eco living - recycling

Throughout the organic baby web site we have touched on recycling. Here's some practical ways to turn this idea into a reality in your home.

Reduce, reuse, recycle!

You know the mantra by now, and it's so easy.

Where to recycle:

United States: check out the
Earth 911 recyling locator

New Zealand: check out our
Where to Recycle Guide

Baby Gear, Batteries, Business Waste, Cellphones, EcoBulbs, Computers, Clothing, Household Goods, Paint, Printers & Ink Cartridges, Phones & PABX, Towels & Blankets

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Reduce:

Packaging:

Buy products with less packaging and buy from bulk bins where possible.

Buy less :

We are all guilty of buying items that we don't really need, the lure of constant sales! We live in a hugely consumer-driven society where the current trend is buying superfluous, unnecessary goods.

Read more about consumerism and how to help reverse this trend. The Living Economies website looks at the importance of complementary currencies in developing more sustainable communities.

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Reuse:

Shopping bags:

Reusable cloth shopping bags are now available cheaply in most supermarkets.

Cloth nappies: 

Environmentally there’s no choice. In NZ we dump 575 million nappies per year in landfills (which are said to take up to 500 years to breakdown) (http://www.zerowaste.co.nz), while cloth nappies can be washed and reused time and time again.

When we dump soiled nappies, we are also dumping untreated human waste. With cloth nappies this waste is processed through the sewerage system.

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Recycle:

Buy, sell and donate second hand goods:

Buying second hand doesn't just save you money... it saves the planet! We live in a consumer society where we have a growing demand for more and more goods. This demand is placing a heavy toll on our earth's natural resources and causing social problems and growing debt. The Earth's natural resources are being gradually depleted and polluted. What will be left for our children, their children's children?

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Buy Local:

When you do buy goods, if you shop locally you are not just supporting local businesses. By selling to the local community, the retailer reduces their transport costs, saving on fuel consumption and environmental pollution.

The term 'food miles' is often used to describe the cost of transporting food. Food is transported from the grower to the retailer and then home to your pantry. The cost of this is becoming more apparent with rising fuel prices affecting the everyday grocery items.

In the United States, check out this guide to local Farmers Markets.
In NZ, visit Farmersmarket.org.nz

Around the home:

  • compost food scraps
  • small glass jars can be used for freezing baby food or storing spices
  • larger glass jars can be recycled for preserves
  • egg cartons given to friends with chickens
  • choose gifts that create less waste - such as a basket of fresh fruit, something from your garden, a movie pass, a promise of your time/energy
  • recycle gift wrapping, ribbons etc for craft materials or donate to your local kindy/daycare
  • give unwanted items to charity eg Salvation Army
  • some major towns and cities have non recyclables collections.

In the garden:

  • Mulch prunings, or tie into bundles for kindling
  • make ‘paper bricks’ to supplement winter fuel
  • use paper or cardboard as garden mulch, or to supplement worm farm food
  • give nursery bags and pots to ‘green fingered’ friends
  • moveable unwanted shrubs/trees can be advertised
  • some used carpets make good garden mulch
  • conserve water by recycling waste water
  • make seedling protectors from plastic drink bottles by cutting the bottom out.

Home office:

There are hundreds more... (send us your suggestions).


Kerbside collections:

If you live in a major town or city in NZ, most of your remaining rubbish can be recycled at a kerbside collection.

If you live in an area where there is no kerbside collection, most towns have recycling depots nearby.

How much is left?

By recycling you not only reduce the amount of rubbish going into our landfills, but also your household rubbish collection/disposal bill! I read about one couple that only fill one council rubbish bag every six months... now that's inspirational!

 

 

recycling bin

 
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There are lots of tips for reducing your rubbish on the Zero Waste web site.

Also visit:
The Recycling Guru



 
other tips
 
 

Here are more recyling tips from Freecycle.

You can also join your local Freecycle group online.


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