To celebrate National Recycle Week (18-24 June), we reveal 10 handy tips to help you live a greener way of life
Choose homegrown. Try your best to buy homegrown produce. Britains farmers produce some of the most tasty food around but too often we neglect them prefering the convenience of a supermarket. A typical basket of 20 everyday grocery items from a supermarket chain can clock up over 100,000 ‘food miles’, a major contriubutor to global warming, a better reason than any to stick to UK-grown food when you can.
Re-use aluminium foil rather than chucking it straight in the bin. Recycling just1kg of aluminium can save up to 8kg of bauxite, the mineral used to make it, as well as 4kg of chemicals and 14 kilowatt hours of electricity.
Take things that you no longer use to a charity shop. That way you can get rid of some unwanted clutter and make some space in that wardrobe. There are also a number of websites you can donate to: Draws full of old bras? Go to www.breasttalk.co.uk/bra-appeal/ to put them to good use.
Next time you’re out shopping invest in a bag for life. Make sure you keep it right next to the door so that whenever you go to the shops you’ll remember to take it with you. Around 17 billion plastic bags are given out annually by the nine main supermarkets, which is enough to cover England in just over 21 years.
Recycling is only a hassle if you make it one. Set up a recycling centre in your home to make it as simple as possible. If your kitchen isn’t big enough, use your garage or shed instead. Find however many containers you need, (usually five as most places recycle glass, aluminium, paper, cardboard, and plastic.) Label the containers with what you’re going to fill them with and start saving the planet!
Save and reuse wrapping paper. Too often we throw away paper that is in perfectly good condition, reusing it will save you time and money.
Cut up old greeting cards to make new home-made cards. They are quirky, unique and have a personal touch that you just won’t get in a card store.
If you have stacks of unwanted CDs and DVDs, visit www.polymerrecycling.co.uk/cd. They recycle the disks and packaging without the use of chemicals. If you’re feeling a little more creative why not turn the discs into funky coasters?
Composting kitchen and garden waste is a great, free way of improving the soil in your garden. You can make your own compost by erecting four 10cm x 10cm posts to enclose an area about 1sq m. Attach wire netting to the posts, or nail planks around them, leaving the front side easily detachable to get the finished compost out.
Most importantly, make recycling part of your routine. Many supermarkets have recycling facilities so when you do your weekly shop, drop off the recycling as well. Otherwise you will get a big build up and be tempted to throw it away, just to make room.