The recycling movement made its debut in the late 60s and early 70s. Since then, recycling has been promoted at home, in schools and in the workplace.
Establishments that require a dumpster for waste management are now mandated to have a recycling receptacle as well. Those who recycle paper, ink cartridges, cardboard, glass, plastic and metal on a regular basis often need to request a second pick-up midweek, while trash is only collected weekly.
In the office, employees are often provided with two bins, one blue (for recycling) and one black (for everything else). When it comes to recycling in the office, paper gets the most attention. While we recycle more than we throw out, which is good for the environment, it’s not enough. Even with millions of tons of recyclable material being diverted away from landfills each year, they are still filling up too quickly. That being said, many people are looking for creative ways to reuse recyclable material before leaving it for collection.
Ways to Reuse Paper
Whether you’re looking for a way to reuse newspaper (which accumulates more quickly than any other paper product) or old files that just don’t make a whole lot of sense to have around anymore, you can make a dent in the amount of paper processed from trees each year by getting creative, or promoting creative learning for your children.
Painting projects are notoriously messy, especially when kids are involved. Tape individual pieces to any surface that you don’t want ruined before you start the project. Make sure that every inch of the surface is covered. This means overlapping pieces. That means using scrap paper.
The designs that show up when overlapping occurs look really neat. If you have a wooden table with a glass covering, remove the glass covering and tape a newspaper collage onto it. Replace the glass covering to protect your work. Even if the articles have no personal significance, it gives your home an eclectic look that makes mealtime more fun.
Of course, newspaper can be used to pad boxes for moving or shipping. Wrap fragile objects in newspaper before placing them in the box so that they don’t bang against each other. It’s best to lay the fragile object face down and roll it up in the newspaper. Fold in the sides as you go.
Ways to Reuse Plastic Bottles
Plastic bottles can be used in a variety of family-friendly ways, especially in the summer. Instead of recycling a used soda bottle, wash it out. Hammer a nail into the cap and remove it. This leaves a tiny hole. Fill the bottle with water and have water fights with your family! Any size bottle works, but two-liter bottles work the best.
If you would prefer to stay dry, plastic milk jugs are perfect for digging around at the beach. Wash out the jug and cut a hole from the top of handle to the neck of the bottle. This leaves a grip on one side, an edge on the other, and plenty of room for sand, just like a shovel. Do the same thing in the winter for an easy way to scoop and scatter sidewalk salt to keep your pathways free of ice.
Ways to Reuse Cans
Soda cans can be used for decoration. Feed a length of twine through the metal tab and tie it off. Tie the other end to a high beam. Use as many cans as you can, ensuring that the cans meet and that the twine lengths are equidistant on the beam. The cans will move in waves as the wind blows. Use soda cans of different colors or hang them at alternating heights for effect. You can also invest a little more time and create sculptures with them.
Just a few ideas there; maybe you have others. Share them with friends so re-using continues.