When we think of recycling, we think of taking out the trash and putting it into the recycling bin rather than just throwing it away – and this is what it means to go green. However this is only one small part of recycling, and the term could be used more broadly to describe the way you treat all of your materials after you’ve used them. Recycling and going green doesn’t just mean letting other people worry about recycling your old left overs, but also thinking of it yourself and asking how you can be more efficient with the materials you use.
If you really want to go green then, better than throwing your old cardboard in the designated bin – which still required money and energy to recycle and which will still result in your buying more items – is to find ways to recycle them yourself and to re-use them.
What do we mean by this? Well think about the things you throw away, and then think about what you could have done with those raw materials. For instance, something as simple as newspaper that you’ve used up can be re-used as lining for an animal’s hutch or as padding for a present or a parcel. For someone who wants to go green this will prevent you from having to buy new papers or foam in order to pack your parcels which will mean that you have caused fewer trees to be cut down. Sticking with the idea of presents and parcels, someone who wants to go green can likewise reuse old wrapping paper from presents by taking it off carefully while opening gifts and then storing it somewhere folded.
Likewise you can re-use old bottles if you want to go green, and an old bottle of water can easily be re-filled for your next journey rather than you buying a new one. Again on a similar note if you wanted to re-use old jam jars etc you could do easily, or could even re-purpose them as plant pots or as mugs.
You can get creative with the way you re-use things around your house too, and you can make cards and presents for people out of left over materials. This has a very organic collage feel to it and as well as saving new cardboard you will also be spreading the message of going green.
This can also be a fun way to teach your children to go green – and by getting them to join in in making old wood into picture frames, or old cans into space rockets you can show them the value of all materials and why nothing should be thrown away where possible.