Disclaimer: This post is contributed by Planning With Kids partner ecostore.
This post first appeared on the ecostore blog.
Buying less and making do with what we have are great things to aim for but what do we do with all the stuff we no longer need? It seems many people are still in the dark about how best to recycle some materials or whether or not they’re even recyclable which is why we put together a handy video with some easy tips for recycling.
Reducing and reusing packaging where we can
- Local markets are terrific they don’t use a lot of packaging and they’re local, so it’s easy to reduce your food miles. Check out http://www.farmersmarkets.org.au to find your closest market.
- If you shop at the supermarket, take your own shopping bags and avoid single use produce bags. Onya have a developed a range of reusable produce bags made by recycling from plastic bottles. Check out their website http://www.onyainnovations.com.au
- Buying meat from your local butcher limits packaging and food waste in your home. Talk to your butcher about reusable plastic containers rather than single use plastic bags. Butchers are also a wealth of information when it comes to getting the best out of your meat and using up left overs.
Packaging is hard to avoid these days. It can protect foods from contaminants and extend their shelf life. Plastic packaging is cheap and lightweight and therefore attractive to manufacturers. But it’s what happens after they’ve been used that is concerning.
- Although FSANZ has released reports (2012) to say consumers have little be concerned about when it comes to chemicals like BPA and Phthalates leaching from some plastic packaging (particularly into food) it’s still an issue that we all need to be aware of.
- If you are purchasing products in packaging – look for numbers 1-7 as these are recyclable in your recycle bin http://www.zerowaste.sa.gov.au/at-home/recycle-right/what-do-the-numbers-and-symbols-on-plastics-mean
- Return your plastic shopping bags to your supermarket for recycling. Most have special collection bins at the front of their stores.
- Most plastics don’t biodegrade, they photograde breaking down into smaller sometimes minute particles that are deadly for the ecosystems of our waterways and oceans.
Paper and cardboard
Paper and cardboard are easy to recycle. Recycling saves virgin trees and the hidden resources required to produce them.
- Paper and cardboard can be recycled in kerbside collection and most offices have internal collection systems.
Glass bottles and glass jars are suitable for recycling.
- Remove labels and lids.
- Heat treated glass (oven doors, windows etc) cannot be recycled by council kerbside collections.
- Light globes are not recyclable and should be wrapped in newspaper and put in your rubbish bin.
- Producing glass from recycled glass uses 75% less energy – reducing greenhouse emissions
- For every tonne of glass recycle there is a saving of 225kg of CO2.
Teaching your kids
- It’s important to show/ talk to your kids about how to recycle properly and why they should recycle.
The good news is – Aussie’s are improving! Between 2003 and 2012 there was a 24% increase in the overall recycling rate around Australia.
Got some recycling tips of your own to share? We’d love to hear them!