The Earth’s resources are not infinite so we shouldn’t waste them. You know the saying, “Leave this place in the same condition as you’d like to find it”? Well, the same applies to the earth. You’d rather see your great-grandchildren running through piles of fallen autumn leaves than piles of discarded rubbish, wouldn’t you?
More specifically, the government wants to reduce the amount of plastic, cans, paper and glass going to landfills by 70 percent in the next decade or so. To meet that target, households need to stop simply throwing away rubbish and start implementing the three Rs: Reduce, Re-use and Recycle.
Reducing means to simply create less waste. By creating less waste, you are nipping the problem in the bud. Instead of using disposable items, rather opt for re-usable ones; think lunchboxes instead of plastic bags, glass water bottles instead of plastic bottles, and fabric shopping bags instead of plastic bags. Avoid using paper for printing unnecessarily. Although the trees don’t really need saving, we can still reduce our paper usage. Switch off lights when you’re not using them, and make sure your taps aren’t leaking. You can even reduce your food waste.
Instead of just throwing away your unused items, try to find another use for them. Use plastic shopping bags as trash bags. Donate old clothing rather than throwing it away; if it’s really worn out and not suitable for donation, you can always use them as cleaning rags. Reuse the blank side of printed paper for shopping lists or give them to your kids to draw on before recycling it.
Recycling means that old items will be used to manufacture new items. This process still uses resources but is much less intensive than producing items from scratch. The most well-known materials that can be recycled include glass, paper, plastic, and aluminium. Other items that can be recycled are timber, textiles like cotton, ferrous metals like steel and iron, electronics and batteries, concrete, and biodegradable waste like plants and kitchen waste.