Most of think that we know everything about recycling and we don't need to read another article on how to recycle. But then we could all do with a reminder of things we think we already know.
Which is what I thought when I picked up a book called “Do the Right Things” by Pushpinder Khaneka in our Resource Room at B Foe.
Here are some interesting facts.
For every tonne of paper recycled, you will save 17 trees, 3.33kh/hrs. of energy and five cubic metres of landfill space.
Paper – This can be reused by yourself and then sent to the paper bank.
New habit – Buy recycled paper, birthday and Christmas cards. Encourage shops and stores to stock recycled paper. If you subscribe to a publication, ask them to use recycled or certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Re-use envelopes with address labels and promote Foe or Amnesty International at the same time.
Source – Paperback, Recycled Paper Supplies and B Foe shop.
Eighty-thousand tonnes of paper ends up in landfill.
Recycle unwanted mail or register free of charge with the Mailing Preference Service. This will get your name taken off 95% of mailing lists.
Three billion disposable nappies make their way into landfill sites every year. They take up lots of space and cost a lot to dispose of. They take up to 500 years to decompose while emitting noxious gases.
Reusable nappies don't cost the earth and they are as easy to use as disposables. And you don't have to wash them yourself as nappy laundry services are now available in most areas.
Action – Ask the local council. Go to The Real Nappy Association and the National Association of Nappy Services.
Fifteen million plastic bottles are used everyday. They take 100 years to bio-degrade. Only 4% is recycled. Households generate a million tonnes of packaging waste annually.
New habit – Avoid buying plastic when you can and write to your local council to recycle plastic.
Billions of plastic bags are chocking the planet. Some countries have banned these, while others have imposed a tax. Ireland has introduced a 15 cent tax per bag, this has curbed their use by more than 90%.
New habit – Stop using plastic bags, use mesh, string, sturdy hemp and organic cotton ones.
Twenty-five thousand tonnes of batteries are bought and then get dumped in … landfill. Only one thousand recycled bought are recycled.
Few councils offer collection and recycling facility. In Birmingham, the Central Library have a collection point at the bottom of the escalators. (Pass the word on).
New habit – Buy rechargeable batteries or a wind up radios and torches.
A Japanese study says that every new computer uses 240kg of fossil fuels, 22kg of chemicals and 1,500kg of water. At the end of their short lives about 90% of old computer equipment, much still
in working order – is dumped in a landfill sites.
New habit – Don't rush to upgrade. Give your computer to someone who can use it in Britain or in the South (see http://www.computeraid.org/). Buy refurbished rather than brand new.