At Keep Australia Beautiful we spend a lot of time planning and developing programs to prevent littering and encourage responsible litter disposal but one of the most important strategies for reducing litter is to reduce our waste in the first place. Using less packaging and buying less, means we have less to throw away and, having less to throw away means less chance for littering.
Remember when you were a kid and you drank from a water bubbler in the street or school playground, took reusable a drink bottle to a picnic and even drank from the garden hose if you got thirsty?
Now bottled water and soft drinks are everywhere and when you drink from plastic, metal or glass containers you then have to find a bin to put your empty in. Wouldn’t it be easier to take your own cup or bottle? More and more people are realising the smart practice of avoiding or reducing the use of items like single-use plastic. Is it time to rethink how you can reduce your use and create less waste in the first place?
Follow this link to some great ideas from Plastic Free July on how to go plastic-free when you are out and about and purchase your reusable Keep Australia Beautiful coffee cup, cutlery, bag or lunch wrap here to get you started on living a life with less waste.
Before you put your glass, metal or plastic in the recycle bin perhaps you can consider re-using it and get more life out of the item?
Reusing items over and over again makes good sense, and can save money too. You might refill your plastic or glass drink bottle, turn your glass jars into a vase or a lantern or remodel your old clothes to make something new?
Recycling your waste or unwanted items is very easy to do and has a number of benefits for the community and our planet. Here are a few reasons why if you are not already doing it, perhaps it’s time to discover why recycling is a good thing to do!
When we recycle, materials can be re-used to make something else and valuable resources can be saved. Every time we make new materials we use resources like petroleum (to make plastic bags), iron ore (to make steel cans), trees (that make paper products), aluminum (to make cans).
By recycling, we conserve natural resources and habitats into the future.
When recycled materials are used to manufacture new items, considerably less energy is required compared to producing new products from raw materials. For example – when manufacturing cans from recycled aluminum, 95 percent less energy is used compared to using raw materials. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours or run your television for three hours!
Recycling helps keep waste out of landfill and reduce dangerous greenhouse gasses like methane from entering our environment. Recycling also reduces the need for mining and processing raw materials, which involves large amounts of energy and creates carbon dioxide emissions. In the UK, recycling is estimated to save more than 18 million tonnes of C02 a year – the equivalent to taking 5 million cars off the road.
References: http://www.campaignforrecycling.org/faq/ghg andhttp://www.recyclenow.com/why_recycling_matters/why_it_matters/