Educate Your Family on Recycling

Recycling isn’t a new concept, in fact we have been doing it for thousands of years. During the ancient times it was common practice to melt down swords, cooking pots and other metal items that had served their purpose. Once melted the items would be transformed into new items that were needed such as spoons and coins. During WWI and WWII people were very aware of the importance of recycling, resources were sparse and communities had to pull together to recycle and reuse what they could. It was in fact the World Wars that brought about the first metal drives to encourage people to recycle, long before the green movement was put into action.

The 1940’s and 1950’s is when landfills were first introduced. The idea was new and fresh and the ease of being able to throw away used goods and forgetting about them was fantastic. Unfortunately nobody anticipated just how out of control landfill sites would become and the effects they would have on the environment. Plastic can take thousands of years to decompose and in the process can kill wildlife and cause pollution. Plastic isn’t the only material that can harm the environment but it is one of many that can be recycled.

UKhouseholds can produce 30.5 million tonnes of waste each year and around 43.9% of this is recycled. This is a large increase compared to the 17% that was collected in 2003/04 however we could still be doing better. In order to increase this number we need to educate our families and anybody else who can help. Around 60% of the rubbish found in dustbins can be recycled and here’s how you can do it. Reduce:

Reducing the amount of waste that you create can benefit the environment greatly. To do this you can start at the supermarket or your local shops.

  • Buy only what you need, this will limit the amount of food you throw out and in return reduce the amount of waste you produce.
  • Purchase reusable items such as bottles and rechargeable batteries.
  • When purchasing a household cleaner choose an all-purpose cleaner. This will limit the number of bottles you buy.
  • Instead of throwing away unwanted items give them to friends or family. Donate them to charity shops or sell them on eBay or at a car boot sale.
  • Limit the amount of post you receive by unsubscribing to junk mail and opting for paperless banking.


Stop throwing away items you think are useless. Many of them can be reused for other things.

  • Carrier bags brought back from the supermarket can be used again when you go back.
  • Wash out food jars to keep odds and ends in or fill them with homemade recipes such as jam.
  • Reuse envelopes by sticking labels over the old address.
  • Food packaging can be used for junk modelling in schools.
  • Old clothes can be made into cushion covers, hand bags or cut up for craft projects.
  • Wood can be made into other items or alternatively burned as firewood.


By recycling you are contributing to the environment and conserving natural resources. Once you know how to recycle the process is easy and the benefits are superb. There are a number of materials that can be recycled including paper, plastic, metal and glass.

  • When shopping buy items that are suitable for recycling such as plastic bottles and tin cans.
  • Look for items that have been made from recycled items already. The label on a product will tell you whether or not it is eco-friendly.
  • Hazardous materials are difficult to recycle. Where possible buy non-toxic items.
  • Make use of your recycle bin. You may have been issued one from the council, if you haven’t please ask them. Recycle bins often tell you what you can and cannot put inside them on the lid.