Have You Ever Wondered What Can Be Recycled Around The House?

Are you looking for eco-friendly ways to declutter? Are you wondering what things you can recycle around your house instead of just throwing them in the trash? We are here to help. We all spend plenty of time sorting out our plastics and papers from the trash each week.

Eco concept with green recycle symbol

However, most of us don’t realize that various household items are recyclable and shouldn’t go to the kitchen bin. You can repurpose, reuse, or upcycle those things. Want to learn more? Keep reading!

Why do we need to recycle?

Did you know there was something that you could do daily which is easy, doesn’t cost you anything but creates jobs for others and saves money, water, and energy? Wondering what it is? It is recycling! Here are a few reasons why you should do it:

1. Keeps the trash out of landfills

The more you reclaim, the more you keep the trash from going to the junkyards. This is a source of pollution and uses up precious land that can be used to make our planet greener. Also, the trash there produces methane, which is a toxic greenhouse gas. That can’t be good, right?

2. Reduces the need for raw materials

All the items that we use daily are produced from limited and valuable resources. Therefore, it is essential to hang on to as many of those items as possible for future use. When we extract raw materials from the environment, it costs a lot of money. 

Plus, it uses a lot of energy and water as well. When we reclaim things, we extract fewer raw materials. This conserves our finite and precious natural resources, such as water, oil, metals, trees, etc.

If we reuse, we save the energy that would have been spent creating more products for us to use. Also, when we extract raw materials, it produces pollution as well. More recycling means less extraction, so it means less pollution. Simple maths! 

A worker recycling thinks

3. Creates jobs for people

Surprised? Don’t be! All the recycling and repurpose activities provide jobs to thousands of people every year. Thus, recycling isn’t only good for the environment, but it is also good for the economy.

Things around the house that you can recycle

By recycling and reusing, you can pay your dues to mother Earth. Let’s see what are a few things lying around the house that you can reclaim:

1. Books

While you can dispose of printer paper, greeting cards, cardboard boxes, catalogues, newspapers, magazines, junk mail, etc., in your regular paper-recycling bin, you shouldn’t do the same with books. If there are some books in your home that you don’t need, you should donate them to your local library, schools, used bookstores, etc. 

If your books are in really bad condition and can’t be donated, you should check your area’s recycling regulations. Some cities have select book drop-off locations, while some accept old books with the rest of your paper recycling. If you have hardcovers, remove their spines as the adhesive bindings are not reusable materials.

A kid playing with peaces from old electronics

2. Old electronics

Do you happen to have a TV that you don’t use anymore? Unfortunately, you can’t simply toss it in with the rest of your recycling. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t reprocess your old electronics. Take your old televisions, laptops, power cords, etc., to the nearest recycling service which deals with them.

We know it sounds complicated – finding a recycling centre, lugging your old electronics there – but don’t throw them in the trash. They are full of heavy metals and chemicals that are harmful to the environment.

3. Athletic shoes

Is your shoe rack full of old shoes? Once our old shoes kick the bucket, we simply toss them into the trash. However, why not donate them instead of sending them to the junkyard? Some shoe companies have shoe recycling programs and accept old pairs. Look them up and play your role as a responsible citizen.

Coffee pods on wooden background

4. Coffee pods

You love your filter coffee machine, don’t you? Do you get your daily caffeine fix from single-use coffee pods? If you do, then it is time to reprocess those small plastic cups. Billions of coffee pods make their way to junkyards every year. However, with very little effort, you can group them with your regular recycling.

Coffee pods are made of aluminium, plastic, paper, and coffee grounds. To reprocess them, you should separate the individual components. Use the coffee grounds in your compost and reclaim the paper, aluminium, and plastic. 

Composting is a brilliant habit that keeps the planet green. You should dispose of your food waste, garden waste, and other household waste in your compost instead of throwing the general waste in a waste bin.

5. Ink cartridges

Bought a new ink cartridge after your printer ran out? Don’t throw the old cartridge in the trash as they are full of toxic materials. Fortunately, many local recycling stores will take the cartridges off your hands and send them to the designated recycling centres. You may even get a reward for turning in your old cartridges when you buy new ones!

CDs and DVDs in a garbage bin

6. CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes

Like old electrical items, outdated media like CDs, DVDs, etc., can be reprocessed. If yours are in good condition, you can donate them to local charities or local second-hand stores. If you have VHS tapes, you can remove the film and reclaim the plastic case.

7. Plastic bags and water bottles

Going green and thinking about the planet isn’t only for Earth Day. You need to develop eco-friendly, smart habits throughout the year. Switch to cloth bags instead of plastic bags. Even though many grocery stores and supermarkets have banned bags of plastic, they are still ubiquitous. 

If you have any bags lying around your home, repurpose them. Instead of buying plastic trash can liners, use the old ones that you have at home. Find out which stores and grocers have bag recycling programs and get rid of yours the right way.

We recommend that you install a water filtering system at your home instead of using plastic water bottles. Take reusable stainless steel or glass bottles with you so that you don’t buy plastic bottles when you feel thirsty.

Do you want to hear a great idea? Plant seedlings in your old plastic water bottles. Cut off their top and use them as plant pots

Things you can’t recycle

There are some things that, unfortunately, can’t be reclaimed. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Hands choose lids and caps

1. Lids & caps on water bottles

Most of the lids and caps on detergent bottles, soda drink cans, water bottles, etc., can’t be reprocessed. This is because they are made from plastic #5 polypropylene, which is a form of non-recyclable plastic.

2. Packing peanuts

Packing peanuts and bubble wrap can’t be reclaimed as well since they are made of polystyrene. If you get a parcel with packing peanuts in them, we suggest that you repurpose them around the house instead of shipping them off to the landfill.

3. Styrofoam containers

Styrofoam containers such as coffee cups, food trays, margarine tubs, take-out boxes, egg cartons, drink cartons, disposable straws, etc., are not reusable. The worst part is that they are not even biodegradable. 

Woman hands holding food containers

Therefore, we suggest that you should keep away from polystyrene and plastic packaging as much as possible. Use aluminium foil trays and shift to food tins instead of plastic food pouches. Other things such as plastic carrier bags, crisp packets, tetra paks, nappies, light bulbs, aerosol cans, etc., are not recyclable as well.

Earth is our home, and our toxic habits are turning it into an inhabitable place. Global warming, water and land pollution are all a direct result of our bad habits. We need to adopt eco-friendly habits and reduce our carbon footprint.

There are plenty of things lying around our homes that can easily be repurposed. Go through the list of things that we have mentioned above and try to repurpose as much as possible. If there is no curbside pickup in your neighbourhood, then as a responsible citizen, it is your duty to organise a recycling collection day

Here’s to a greener, healthier planet!

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