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Recycling at home in 5 easy steps

We should all do our bit to keep the world clean and sustainable for posterity, and it is as simple as starting at home. Recycling is one of the best ways for an individual to have a positive impact on the environment. With recycling, a substantial portion of our waste can be broken down into their original elements and be used to produce new materials. When recycling at home, creating a simple recycling system that includes the whole family can make the process quick and fuss-free. The key to successful recycling is transforming it into something that becomes second nature. If you are a recycling novice, here are some handy tips to get you going:

1. Change your thinking

We live in an age of overconsumption, and as such are surrounded by a lot of material stuff. Reducing the amount that we consume is the first step in recycling. Next, we need to identify constructive ways to reuse “waste” or unwanted materials around the home. Think about how you can repurpose items that are difficult to recycle, like building an eco-brick.

2.  Know what can be recycled

Having a clear understanding of what can and can’t be recycled will help to speed things up and ultimately allow you to make more informed decisions when buying household items.  To find out what can and cannot be recycled in South Africa, see here.

3. Set up a recycling station

Having easily accessible recycling bins in your home will help make recycling less of a hassle. This doesn’t need to take up space, a simple recycling bag strategically placed will do the trick. Ideally though, keep separate bins for different recyclable materials, such as metals, paper, glass and plastic.

4. Involve your housemates

Making recycling fun for the whole family is key to keeping it up. Introducing your kids to recycling from an early age will turn it into a habit, rather than a chore. There are a number of fun recycling projects for kids that teach them the benefits of recycling at home – find one in your community.

5. Reuse water

South Africa is a water-scarce country, and making the most of this vital resource should be an essential part of any household's recycling plan. Reusing greywater wherever possible can go a long way to reducing your water usage.