Posts Tagged ‘recycle’

Three New Year’s Resolutions to Help the Planet

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Each year, many of us resolve to lose weight, exercise more and basically take better care of ourselves. This year, why not resolve to take better care of the planet with these tips for recycling and reuse.

 

1. Start a personal recycling program. Check with your local municipal government to find out if it offers free recycling. If not, inquire if your local waste management companies offer free or reduced price recycling. If push comes to shove, just about every community has a free recycling center where you can drop off recyclable bottles, cans and paper.

 

2. Reduce the amount of paper and plastic you consume. Start by making the switch from paper to electronic billing, payments and bank statements. Also register with directmail.com or dmachoice.com to remove your address from junk mail lists. You can also consider subscribing to the digital versions of your favorite magazines and newspapers. California has already banned plastic shopping bags, but you can enact your own personal ban on plastic by investing in a few durable, reusable (and washable) canvas shopping bags. Replace cases of bottled drinking water with a water filter for the faucet or filtered water pitcher and reusable water bottle or canteen.

 

3. Find more ways to reuse things around your house. For example, empty 2 liter soda bottles cut in half make great garden planters. Repurpose old jeans into oven mitts and last year’s sweaters into this year’s scarves, boot toppers and coffee cup cozies. Along with recycling and waste reduction, reuse decreases how much waste is sent to landfills. It also saves energy and conserves and incinerator natural resources, such as water, all while reducing pollution and limiting the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.

Paper or Plastic?

I recently visited the California Bay area. I was amazed and impressed by the statewide efforts to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills. In 2014, California became the first state to ban the use of plastic bags in retail stores and even charges between 10 and 15 cents for paper bags. One reason for the ban: In California, approximately 24 billion bags end up in landfills every year. And across the country, people use some 100 billion plastic bags each year, but only about 5 percent of those bags are recycled and most end up in landfills or waterways.

Even though there’s no ban on plastic bags in Tennessee, we¬† can all do our part to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the trash. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

 

Use old plastic bags to make this durable plastic wreath. Get directions here.
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Nail polish and Mod Podge can turn a plastic bag into a funky bead necklace. Learn how here.

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Follow these instructions and create “fabric” from plastic bags.
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Then when you’ve mastered the process, use it to create this cute headband slider.
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