CategoryBlogging

5 Things You Normally Throw Out But Can Be Recycled

Introduction

We all know recycling as the process of collecting and converting waste into reusable energy. But the key question here is why recycle? Why should you care? Well, an environmentalist will tell you that recycling helps preserve the natural environment. He will go ahead and explain to you the principle of ‘do no harm’. A business man on the other hand will define recycling as the process of developing new material from waste products that can then be sold for profit. All these explanations makes sense in their own way but business or environment aside, why should we really care? The world we live in, perfect or imperfect as it maybe was designed to support all the living creatures in it and our primary purpose as human beings is to ensure that we preserve it in the best way possible. One of the ways to do that is by recycling. Here we are going to highlight 5 things that we use or encounter in our day-to-day life that can be recycled.

Aluminum Cans

Did you know that on average. Americans take one beverage from an aluminum can every single day but only 49% of these cans are reused? Now imagine how many of these cans are used worldwide and how many of these are wasted every single day. Well, the good thing about these ‘aluminum cans’ is that they are recyclable. Recycling these can take as few as 50 days from the time it is placed in the recycling bin and the best thing about it is that the process takes 95% less energy as compared to producing a new can. So every time you take a soda, think about this statistics.

Magazines and Cardboard Boxes

It is interesting to note that; around 100 billion boxes are produced in the U.S every year and only 75% of them are recycled. Cardboard boxes are made of timber industry by-products (e.g. wood-chips and saw dust). These boxes can be recycled to produce items such as writing or printing papers, tissues, paper towels, paperboard and cereal boxes. Magazines on the other hand are made from coated and buffed papers and can be recycled to produce tissues, paperboard, writing paper and newspapers.

Plastics

Did you know that the plastics generated in the U.S every year is enough to wrap up Texas? And that despite the fact that 2.4 billion pounds of them being recycled, this only contributes to approximately 27% of the total waste stream? This clearly shows that most plastics in our homes are recyclable. Items such as plastic jars, bottles and jugs should be placed in the recycling bin.

Batteries

Car batteries are one of the most recyclable items in the U.S. The batteries as you probably know are made of 60% lead of which 90% of it is recyclable. The majority of these are used in the manufacture of new batteries. The battery also comprises of about 3 pounds of plastics, which can be utilized in the making of new batteries or other useful items. The sulfuric acid can be used in the making of new batteries as well as in the manufacture of dyes, fertilizers and other products. One thing to note though is that bulbs and batteries should never be placed together with other recyclable items.

Electronics

Old, unwanted or non-functional electronics should not be placed with other recyclable items but they are 100% recyclable though through different processes. Electronics such as computers are made of glasses, plastics and metals which can be used in the production of other meaningful products.

Conclusion

The above mentioned items are only but a few of the items in our households that can be recycled. To establish what other items you can recycle you can check with your local recycle and waste management team. Always remember that, we are part of the ecosystem and therefore we should strive to ensure that we do more good than harm.

Please do your part in recycling. If you have any questions about what can be recycled or other questions about our post drop us a line.

Here’s how to adopt a eco-friendly life

Harmful products in our food can cause diseases such as cancer. When you hear the term “eco-friendly, it is your precious life and that of the earth that is intertwined in it The term is generally used to refer to products or human activities that conserve our natural environment and do not harm us.

They are made of organic materials that decompose naturally. Organic fertilizers and agricultural chemicals play an important role in producing eco friendly food products. They also ensure the natural environment including soil and useful organisms are preserved.

There are a number of products that we use in our daily life that harm us and the environment as well. These include plastic bags, fossil fuels running your car engine, inorganic fertilizers, electrons, pesticides and paints just to name a few. Inorganic fertilizer residues in crops find its way into your food on the table. Early this year pieces of polythene were found in major brands of drinking water in many countries around the world that were surveyed. These are a result of careless disposal of plastic wastes. Very worrying indeed. Exhaust fumes from industries and vehicles using petroleum derived fuels contain harmful gases. These gases may cause respiratory problems. Some gases produced when plastics are burnt destroy the ozone layer that protect our skins from harmful rays of the sun.

Greenhouse gases from industries increase in the atmosphere leading to rising temperatures on earth. This results in what is called global warming. This in turn causes disastrous weather patterns like flooding or emergence of deserts.

Pesticides like DDT, used for controlling mosquitoes in many countries, has been found to get its way through fish to hawks. Such hawks lay eggs with weak eggshells that may not hatch. If continued the birds will be extinct. The United States banned the use of DOT to control mosquitoes. It is not late for us to act. There are many products that are eco friendly. These are alternative products that are safe to both life and the environment including animals and plants. There are biofuels that can run your car engine and provide harmless energy. Electric cars and trains have also been developed in an effort to cut down dangerous gas emissions. Planting of many trees is another smart eco friendly solution to a drying planet. Trees are known to purify the air we breath. They also conserve soil, preserve water catchment areas and give us a beautiful environment. Disposal of waste at home, work place, towns and hospitals should be done in an environmental friendly way.

Organic fertilizers or manure and organic agricultural chemicals should be used in crop production because they are eco-friendly. When shopping for eco friendly products check out on the label if they are certified as such. Electronic goods and light bulbs with a star on the label mean they consume less electric energy. Use of renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar safes the environment. It is evident that everyone of us can contribute towards conserving our natural environment by adopting an eco friendly lifestyle. It can be expensive at first but it saves a lot of money and lives in the long run.

The best way to create an organic compost pile at home

So you’re interested in gardening and don’t know about composting or perhaps you’ve been giving a thought to it but cant bring yourself to start the process. Yes there are misconceptions related to composting; its complex, messy, and it smells bad. All those things are true only if you go about composting the wrong way. However, do it right and it gives you wonderful results like a rich soil and a solid base for you to grow plants and vegetables. Below we list the best way you can go about creating a good organic compost pile at home.

Starting out

The first thing to remember about composting is that not all waste in your home can be converted into an organic compost pile. Below is a handy list of what and what not to compost.

DO – vegetable and fruit scraps from your refrigerator, eggshells, coffee grounds, dry leaves, straw.

DON’T – meat, dairy products, feces (dog or cat), animal carcass.

Fast and slow hot and cold

There are two types of composting: hot and cold.

In cold compost you can just dump all scraps mentioned above in a pile/bin in your back garden and wait for it to decompose. This process could take well over a year.

Hot compost however is a quicker process. During warm weather your scraps can turn into compost in as little as two or three months.

Choose a spot

Preferably your backyard is the perfect place for composting. If it gets a lot of sun that’s even better. Once you’ve chosen a spot you can place a bin there. You can even mark a roughly rectangular area and deposit your scraps there. If you want to enclose it inside a wooden construction that’s even better.

Keep in mind: the pile or the bin should be no more than 3 feet in height.

Layer it don’t dump it

Once you have the area decided you can proceed to the more fun part of the composting. Composting should be done in three layers: carbon, nitrogen, and topsoil. Be sure to have a heady mixture of these three and you’ll have a perfect compost. Below is a brief description.

Carbon – untreated sawdust, leaves, hay straw etc.

Nitrogen – vegetable and fruit wastes, manure, fertilizers.

Topsoil – avoid soils containing insecticides and you’re good to go.

Add twigs if you want. They guarantee proper air flow.

Moisture

Bacteria love moisture. Without moisture your scrap will remain what it is in the beginning just scrap. Sprinkle some water into your bin so it becomes roughly soggy. Don’t overdo it however. Oxygen will make sure that your scraps don’t rot and smell. A good combination of moisture and oxygen would mean that your mixture would smell earthy and not give out stench like a waste-pile.

Once you have achieved the above steps it’s time to let your compost sit and do its own thing. Keep any eye on your compost and stir it, overturn it every two weeks or so.

Maintaining an at home compost is much better than buying soil from the store because it allows you to make use of waste you’d normally throw away. We hope this has given the gardener in you enough confidence to start composting.

Tips for A More Sustainable Lifestyle

I want to share with you a few practical eco-friendly tips for you to have a more sustainable lifestyle. I’m trying to do these in my own home so I thought that maybe you would like to know about them as well.

Did you know that the air inside our house is more polluted than the outside air? This is because the materials that our house is constructed from contains a lot of chemicals and sometimes those chemicals are really bad for your health. It’s very important to refresh the air and opening your window is a free thing that you can do to refresh your air and change it. There are of course other things you can do to improve your air quality but this is the easiest and most cost effective way. It can be difficult to do this in the winter because of the cold air, but I think it’s very important to maintain our health that we constantly refresh the air inside our homes, even in the winter.

The second thing is to reduce the heat in our homes and simply put on a sweater and socks. Of course it will depend on the season. In winter we can’t really do that, but if you drop the thermostat by a few degrees you won’t see a change in terms of comfort, but you’ll see the change on your utility bill. What is recommended is to have the temperature at 21 degree Celsius in the room you’re in and during the night lower the temperature to 18 degree Celsius. When you’re not home you can lower it even further to 15 degree Celsius. You will see a big difference on your utility bill because you’re using less energy. If you reduce the temperature for 3 degree Celsius for about eight hours you reduce the amount of energy uses by 4.5%. This may not seem like much but if you add that up over 12 months you’re saving a lot of money on your utility bill.

The third thing is to get rid of the junk mail you receive every week. A bunch of advertisements are mailed in newspapers for shops you don’t go to. It’s just a waste of paper and a waste of money. It cost a lot of money to produce so I think the best thing to do is to call the companies on the advertisements and tell them that you don’t want to receive these newspapers anymore. Tell them you’ll go online and find the promotions when you want to use them. If everyone were to do this it will make a big difference because we won’t waste so much paper anymore.

The fourth thing is to select LED light bulbs in your home. Of course, they will be a little bit more expensive to buy initially, but you’ll save money in the long term because they will use less energy and they will last longer. For the record a LED light bulb will consume 85% less energy than an incandescent light bulb and you’ll have to change 25 incandescent bulbs before you’ll have to change the LED. You’ll save a lot of money in the long term. You’ll also be reducing the energy that you use every day because of course the incandescent ones consume the most energy. Some houses have a lot of light bulbs and I think if we change all of them it can make a very big difference.

The final tip is to turn off the water when you brush your teeth or wash your face. I think it’s an obvious one. I think everybody should do that and it’s so simple and it’s free. The only expense that we have to use is our own energy to turn off the water. I see those people on the internet not doing and it concerns me. It’s so easy to do and you’ll save so much water when you think about the fact that millions of people don’t have access to drinkable water and we waste it for nothing.

So that’s it for today. These are some simple steps to live a more sustainable live. Please implement these today and tell me if you have other simple sustainable living tips.