Home Page
   Articles
       links
About Us    
Traders        
Recipes            
Latest Articles
Reduce and Reuse; the practical recycling
Page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Author 
 Message
FireFox31



Joined: 18 Nov 2004
Posts: 2
Location: North East, USA
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 04 1:34 am    Post subject: Reduce and Reuse; the practical recycling  Reply with quote    

Here's a bit of a rant containing opinion, ideas, and other thoughts on the subject of reducing and reusing, the practical forms of recycling.

I've been taking much of my waste to the recycling center for 18 years. However, I've heard about and seen so much recycling go straight to the dump that I've lost faith in the system. How do we know our carefully sorted (and, in my case, hand delivered) recyclables aren't just going to the trash?

While I recycle what I can, I have increased my focus on Reducing and Reusing my waste. Here is a stream of tips that may or may not be helpful.


I suspect that if we reduce our intake, demand for products will decrease and production will decrease, thus raw materials and energy can be saved. This is my only hope for a "reduce and reuse" effort.

Paper has two sides. Don't throw it away untill both sides have been used. If you take discarded paper that's printed on one side, you've essentially gotten free paper.

You get all sorts of other reusable materials for free every day. Manilla envelopes and padded envelopes are expensive, but people send you stuff in them all the time. Same with shipping boxes, packing noodles, bubble wrap, etc. Saving and reusing this stuff is easier than going to the store and buying more, and cheaper too.

Junkmail is a horrible waste, so why not stop it before it even comes to your house? When you receive a catalog or credit card offer, call the company that sent it and ask to be removed from their lists. It actually does work, even for credit card offers!

Don't buy cheap products that will break and wear out easily. Spend the extra money and buy quality products. You'll support producers of quality goods (which are rare) and generate less waste because it will last longer.

Demand bulk packaged goods. You'll pay less, get less packaging, and not support producers of bulky wasteful packaging. Stores will stop buying those individually wrapped items when they see that only the large cases are selling.

"Paper or plastic" grocery bags? Neither; bring your own cloth bags. While on vacation to the Czech Republic, I found their grocery stores don't give you bags because you are expected to bring your own. If the store doesn't let you, say you're saving them money on bags; they only understand the "bottom line."

Oh, one thing that's important to recycle: printer toner and ink cartridges. While it's more expensive to recycle paper than to cut down new trees, it's FAR cheaper to put new toner in a cartridge than to buy a new one. Sending cartridges to recyclers can actually get you product rewards, and buying from recyclers is MUCH cheaper.

And the typical reducion tips: Turn off lights and appliances when not in use and don't drive an SUV.

Maybe this rant is not helpful on this board, but maybe it is. Reducing and reusing is practical downsizing because it easily saves you money.

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41950
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 04 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Welcome to the forums, Mr Fox31
Cheers, Sean

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26629
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 04 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: Reduce and Reuse; the practical recycling Reply with quote    

FireFox31 wrote:

Don't buy cheap products that will break and wear out easily. Spend the extra money and buy quality products. You'll support producers of quality goods (which are rare) and generate less waste because it will last longer.


Ain't that the truth. Though a problematic lesson to keep to, until you can actually afford the decent products

when you are young married and starting a family, you need such a lot of things unless you have a lot of family help, then the choice is not so much "cash or credit" but "trash or credit".

jema

mrutty



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 1578

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 04 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: Reduce and Reuse; the practical recycling Reply with quote    

FireFox31 wrote:
Paper has two sides. Don't throw it away untill both sides have been used. If you take discarded paper that's printed on one side, you've essentially gotten free paper.


Yes, Yes and Yes. The number of people you see with a shopping list written on a new piece of paper. I'm so tight that I use only documents, enevolpes, backs of junk mail, etc.

It must be just us lot here that are saving the planet. Maybe we should get some big S tshirts and start wearing our pants on the outside

Good point Firefox and welcome by the way

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 04 8:55 am    Post subject: Re: Reduce and Reuse; the practical recycling Reply with quote    

FireFox31 wrote:
You get all sorts of other reusable materials for free every day....

Don't buy cheap products that will break and wear out easily. Spend the extra money and buy quality products....


First, I agree with your points, so I'm not trying to start a fight!

The problem for me with the first is trying to find places to store stuff. I'm aware of one or two fantastic schemes across the country called Community Scrap Schemes or the like, which take all sorts of useful bits, then let schools, scout groups and others of that ilk, come in and help themselves. That would be an ideal solution because I personall don't get round to using all the bits and pieces I get sent - for example, seeds often come in Jiffy bags but I never get around to using them and in the end I've wound up throwing them out through lack of space (and our house is no minimalist haven!).

The problem with the second is trying to find real quality products. Because we don't tend to buy a lot, we do have the money and will to spend when it's something worthwhile - but trying to work out which will genuinely last longer is very difficult - price is no guide.

Still, I suppose as the "about us" bit says, it's very difficult to be perfect, the thing is to keep trying.

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26629
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 04 8:59 am    Post subject: Re: Reduce and Reuse; the practical recycling Reply with quote    

[quote="Bugs"]
FireFox31 wrote:


The problem for me with the first is trying to find places to store stuff. I'm aware of one or two fantastic schemes across the country called Community Scrap Schemes or the like, which take all sorts of useful bits, then let schools, scout groups and others of that ilk, come in and help themselves. That would be an ideal solution because I personall don't get round to using all the bits and pieces I get sent - for example, seeds often come in Jiffy bags but I never get around to using them and in the end I've wound up throwing them out through lack of space (and our house is no minimalist haven!).


It is an issue, i'm feeling another "dump" day in the wind, as the boxes of bits and pieces are stacking up, out of control

jema

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44229
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 04 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A lot of valid points, welcome to the board FireFox

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 04 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It's kind of fun trying to creatively re-use the crap that you can't help but get. Obviously using junk mail as scrappaper is a good idea, and using free newspapers for composting is handy. But then the odd tubs and pots you get can also find good use as soap moulds, plant pots, storage containers and the like. I can disgorge the few empty jars I can't use on charity shops, who can usually sell them on, and the bottles we get that can't be re-used get recycled.

My own view is that recycling is often energetically expensive, so we're far, far better re-using instead if we possibly can. I guess that seems to be more or less the consensus view here.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44229
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 04 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yup. I did send emails to a few different campaigning organisations a couple of years ago to ask if any were interested in pursuing a campaign against all the waste packaging and free CD's that are ending up in landfill but none of them were interested

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41950
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 04 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Can't find the reference now, but there was someone in the States collecting AOL CD-ROMs. When they'd got a billion (or some similarly large number) they were going to return them all at once.
Cheers, Sean

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44229
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 04 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

At the time I collected quite a few and sent them back, I don't think they gave a toss to be honest though

Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8655

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 04 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We use 'em as bird scarers. Thanks AOL!

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44229
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 04 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It takes more than that to scare some of the birds I know

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 04 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Any mention of computers scared the birds away when I was at uni.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14971
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 04 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I too have problems with storage, but more often with memory and time - lack of in both cases. I do think of new uses for things - keep things like shoe boxes, and now have a collection that I don't really know what to with. But mostly its memory and space. I bet I've got loads of christmas paper in the loft left fom last year, but I will send all my Christmas presents out, before we put the tree up and therefore get all the stuff down, so I'll buy new stuff. This year I bought quite un-christmassy paper, and used it all year for birthdays and things - no-one noticed.

Often it's the amount of junk as well - I make flour and compost scoops out of old milk cartons, but there's only so many I need! Also I save things, and then forget I've got them, and so buy new ones anyway.

Can anyone think of a use for wine bottles - we send a lot of those for recycling!

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Reduce, Reuse, Recycle All times are GMT
Page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 1 of 4
View Latest Posts View Latest Posts

 

Archive
Powered by php-BB © 2001, 2005 php-BB Group
Style by marsjupiter.com, released under GNU (GNU/GPL) license.
Copyright 2004 marsjupiter.com