Recycling is a major government goal and many areas recycle all kinds of household rubbish, such as cardboard, paper, plastics, cans, glass and garden waste. Here are 10 questions to check your Recycling habits. If you can answer yes to most, if not all, of the them, you are certainly not a recycling renegade. If you don't carry out many of the recycling methods, consider taking on board some of the tips.
Q1. Do you Make Use of Charity Bags?
Recycling is not just about bottles and plastic. It is about reusing or giving away items that can be used by others. Instead of throwing your old clothes in the ordinary dustbin, sending them off to clog up a land fill site somewhere, why not save them and add them to charity bags as and when they come through your letterbox.
If you never get any, take batches off to the charity shop next time you go shopping. Clean clothes that no longer fit you may be fine for someone else and reselling them will raise money for cancer research or heart disease, or some other worthwhile charity.
Q2. Do you Use Bottle Banks?
Many areas now have glass collections for recycling but if yours doesn’t, saving up all your glass bottles and jars and going to the bottle bank once a month is not an onerous task, and it only takes a few minutes. Keep some strong plastic boxes in your garage or shed and add waste glass as you go along. Then load the boxes in the boot and unload at the bottle bank.
Q3. Do you Use Shoe Banks?
Shoes are an enormously useful commodity in the developing world and also in poverty stricken areas in Eastern Europe. Instead of throwing shoes out that still have some wear in them, pair them up, put them in a carrier bag and put them in the shoe bank when you next visit the bottle bank or the waste recycling centre. Children’s shoes are particularly welcome and most children grow out of their shoes rather than wear them out.
Q4. Do You Have a Compost Heap or Bin?
Grass cuttings, weeds, vegetable peelings and other waste plant matter all can be put into a compost heap to rot down for useful fertiliser to replenish the nutrients in the garden. Many areas of the country now also have bins specifically for plant waste. If you get one, make sure you put in all of your peelings, broccoli stalks, dead flowers, weeds and clippings, as well as spent compost from pots and tubs.
Q5. Do You Recycle Cardboard?
Some waste collections recycle cardboard by accepting it in one of the bins supplied to your home but, if not, you can save all your cardboard boxes, cereal packets and General Packaging and take them to the cardboard skip at your local waste recycling centre.
Q6. Do You Recycle Christmas Cards?
Most large supermarkets have a big collection of used Christmas cards in January every year and will take all your old cards. Save birthday cards during the year to take, too.
Q7. Do you Use Both Sides of Paper?
Most people have a computer and printer at home but do you use both sides of the paper? If you are printing out drafts, you can save the paper and print again. Or use the other side for notes or shopping lists. You should never throw out paper that has a blank and usable side.
Q8. Do you Recycle Paper?
Even after you have used the paper on both sides, make sure you add it to a paper bank or put it in the correct bin for paper recycling. Most paper recycling can’t accept gummed paper or plastic, so you can recycle envelopes but any good quality printing paper, magazines or junk mail is usually fine.
Q9. Do You Make Your Own Dusters?
Why not learn a lesson from years ago, when 'make do and mend' was a great motto. People would tear up old sheets and old clothes to make dusters and cleaning cloths. This recycles the material, saves landfill and saves money on buying expensive cloths to do the same job.
Q10. Do you Use Your Own Shopping Bags?
Don’t collect Plastic Bags And Carriers when you shop. It’s easy to end up with drawers full of bags and, if you don't recycle them, they'll end up in landfill, where they take over a century to break down. Buy some good quality hessian bags, or permanent carriers and use them every time you shop. They are kinder to the environment and to your fingers – cloth bags don’t bite into your hands so much when the shopping gets heavy.