5 Things You Should Stop Throwing Away
Wastefulness has increased in modern times because consumers can find low-cost, disposable products made from inexpensive, easy-to-manufacture materials. These products harm the environment in a variety of ways:
– Waste causes the destruction of forests and fields to create larger landfills.
– Biodegradable items in landfills decompose to create methane and other greenhouse gases.
– Burning trash creates harmful smoke that pollutes clean air.
– Animals eat plastics and plastic breakdown releases toxic chemicals into the ground and water supplies.
Garbage bags, waste disposal trucks and landfills often contain items that people can effortlessly recycle, upcycle or reuse. You simply need to rethink how you deal with trash:
Fruit and Vegetable Waste
Moldy or damaged fruit and vegetable waste is 100 percent biodegradable. In nature, waste plants feed microorganisms, insects and animals and decompose into plant soil nutrients. Instead of tossing whole fruits and vegetables or cuttings into the trash, make nutrient-rich composted fertilizer for your potted plants and garden. Drill a few out-gassing holes into the sides of a sturdy lidded container and then fill the container with starter soil, earthworms and leaves. Shred fruit and vegetable waste into small pieces and then add it to the container.
Tip: Collect seeds before you add the waste to the compost bin.
Instead of throwing the rolls used for packaging toilet paper, paper towel, wax paper, plastic film and other materials into the trash, shred the cardboard into small pieces to add to a compost container or fold some rolls, fill them with dirt and use them as seed starter containers that you can later cut away and compost when you’re ready to plant. Cardboard rolls can also replace some plastic storage containers. Fold and tape one end of a roll and then fill it. For example, use a paper towel roll as a makeshift medical kit or utensil holder when camping.
Tip: You can also recycle cardboard rolls at your local municipal or waste paper recycling area with cardboard boxes.
Most grocery stores have outdoor bins for recycling plastic bags. These bins also accept other types of plastic bags, including shipping and frozen food bags. Turn boxed cereal and raisin bags into snack storage or an extra layer of protection around wrapped frozen meats. Never again pay for plastic “shake” style food preparation bags. These bags are the perfect alternative for coating meats and vegetables with flour, sauces and seasonings.
Tip: Use cereal and raisin bags as countertop food preparation mats to reduce cleanup.
Old TVs, remote controls, phones, music players, tools and other electronics contain hazardous materials like arsenic, barium, cadmium, lead and mercury. Harvest screws, bolts and wires to use elsewhere. Power cords often contain copper wires that you can reuse in craft projects or recycle with metal containers to make a little side cash. If you just want to toss your electronics, take them to an e-waste recycling facility.
Tip: Find a repair and resale shop that pays cash for broken electronics.
You can lessen the level of waste that comes from disposable face masks that you use to stop dirt, dust and other small particles from entering your nose during indoor and outdoor repair and craft projects by breaking them down into smaller reusable parts. Remove the nose bridge metal wire and recycle it with metal recycling or reuse it in craft projects. Cut off the stretchy ear loops to reuse as ties in your home.
Tip: Always wear gloves when harvesting these parts if dealing with a face mask worn in public during cold and flu season.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Econoheat., the world’s #1 leading waste oil boiler manufacturer.