Hi everyone, it is very tempting to just throw away or recycle things after we use them the first time. However, there are a lot of ways to reuse things on websites or DIY books. We can make new things out of old and used objects and possibly use them more than even 3 or 4 times.
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Hey everyone! I just found an article online about the environmental benefits of reusing used clothing, rather than recycling or throwing them away.
According to the article, about 100 million pounds of clothing are thrown away every year. All of those 100 million pounds of clothing thrown away take up space in landfills that can be spared if the clothes were reused. Another benefit reusing clothing has on the environment is the reduced use of insecticide. If 100 million pounds less of new clothes need to be created, about 2 million pounds less of insecticide will be used to protect the cotton that would have made the clothing. Otherwise, the insecticide used to grow the cotton needed for making clothing could wash into the waterways, which can poison thousands of plants and animals. Lastly, when clothes decompose in landfills, they release greenhouse gases. Along with the greenhouse gases emitted as clothes decompose, the manufacturing of textiles and cloth both release CO2 into the atmosphere as well. By reusing clothing, “approximately 3.6 pounds of CO2 are saved for every 1 pound of clothing.”
You can reuse clothing in numerous ways, from cutting them and sewing them to make a blanket, using them as house decorations, giving them to a younger sibling or friend, or even donating them. The possibilities are endless! Click the link below to find out more about why you should reuse your old clothing and encourage others to as well.
Today I cleared my wardrobe for autumn and found clothes I no longer use. I then became curious about the recycling of clothes and came across an article about recycling clothes using pyrolysis. Recycling of clothes is a challenge since there’s clothing with metal, rivets or plastic parts. Stena Metal research is using pyrolysis, to test the recycling of objects with metal parts. A clothing company donated several kilos of clothes with metal parts including jeans, bras. They were then handled in a pyrolysis process, which means that the material is heated to between 300 and 400 degrees in an oxygen-free environment. The textiles are broken down into gas, which is then cooled to form oil that can be recovered. The metal parts are not oxidized as when clothes are burned, but kept intact and can be collected after pyrolysis. However the problem with this method is that it is expensive, today there are no commercial pyrolysis establishments for textiles.
In Sweden, each person consumes an average of 15 kilos of clothes and textiles per year, according to the EPA. The majority, about eight pounds, is incinerated when they are used. Only three kilograms are reused for examples of second-hand market or by charities. One of main factors why clothes aren´t recycled is that new clothing and textiles are very cheap. It is also very hard and time consuming to sort the metal parts from the clothes. Therefore a new technique is needed for the recycling of clothes with metal parts. A more efficient and easy method to apply is to donate you used old clothes to second hand or charity or buy clothes on second hand shops.
In our neighborhood we have two boxes, one for recycling of clothes and the other one is for charity. I used both of them today and I felt pretty good about it!
I have read a lot of posts that encourages recycling in order to decrease emissions. Of course, this is a great way to get the most out of our natural resources. Though, I wonder if that is enough. Recycling can take us only so far considering the enormous demand of products we have today. I think that even in a scenario where everything that is produced also gets reused and recycled, the environmental problems will remain. I recently watched a documentary (unfortunately in swedish, http://www.svtplay.se/video/1480596/del-5-av-18 ) that stated that people make a big mistake when not linking emissions and consumption. The documentary spoke of China as an example. It is true that the country has emissions far beyond what is sustainble. At the same time Sweden (where I live) is happy about having managed to decrease the emissions during the past couple of years. What many seem to forget is that countries like China have high emissions only beacuse we want to buy their cheap products. As long as the demand exists the manufacturing will continue. So, reusing and recycling are both great actions, but they should not be the first ones to take. Instead the process should start at the mall or where you buy your electronics. I think the question we all need to pose is: “Do I really need this?”. That way you will both decrease emossions and save money. Another way to do it can be to see if you find what you are looking for in a second hand shop before buying it in the regular store. Analyzing my way of living, I realize that I buy a lot of things that I do not really need.
How about you? What do you buy that you do not really need? And what would you be willing to refrain from in order to lower your global footprint?
how it going?
im that type of guy who’s always looking to make or build something out of old parts or electronics weather it is a model, or a functioning piece. I am an employee at a hobby shop in my city, so i am involved with a ton of electronics and “RC” things. We are always charging batteries and have about 5 computers running all day to help us find parts and such things for fellow hobbyist. I personally own a lot of radio controlled things like planes, cars, boats and helicopters, And all of these use batteries or electricity. if i was able to make something sort of like an alternator for a car but for use in electric things. I wouldn’t ever have to recharge anything, this could also work for phones and computers….. Just gotta think of a way to do it :/
I recently was on Pintrest, a shopping and organizing site, and found a great site that gives ideas and easy ways to repurpose items that have accumulated in the house over the years. One of the example is an old lunch box. Instead of throwing it away the idea given is to reuse the lunchbox to store accessories and keep small personal items in one place! Other ideas given are simple and clever ways to reuse old gardening tools and even old mattress spring boards!
According to www.cleanair.org, “827,000 to 1.3 million tons of plastic PET water bottles were produced in the U.S. in 2006, requiring the energy equivalent of 50 million barrels of oil. 76.5 percent of these bottles ended up in landfills.” This should not be happening. There are so many uses for plastic water bottles, some of which include using it as an expansion chamber for an inhaler. This can be done by cutting a whole in the bottom of the bottle and placing the medicine part of the inhaler into the whole. Another way to reuse plastic water bottles is to cut the top off and use that as a funnel. Besides reusing the plastic water bottles, they are so easy to be recycled. I have a recycling truck that comes by every Friday and picks up our recycling. He picks up paper, plastic, and glass. If you do not have a recycling truck that comes and picks up recycling, then you can drop it off at your nearest recycling center, it may even be a school. When plastic water bottles are produced, carbon is emitted into the air. A common way to stop this is just by drinking from a reusable bottle. The school I attend highly encourages this, and i see people every day drinking from reusable bottles. You should never throw away a plastic water bottle. If you have to use one, and you can’t use a reusable bottle then you should always try to use it, reuse it, and then recycle it. Thus, getting the most out of the bottle.
Hi, my name is Michael and I am a high school student in Oakland, California.
The biggest reason that is causing the climate crisis is the amount of waste going into the atmosphere. Most everyone has heard that these gases trap heat from the sun inside the earth’s atmosphere, changing the climate from regular to warmer.
One of the most obvious ways, according to me, to reduce this amount of waste in the atmosphere and return the climate to a more natural state, is to stop putting waste into the atmosphere and start taking the pollution already in it, out. One of the most effective ways to do this is to use the waste in the atmosphere as a fuel source rather than using new fuel, and some companies are doing just this.
This article, published back in March of this year, shows how one dairy company in particular is using natural gas from manure released by its cows as fuel for the surrounding community, its fleet of delivery trucks, and as fertilizer for its crops. This is not the only company to use this same method, but in one smooth stroke, it takes the methane (a greenhouse gas) released from its cows and converts it into electrical and diesel energy. While the company still burns this diesel to power its trucks, it is diesel fuel manufactured out of manure; recycled diesel fuel, and not new, from-the-ground diesel.
If we got every company in the world, from Coca Cola to Apple to BP, to recycle natural wastes into energy, like this dairy farm, and in turn use that energy, recycled energy, to power its processes, image the impact it would have on the environment. Such actions would effectively plateau the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, instead of adding to them and causing the greenhouse gas line graph to soar above previous points. Hypothetically, after we stop fretting over adding gases to the atmosphere, and recycle them instead, we could then specialize people to work on removal of gases rather than preach and solve their destruction.
I recently read: In 2004, 55 billion aluminum cans were landfilled, littered or incinerated, that’s 9 billion more than were wasted in 2000. This is enough cans to fill the Empire State Building twenty times. It is also a quantity equivalent to the annual production of three to four major primary aluminum smelters.
I was very unpleasantly shock by this stat we need to work together to bring this number down!!
Recycling is a great thing that we can all do to help lower our carbon footprints. I know that my neighborhood has just recently given everyone new recycling bins. And anyone from my school can tell you that recycling is a MAJOR part of our school. Everywhere you turn there is a recycling bin. We also do electronic recycling drives all the time. I know that if i have something that can be recycled, i’m going to recycle it. i’m sure a lot of people recycle, but another way to contribute to this is buy buying paper products that are made from recycled paper. Most people just buy the new paper; we don’t think about how we can help the earth by buying recycled paper products. And i’m sure we all have gone to print out a multiple paged document and printed it on one side only. If we print on both sides, then we can save so much paper and reduce our carbon footprints.