The state of the planet is struggling – like really struggling. No matter how much some politicians agree or disagree – the reality is global warming is real. The oceans are full of litter and the factories continue to pump out toxic fumes into the atmosphere. I am by no means a full-on activist against these causes however I do feel very strongly about trying to do our thing to help save the planet and do our bit. Ross and I have been doing our thing for a few years and I am always on the hunt for a few more ways to help.
The biggest thing that we do currently is we RECYCLE! Did you know that 1 plastic bottle take 700 years to decompose! Glass will never decompose but it can be 100% recycled. Now I am not just talking about taking a few wine bottles to the litter bin. We recycle everything that we can. We recycle every little piece of paper and plastic, every tin and every glass bottle. It is so easy to recycle- we have a different bin to put the recycling into and then once a week we take it to Oasis – our local recycling depot who sort and send it to the necessary places for recycling. We love taking it to Oasis as they employ people with disabilities and gain money from their second-hand store, their recycling, and their other endeavors.
Some suburbs even offer free collection of your recycling from Mondi who collect paper to other companies who will collect plastic, glass, and tins. All dumps have a recycling area, where you can drop your recycling off and the staff there will sort through it (try to help the staff, by organising it for them into seperate packets.) There are some recycling collection companies who charge a monthly fee if you can’t get to the local drop-offs, such as regenerize, mrrecycle, virgin earth and urban wise to name a few.
Make sure you clean your recyclable items before taking them to the depot. Washing the empty tins, rinse and clean the glass bottles and wipe down the plastic packets. It takes 2% more effort in washing the plastic items and it will make a huge impact on the people dealing with your recycling. It is really unfair to expect the sorters to have to deal with dirty items that smell and that are sticky. When you clean your items you help with providing a clean environment opposed to a dump. Dirty and smelly items attract rats which creates an unsanitary and unpleasant work environment for the staff at the centres. I put a lot of my sturdier plastic items such as yoghurt containers and glasses in the dishwasher if I am running a cycle to help clean them. Paper and glass are so easy to be recycle – you just place the items in your bag. I am flabbergasted every week, with how much we are able to recycle. On average we are able to recycle 2-3 grocery bags of items.
By recycling you are not only keeping the environment clean, you are helping reduce the number of trees that are cut down to produce paper, you are decreasing the pollution in the oceans. According to The Public Recycling Officials of Pennsylvania, for every ton of paper that is recycled, the following are saved:
- 17 trees
- 275 pounds of sulfur
- 350 pounds of limestone
- 9,000 pounds of steam
- 60,000 gallons of water
- 225 kilowatt hours
- 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space
That is HUGE!! Just from recycling.
For an extra 5 minutes a day you CAN make a difference. Do not sit on the sideline, do your bit and teach your kids how important recycling is. Soon it will just become your way of life. The world will thank you.
For more information on recycling in Cape Town click here.
If you need some more inspiration click here.