Our children learn about recycling at school; its importance is communicated to us through the press, over the radio and on television programmes, but our first thought usually is, is it possible for me to make a difference?
“We often drive past over-filled landfills and also see pictures of ‘continents’ of plastic floating on our oceans killing sea life and polluting the ocean with toxins,” comments Thokozane Radebe, brand manager for Douwe Egberts, “but it is not enough to encourage communities to recycle. It often becomes a ‘diet’ decision – I will start tomorrow.”
Recycling is not difficult, in fact recycling collection companies and our local trolley-preneurs hauling their over-flowing bags in the road, make it easy for us to recycle. “The truth is, it isn’t hard once you start,” explains Radebe.
March 15 was Global Recycling Day, so isn’t this as good a time as any to get a recycling programme started at home? Here are some tips to hopefully inspire you to do your bit to help the environment.
1. Get the entire family’s buy-in. You can’t start a recycling initiative at home without everyone taking part. Explain what items can be recycled and where they should go once they are used. Don’t over complicate it.
2. Find out how you are going to dispose of your recycling. Your intentions are good, but when your garage is filled with bags and bags of recyclable goods, you may start to doubt your decision. Research companies in your area who can help.
3. Identify the materials you want to recycle. Start by researching which materials are recyclable, and where they can be disposed of in your area. Most paper, cardboard, plastics, glass and metal can be recycled.
4. Keep items that you can reuse. Douwe Egberts glass coffee jars are perfect for keeping food stuff fresh with its airtight lid. They can also be used as stationery holders, cotton wool storers, and even a sweet jar. One way to bring new decorating elements into your home is to upcycle glass jars into vases, light fittings or a greenhouse to grow plants. Upcycling and the reusing of glass jars is the perfect way to save money, be creative and help the planet … one glass jar at a time.
5. Set up recycling bins in an easily accessible location in your home. You don’t need to buy new bins – old containers can be used. Label the bins so that the correct recyclable items are discarded in the correct place.
When it comes to recycling, it is important to remember that upcycling of items is another way to help the planet. This involves using perfectly good items as something else in your home. Glass jars, plastic containers, plastic bags etc, don’t need to be used only once. “Recycling is the start of your family’s journey to helping the planet. Upcycling of goods is another way to stop adding to the waste and give items a new life in your home,” comments Radebe.