After I calculated my carbon footprint, I became more aware of the things that I was doing on a regular basis such as forgetting to turn out the lights or not using a reusable bag when going shopping. Now, I try to always turn out my lights and my family and I always shop with reusable bags. We keep recycling bins in our house and try to reuse whatever paper, plastic, soda cans, ect. that we can. Today we went shopping for black friday and ended up with tons of paper and plastic bags, shoe boxes, and tissue paper and we recycled every bit that we could. Even after making these small changes on a daily basis, I still feel like I could do more to help lower the carbon footprint. Any ideas??
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We reuse the plastic bags we get at stores as garbage bags in our garbage cans. Also, we reuse paper bags to collect bottles, paper, plastic, just about anything, really. When they get full, we take them to vrious staions for recyclning. In Sweden we have a system that’s called “pant”. In every grocery store you can find, you can hand in your empty bottles and cans and get a small amount of money for each bottle or can. only we and Finland use this system, even though all country’s in the world should use it. It should certainly come in handy in country’s with alot of poverty.
When I go to school everyday, I take a bottled water with me for my lunch. After drinking it, I usually take the time to put it in the recycling bin, but this is not every time. The container for the water is made of plastic, just like many items that we use in our daily lives. After doing some research, I came to find that it takes about 1,000 years for plastic to start decomposing in a landfill. When I found this fact out, I was astonished and slowly began realizing why our country has such a high carbon footprint. It got me thinking, is using a plastic water bottle for one day worth all the time it takes for it to decompose? I decided it was not and made a promise to myself to help the earth: I would no longer bring plastic water bottles to school for lunch. By using a reusable water bottle, I will not even have to worry about recycling a plastic bottle anymore. I have a canteen that is eco-friendly. I will now use it for my water container at school. Personally, I do not think that there is a difference between the water in the plastic bottle and the water in my canteen. By making a simple switch, the amount of garbage in landfills would decrease, ultimately affecting our carbon footprint, not only as a country, but also as a planet. Water is water if it is clean. After all, it is what is on the inside that counts. Do you think you could make the switch if you have not already? Here is a link that explains just how long it takes for garbage to decompose.
A lot of people think of the term “Reuse and Repurpose” as a reference to recycling, or to crafting something useful out of an item that was once useless. However, Reusing and Repurposing could very well refer to giving an amount of your wealth to someone else. The phrase “One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure” illustrates this perfectly. Just because you feel that something you have is no longer of wealth or value to you, it could very easily become something of great value to someone else. So instead of throwing out something you feel is trash, think about another way of Reusing and Repurposing, and if at all possible, Donate.
I always thought that by using plastic grocery bags instead of buying garbage bags, I was doing a fantastic job of saving the environment. WRONG! Those plastic bags will just end up in a landfill along with the rest of our trash. So I found a website where all of these people talked about their favorite creative ways to use plastic bags. Some of my personal favorites (that I hope to try soon) include using them to crochet bags and rugs and other cool things. Of course I’ll have to learn to crochet first, but I couldn’t believe that some of the pictures were actually your average grocery bag. People are so talented. I even read from a lady who braided strips together so that she had enough to hang from a tree to make a hammock for her kids.
Click these for some plastic bag creations
Many people usually think that recycling is the solution to be friendly to the environment. They are right. But, it’s ONE of many solutions. Even though throwing paper into a recycling bin saves many trees, the process of breaking down recycled materials so that they can be used for new materials uses energy and resources too. Also, it doesn’t teach us much of a lesson about helping the environment. People could merely throw paper or plastic in a recycling bin and feel eco-friendly. In my opinion, that isn’t really doing much. I think we should start reusing more. Reusing means to use an item more than once. Although, reusing is not the only solution. Neither is recycling. But that is why there are three R’s. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. :)
Oh, and check the comment for a few sites that list what we can reduce, reuse, and recycle.
New models of phones, computers, ipods, and other electonics come out very often. When people buy a new version, most people just keep their old electronics but don’t use them anymore. What good does this do? There are multiple options for ways to reuse them. Old phones can be donated to http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com to help soldiers overseas be able to call home. By doing so, not only would you be helping the environment by reusing your phone, but you would also be helping someone in need. Other electronics can be sold to http://www.gazelle.com, which finds a new home for your electronics, recycles them, or uses them for their parts. This can be a very effective way of reusing and repurposing, and you are getting paid for it.
At my school this week we had an electronics drive where we brought old electronics in to be recycled. I brought in my old computers and phones and I was wondering where it all went and how they recycled them. This is a link to the Houston Texas Computer Recycling center. check it out
I think something that many people overlook when it comes to reusing products is clothing. Now I know what you’re thinking. No way am I ever wearing used clothes. Gross. And I completely understand. But actually, thrift stores can be the greatest resource for finding cool, unique clothing (if you know where to go :)…) for a fraction of the price for new clothes.
And I’m not saying you need to look like a frumpy grandmother. If you find the right things, and you have basic sewing skills, you can completely transform something into something more your style.
Here, I found this tutorial on the internet and I think it’s a creative and easy way to reuse.