Starting on the 20th of September, Recycling Week is all about creating awareness around recycling, promoting living a more sustainable life, and sharing valuable information to those who aren't sure how to put eco-friendliness into action!
One of the most passionately celebrated eco-friendly weeks in the year, Recycling Week is back! This will be the 19th annual Recycle Week led by waste and resource charity, WRAP.
So, in dedication of a truly important and inspirational week, we thought we would create this piece to support you with your recycling dreams! Think of this article as your recycling 101, providing you with actionable information that can transform the sustainability of your life.
How To Have a More Eco-Friendly Lifestyle By Recycling
Recycling helps the world by reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills, conserving natural resources that would've been used as new raw materials, and saving energy. So, what's not to love about it?
Here's our guide to recycling more at home and at work, as well as how you can be part of the bigger change and promote a more sustainable lifestyle!
Recycling At Home
Here are our five top tips for recycling at home, so you can ensure that you're reducing the amount of waste your household contributes to landfills.
1. Check Your Local Recycling Rules and Get Recycling Bins
If you don't already have recycling bins in your home, the very first thing you need to do is set up your recycling process. Then, all you need to do is check your local recycling rules (what they will and won't recycle, how they want you to separate your waste, and when they collect), and get yourself some recycling bins.
Depending on how your local council wants your recycling to be sorted, you can have a mix of bins and place them near your ordinary trash bin! This way, you're much more likely to get into the habit of dividing up your waste and recycling.
2. Flatten Cardboard and Paper Items Before Putting Them In Your Recycling Bins
Although this might sound super simple (and it is!), people often forget that the easiest way to recycle more is by squishing the cardboard and paper items down in your recycling bins so that you can fit more in! Make sure that you're flattening any cardboard or paper items that you're recycling. Otherwise, they're going to take up a lot of room, and you won't be able to fit as much in (which could lead to you using your standard waste bin as the rubbish starts adding up).
Just make sure that you don't squash any aluminium cans because when they're squished down, it makes it much harder for them to be sorted by the machines at most recycling centres.
3. Reuse Non-Recyclable Items
Unfortunately, some things simply cannot be recycled, such as items that have held food (e.g, paper takeout boxes), aluminium foil, ceramics, plastic wrap, packaging materials like bubble wrap, and waxy layered boxes.
With these kinds of items, please don't lose hope, you can still recycle them, but you're going to have to do so at home by yourself. You can gather these types of items and figure out if you can reuse them in any way around the house - doing an arts and crafts session with your children (or by yourself!) is a great way to reuse non-recyclable items.
4. Make Eco Bricks
A great way to recycle any plastic waste that you have in your home is by creating eco-bricks. Eco bricks are plastic bottles that you fill with other types of plastic waste - once full, they act as bricks, and you people use them in gardens, build schools, or make furniture.
You can donate your eco-bricks to places that use them to build schools and community centres, or you can use them in your own home or garden to make some eco-friendly DIY adjustments!
5. Have A Compost Bin
Food waste is another type of waste that cannot be recycled, and therefore, if you want to be as sustainable as possible, you can compost your food scraps yourself! If you have a garden or yard, you can get an outside compost bin, but equally, if you don't, you can purchase a smell-free, fully-sealed countertop compost.
Every so often, when your compost gets full, you can then use the compost for your garden, or you can give it to others that are keen gardeners!
Recycling At Work
As well as the home, recycling is incredibly important at work, especially since we all spend so much time there! So, if you're trying to make the office more of an eco-friendly zone, take a look at these three tips on recycling at work - they're applicable for everyone, whether you're a CEO or employee!
1. Have Proper Recycling Bins and Enforce The Waste Rules
If your workplace doesn't already have a set of recycling bins, you need to get some! If you're an employer, get these recycling bins, inform your employees about them, and ensure that you have a strict recycling policy - you need people to stick to the rules for it to be truly beneficial. If you're an employee, talk to your manager about getting recycling bins and creating a more sustainable waste management scheme in your workplace.
2. Send Emails and Print Less
Statistics show that the average office worker uses over 10,000 sheets of paper each year - this is a lot of waste! After all, how many things that you print do you read and hang onto long term? Most likely none!
However, this can be easily fixed - unless something absolutely needs to be printed, send an email for communication, presentations, and memos. You can also add "please save the environment and only print if necessary" to the signature of your email to prompt others to reduce their paper waste.
3. Take Your Own Food and Use Reusable Containers
Suppose you're ordering lunch every day, popping to the shops for snacks, or running out to grab a takeaway coffee. In that case, you're going to be creating a lot of non-recyclable waste every day (stained food containers and plastic-lined containers are non-recyclable). Therefore, to reduce this waste, ensure that you're using reusable containers for your food and drinks during the day.
Bonus points if you take your own food with you to work!
How To Inspire Others To Recycle More
There are several ways to inspire others to recycle more (sharing this article, for example!), but the most important thing is to raise awareness and offer actionable inspiration.
Talk to people about climate change, the waste crisis, and educate them as well as you can about the benefits of recycling. By talking to people about these issues and the recycling solution, you will change workspaces, cafes you go to, and friends' homes.
Talking to children and setting the precedent that recycling is essential to help the environment is also instrumental to reducing waste - after all, they are the future leaders!
The Best Thing You Can Do: Think About What You're Buying First!
One of the best things you can do to ensure you have a more sustainable lifestyle is to simply put more thought into what you're buying in the first place. Buy from sustainable brands that use recycled or recyclable materials, and only buy what you truly need to reduce waste.
If you're a Juno member and want to prioritise recycling and sustainability, take a look at Juno Providers Wild Deodorant, Homethings, Melahuac skincare, and Just Bottle. All of these brands focus on being as environmentally friendly as possible, and therefore, you can enjoy unique products without environmental guilt!
Have fun recycling!