Recycling 101: 4 things you need to know!
When it comes to recycling, there are 4 key points that need to be shared with as many people as possible to follow an eco-friendlier lifestyle & help combat climate change. So, please feel free to share this content with your network!
Recycling decreases the need to extract, refine & process raw materials which generate high air & water pollution. Since recycling saves energy, it lowers greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn helps to fight climate change.
Know what you can & cannot recycle!
Far too often, people don’t recycle correctly, which makes the whole process redundant & they may have well just put everything in their normal home bin! Make sure if you’re recycling that you know what you can and cannot recycle within your area & which bin it goes in.
Please use this link as a useful resource for everything you need to know about recycling in Geneva, explaining practically how to recycle, which waste goes where and in which bin, plus a map of various eco-points to sort your recyclable waste and more: https://www.geneve.ch/en/themes/urban-environment-green-areas/sorting-recycling-household-waste
2. Keep it clean, keep it dry!
After gaining more clarity on what can and cannot be recycled, it’s important that you ensure that your recycling is both clean & dry – you don’t want any dirt! They don’t have to be sparkling clean, however relatively so, free from any food or traces of food. This is to ensure two things. One, that these products do not decrease in quality when processed back into raw materials. Secondly, if something, such as a jar, has various food or liquid still inside, this will spill onto the other items within the bin, degrading the quality of other materials around it. Once these materials become contaminated they are no longer suitable to be recycled and instead end up in landfills. You are also increasing your chances of having smelly & moldy bins, as well as attracting pests like insects, rats, and raccoons – yuck!
A little tip to prevent any food traces from remaining inside your cans or milk cartons is to add a dash of water, put the cap on, & give it a little shake. Then rinse it out, tap the bottom to remove any leftover water & there you have a fully recyclable ready product! Ensure you are recycling each material individually – steer clear from grouping them in plastic bags! As an alternative to plastic bags, you could use eco-trash bags or reusable shopping bags.
3. Chat with your neighbors!
A lot of people just assume what they should recycle. This is where you come in and start spreading the word around with your neighbors on what they can recycle & ask them about their views on it. Maybe your neighborhood holds various meetings where you could go and spread the word around even more & disperse your knowledge. With knowledge comes power after all & with power comes great responsibility.
Often you find that most people do want to recycle correctly, but they just don’t know how to and aren’t motivated to put the time in to find out the correct dos and don’ts. Again, this is where you come in because people are usually much more receptive to absorbing information via listening to someone, as opposed to researching. As your golden gateway to converse with your neighbors about their recycling patterns, I recommend you start by telling them a shocking fact, for example, “You know that only 9% of all plastic gets recycled!?”. How could they not be shocked at that?
Now, as humans can be very competitive, maybe you could start up a gamification initiative in your society, or perhaps you already have one, to attract more people to recycle? For example, to determine how effective a neighborhood is with their recycling, they could have a sticker with different recycling levels coded by colors, to indicate how good they are, with aim of increasing human motivation to recycle.
4. REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE!
Remember that slogan? It’s not just about recycling but also about reducing & reusing! Try to seek for & purchase products made from recycled material. Unfortunately, companies are not purchasing raw recycled products as frequently as they should be. It is our job as consumers to buy products made from recycled materials and speak up about this issue. We need to support products that have been fully recycled throughout the entirety of their journey, to transition to a circular, zero-waste economy. For example, all TerraMavi products are made from 100% recycled materials, such as our popular coconut bowls, our standing bamboo toothbrush, our eco-friendly straws, flower pots & other everyday essentials. Other examples are reusable wraps for your food, such as Beeswax wraps, reusable water bottles, and coffee cups.
We’re in this together! Let’s act now, let’s inspire people, & give it our very best shot!