Guest Author - Catherine Ebey
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” a million times but this practice should be close to any biologist’s heart! You only have one planet Earth, there is no other. Keep Earth healthy and fit by recycling. There are many techniques to help you in this endeavor. The following techniques are just a few of the many things that you can do; ask your local recycling center for more information.
“Precycle” by buying goods in recyclable containers. Check the labels to make sure that the items you are purchasing are recyclable. Also, buy items in bulk. Items in larger packages save you money on packaging costs and help the environment by contributing less waste to landfills. If you want these items in smaller doses in your home, transfer them to reusable containers.
Bottled water is another huge item on this “prerecycling” list. Ask yourself, do you really need bottled water? Often tap water is much safer than bottled water. Think about all of those machines used in the bottled water process. Are they cleaned once a week or even once a year? Your local tap water is filtered to remove harmful impurities every day. Bottled water filtered through processed plants may not receive this same treatment. Your tap water is usually much better for you. Not only is tap water usually cleaner than bottled water, tap water contains fluoride that your teeth need to maintain healthy enamel. You don’t get fluoride from bottled water. Your wallet as well as the environment will thank you for choosing basically free tap water as opposed to expensive, nasty bottled water.
Composting and vermicomposting
Make a compost pile in your backyard with leftover food and other organic waste. This waste can be broken down into essential nutrients for the plants in your backyard, and these waste items won’t just be thrown into a vast landfill somewhere taking up meaningless space. Add worms to your compost pile (vermicomposting) to more quickly break down these items into organic nutrients your plants can use. Make sure to keep your compost pile moist for the worms to thrive. Dig a hole into your vermicompost pile each time you add more waist so that worms may more easily break these items down. Good items for your compost pile include rotted vegetables, leftover food, straw, cardboard and other organic items.
Once your compost pile is adequately broken down, use it as natural plant fertilizer for your garden! Grow anything your heart desires, including food. Food you grow for yourself is natural, fresh and organic without the added price. You also receive the joy of knowing that the produce on your table is what you grew yourself. You will also know exactly how your vegetables were grown as opposed to worrying about what pesticides and antibiotics were put into the produce you bought from the grocery store.
Use florescent lights
Florescent lights have come a long way these days. You can now buy stylish, long-lasting florescent lights for your home that don’t create that dull, sickly green atmosphere they once did. These florescent lights are spiral shaped so that they can replace your old typical incandescent light bulbs. These florescent lights last 2 to 3 times as long as their incandescent mates and shine just as brightly. They also sap less energy. This helps the environment and lowers your electric bill.
I hope these tips help you reduce, reuse and recycle in your home. Take this challenge from me: try to incorporate any of these three tips into your daily life for at least one week.
For more information about recycling, check out this book: Restore. Recycle. Repurpose.: Create a Beautiful Home (A Country Living Book)
For a book your children will enjoy, check this out: Why Should I Recycle?