling, you reduce the pollution that reaches our waters and wildlife. The materials you save will have future uses after reprocessing and repurposing, and you’ll be making a real difference in the world.

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Next: The UN’s Sustainability Development Goal #12 (SDG-12)

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