Recycling household items

People are increasingly becoming more environmentally conscious and are choosing to live life in the best way possible without causing further harm to the planet. From eliminating the use of plastic straws to driving electric cars, every little action counts. Recycling offers significant energy savings, uses fewer natural resources, and keeps waste from piling up in landfills. By using recycled materials you can help reduce the need to damage forests, wetlands, rivers and other places essential to wildlife.

You do not have to become an environmentalist or drastically change your life in order to save the planet, you can start off with the little things in your home. Here are a few tips on recycling your used household items:

Throughout our lifetime we are constantly upgrading our mobile phones, televisions, power cords, and other electrical appliances. E-waste sadly is one of the fastest-growing types of waste in South Africa. They can be potentially hazardous and should not be thrown away. Instead, sell or donate your old electronics to others who can make use of them. You can also give back old mobile phones or electronics for recycling to manufacturers and/or selected retailers. Another great option is to contact e-Waste Association of South Africa (eWASA) to collect and dispose of your e-waste. It's that easy!

Used Oils
Used oil poses a drastic threat to the environment and to you. It contains arsenic, lead and chromium, and cancer-causing PAHs as well as carries other toxins as a result of the stresses it undergoes while it lubricates. Used oil can make its way into rivers, lakes and streams, and increase the toxin levels in the ocean. This can negatively affect the country's drinking water. Generally, there are disposal and recycling instructions on the packaging of oils. You can also contact The Used Oil Company to assist you in disposing of your used motor oil.

Probably the easiest items to dispose of for recycling is paper. If you still receive your bills via mail and have not yet switched to emails, you can collect the envelopes and unimportant letters along with newspapers for recycling. Recycling bins are commonly located outside schools and other organizations in aid of raising much-needed funds. You can also recycle your old books, however, it is advisable to donate them to your local library or sell them. A book may be old to you as you have already read it, but for another, it can be a new source of knowledge or entertainment. Cardboard boxes, including cereal boxes, pizza boxes, and any other type of paper packaging should also be recycled and not thrown out with your trash as these items have a negative environmental impact.

Batteries & Bulbs
Batteries contain extremely toxic materials that contribute to pollution especially when they break down in landfills. It is advisable to use rechargeable and eco-friendly batteries to eliminate pollution. Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs contain a tiny bit of mercury and should not be thrown away with your daily trash. Batteries and bulbs should be safely disposed of at a waste facility in your area.

Plastic Grocery Bags
Plastic bags tend to get caught in recycling machinery and potentially damage the equipment. They are not favourable to recycle and should rather be used as many times as possible. Avoid buying them at till points by carrying a paper or shopper bag to the grocery store.

Do your bid to make the planet a better place for future generations by practising these and more recycling methods. Your future-self will thank you!

04 Mar 2019
Author RE/MAX Masters
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