It’s important for most people that they do their part to help the environment. Things like green living, sustainable power, and reduced use of natural resources are big priorities these days. However, what if you found out that going green is something anyone can do? It’s a relatively easy thing to reduce how much you use and tweak your lifestyle to a more eco-friendly one.
Like many other efforts, it all starts at home. With a few hints and tips, you can start making some changes of your own to help the environment out a little. Recycling is an excellent place to start; a little goes a long way, so a little recycling can do wonders for the environment. It doesn’t take too much effort to make a comprehensive recycling system at home.
Try these practical recycling ideas to get a head start on recycling some of your trash.
1. Take some R & R & R – You’ve heard people say “Reduce, reuse, and recycle” before, but it’s the last one most people remember. Remember to reduce and reuse as well to help reduce your waste footprint.
You can start by reducing the amount you consume (e.g. with food, electricity, and gas). Shift to better-designed, more durable products and services that offer greater mileage or more use to the dollar. As for reusing, find more constructive uses for “waste” materials. For example, if it’s not broken, fix it instead of replacing it. Keep throwing your things away as a last resort as much as possible. Strike a balance between those three principles to help reduce your waste.
2. Buy recycled – When it comes to recycling, apply the same principles to buying new stuff. At its heart, recycling creates a cyclical movement of materials; the same materials are used again and again, reducing the need to use new materials when making or buying new things. Supporting recycled products is another way you can support the system and feed the loop. It’s much easier to find recycled content being used everywhere (e.g. with printer paper and used balers). Make sure you know the difference between recyclable and recycled; sticking to recyclable materials allows you to close the loop and continue the cycle.
3. Encourage an artist – Another thing you can do with your recycled materials is to make something new out of them. If you have an artist in the family, try encouraging them to turn waste products (like paper towel tubes and rubber bands). While they’re at it, let your kids use more eco-friendly materials when making regular artworks (e.g. recycled paper and biodegradable pencils, glue, and paint). If you know any art teachers in the neighbourhood, ask if they can promote lessons on making art out of trash to help the idea along.
4. Anticipate recycling – When buying recycled goods, think of ways you can reuse and recycle everything you buy. For example, consider how you can use the packaging for something else once you’ve opened it. That way, you can find new uses for things you’d ordinarily throw away. That also extends to other purchases. If you’re buying things that wear down over time, like electronics, focus on models you can upgrade easily to get more mileage out of your purchase. Those models also make it easier to find spare parts, the better to help avoid junking it entirely.
5. Let go of your old stuff – One way of clearing up space while also doing some recycling is giving it up. Think of it like hand-me-downs, only you’re giving your old stuff away to charity. Rather than throw away things you don’t need anymore (e.g. old clothes that don’t fit or toys your kids have outgrown), donate them to a local Toronto charity. Giving is an effective, environmentally-friendly way of eliminating waste and saving on space. Try making it a rule that nothing usable goes in the trash until you’ve given the community a chance to claim it first.
6. Keep a bin in every room – Location always matters, and that applies as much to your recycling bins as anything else. Most people put their bins in the kitchen, but it’s ideal to have a recycling bin in every room. This way, you can make sure your family put the recyclables in the recycle bin, instead of the trash can. Put the appropriate bins in the right room to collect the proper recyclables. For example, use the bathroom bin to collect toilet paper rolls, pill bottles, and empty product containers. At the same time, work out a system with the rest of the family so everyone knows where to empty the bins when they get full.
7. Recycle your electronics too – Thanks to technology making so many leaps and bounds, it’s common to upgrade every few years to get the latest gadgets. Rather than throw your devices out, look into recycling options. Many electronics stores take back certain items or put you in touch with companies that can help you. Some manufacturers accept old devices they can refurbish or use for spare parts. Alternatively, you can donate your used electronics to local repair shops or trade schools for them to tinker with. There are plenty of uses for your old electronics even when you don’t need them anymore.
8. Know what is and isn’t recyclable – When you send in things to be recycled, make sure they can be processed. Study how waste is regulated in Toronto to guide you concerning recyclables. As a quick rule of thumb, paper and cardboard are typically acceptable, as long as they’re clean (so no pizza boxes). Aluminum is mostly the same, as long as you rinse out the contents. For recyclable plastic, check the number (it’s usually on the bottom). Numbers one to seven are usually accepted. Glass is also acceptable for recycling; rinse them out to clean them and avoid breakage to prevent contaminating individual batches of recycled glass.
9. Start networking – Like other endeavours, recycling can be made much easier with other people’s help. Look around for local recycling non-profit networks. Linking up with like-minded people can open up more opportunities for eco-friendly waste removal. It’s much easier to make a habit of recycling when you’ve got others to help you find ways to do it more effectively. Try getting in touch with your new contacts to find new equipment (like horizontal balers) that can make recycling much more convenient.
Recycling can sometimes be tougher than expected. When you need help getting the job done, give BaleForce Recycling Equipment a call.
We offer a range of new and used balers alike to make waste disposal an easier task for you. Drop us a line at (416) 235-1900 or visit our contact page to get in touch and find the right baler for your needs.