We often think of recycling as merely sorting cans, glasses, or bottles that have become homeless. (Or trash-less!) Or figuring out which bin to throw them into. But, hey, it’s a lot more than that. Recycling is about appreciating the resources that go into making these items and understanding the value of these materials.
To truly understand recycling, you must first change your mindset and see items as resources rather than waste products.
Before we go any further, let’s first figure out why we’re here.
What And When Is Global Recycling Day?
The Global Recycling Day campaign, which began in 2018, takes place on March 18 every year; it recognizes and celebrates the importance of recycling in preserving our precious resources and securing the planet’s future. It is a day for action, for the entire world to come together and prioritize the earth. The day is also observed globally in the hopes of changing the mindsets of governments, businesses, individuals, and communities all over the world to observe recyclables as SOURCES!
All About Global Recycling Day
Since the campaign’s inception a few years ago, it has grown into a global movement with millions of people participating all over the world. The day was even declared an official day by UNIDO, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, in 2018. The primary goal of Global Recycling Day is to help the world see recycling as a resource rather than a waste product, as it is referred to as the seventh resource.
Why Is Global Recycling Day Important?
Let us now put our minds and hands-on recycling by understanding why Global Recycling Day in particular and recycling, in general, is essential. Even though recycling is an important part of waste management, most people struggle to recycle everyday items due to a lack of knowledge and personal motivation. Humanity generates an astounding 2.12 million tonnes of waste each year by failing to recycle properly. Every year, nearly 300 million tonnes of plastic waste are generated, with half of it being single-use. A staggering 91% of plastic waste is not recycled. A large portion of this plastic ends up in landfills or our oceans.
So, Why Exactly Is Recycling Important?
Picking up trash and dumping it in designated bins is a good way to help the environment. But, of course, reducing the amount of trash produced by each of us is better. But what’s best is ensuring that the things we don’t need anymore, as well as the resources used to make these important or not-so-important things, are reused.
You may be wondering what exactly are resources. They are the natural materials our planet has bestowed upon us to meet our human needs and desires. The gifts we’ve received from the earth include air, water, oil, gas, minerals, and land. These six elements are responsible for the food we eat, the energy we use, the homes we live in, and the possessions we own. Would we even be here if it weren’t for them? No way!
But the truth is that these resources do not come in an infinite supply. Unfortunately, there is a limited supply, which may and will be exhausted at some point. Thus, recycling is important, far too important!
Now, Time For The Real Question – What Can You Do To Help This Global Recycling Day?
Contrary to popular belief, it is believed that because most things can be recycled, you can continue to buy more and more single-use products. That, however, is not the case! “Only 9 percent of plastic produced since the 1950s has been recycled,” according to Global Recycling Day. That’s terrible!
First and foremost, you do you. But, since recycling is so valuable as it’s renewable and allows things to last much longer than they would otherwise, start by recycling everything in your home or around you. Below, we’ve pulled together 12 simple ways to answer your question on, “how can we save the Earth by recycling?”
1. Check Out The Global Recyling Day Website For Events
Checking related websites for registered events is a great start to contributing to Global Recycling Day activities. Participating in events can teach you a lot about recycling and environmental preservation. However, if you cannot track down an event, consider organizing your own. Events can range from litter pick-ups to exhibitions, fashion shows, and opportunities to learn or educate others. Believe us when we say that participating in Global Recycling Day activities can help you feel good about yourself and the environment.
2. Begin By Buying Recycled Products
The majority of us are driven to buy more and more! While there is no end to buying things, there is always a way to avoid negatively impacting the environment. For example, I recently came across a recycled file that I found at a stationery store around the corner. Though the off-white, creamish color can be disappointing, it does give a sense of relief that it had been used before! You can always find biodegradable pencils, recycled papers in these cute stationery shops, or secondhand furniture.
3. You Can Always Reuse Wrapping Paper
Holidays such as New Year’s and Christmas call for some cheer and decoration. (unfortunately, which harms the planet.) And, if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably gathered a collection of wrapping papers over the years. Unfortunately, it was most likely when you were unaware that it contained plastic. However, getting rid of it may cause more harm than good. So, instead of throwing it out, make sure it becomes more useful than ever! So, the best thing you can do is reuse them over time and then preach about them to your loved ones when you present them with them!
4. Save Paper, Please!
This is by far one of the most doable Global Recycling Day activities for answering the question, “How can we save the earth by recycling?” Contrary to popular belief, most people, including myself, used only one side of the paper. But it wasn’t long before I realized it was one of the worst things I could have done to the planet. That one-sided used paper does not deserve to be thrown away so quickly. While sticky notes are difficult to recycle, you can always switch to using scrap paper as an alternative.
5. Or Say No To Paper, Altogether
While going paperless may appear to be one of the most unrealistic Global Recycling Day activities, it is possible to say no to paper entirely. Nowadays, most things are done online, and you don’t need physical printed information in your hand. So, try limiting your paper usage in as many places as possible. Whether it’s bank statements, receipts, train or bus tickets, or anything else, use e-tickets instead of printed ones. While we appreciate traditional, if you’re wondering, “How can we save the earth by recycling?” you can switch to news apps instead of buying a newspaper that will end up in the trash.
6. Pick Litter From Areas Nearby Or On The Way
For some people, registering for events or organizing their own can be overwhelming. So, why not start with some simple Global Recycling Day activities like going for a walk outside and picking up litter? You can go to a nearby beach or a local park, but you’ll definitely find some (more) on your way! Remember to dispose of the litter in the proper recycling bins only when finished. Since you’re asking, “how can we save the earth by recycling?” rather than “How can I add more trash?”
7. Thrifting/ Second Hand – The Heart Of Recycling Clothes!
We’ve said it a hundred times, and we’ll say it again: don’t forget to check out thrift stores like Buffalo Exchange, Thred Up, and Goodwill! Trust us when we say you can find many items that someone else didn’t need but that you’ve wanted for a long time. Everything from clothing, jewelry, and shoes to vintage furniture and designer items can be found here. This is one of the most enjoyable Global Recycling Day activities you can participate in because you save a lot of money while getting your hands on some exquisites! Pro Tip: You can save money on shipping by doing bundles.
Most importantly, some of these secondhand stores are also charity shops. Aside from fashion, this is a must-see for all book lovers, as these stores are brimming with great books. And what’s better than helping to save the planet by donating to charities by buying these items?
8. Use Reusable Cups And Bottles!
We know that sitting at a desk in that job (you don’t like) to traveling to your favorite weekend getaways with friends always calls for water, a drink, or coffee. So, while we may not want you to be hydrated, we would prefer that you use reusable water bottles or cups, which are now available almost anywhere! That reusable bottle will be saved from ending up in landfills while also reducing plastic use and waste. Most importantly, you’ll save money by not having to buy a new bottle every time you need a drink, all while helping the environment.
And what better way to participate in fun Global Recycling Day activities than to invest in a reusable cup and make yourself a cup of tea or coffee before heading out the door for the day? While you can always walk to a nearby coffee shop, you can avoid that trip entirely instead of driving and negatively impacting the environment.
9. Find Brands That Accepts Your Returns
At this point, it’s difficult to deny that we have a trash problem. Most of us would agree that recycling is essential, whether it’s the Patagonia jacket you outgrew or the plastic water bottle you picked up at lunch. And while most of us intend to donate used clothing or learn how to recycle batteries properly, far fewer of us actually do so. We believe that returning your empires is the best way to answer the question, “How can we save the earth by recycling?” Some brands even offer incentives such as store credit, discounts, and cashback for getting rid of items you no longer use.
Some of the companies that will accept your empties or used items are:
10. Don’t Forget To Carry Your Own Bags On Your Next Shopping Spree
Single-use plastic, such as carrier bags, accounts for approximately 40% of plastic waste. So, whether you’re stocking up on your favorite supermarket treats or treating yourself to the latest fashion trend on the high street, be prepared to say no to a plastic bag by carrying your own reusable bag with you. Having your own bag can also help you save money while feeling good about your Global Recycling Day activities and resolution.
11. Opt For Refillable Products
Who doesn’t relish a refilled drink or a supermarket that refills even the food? The best thing you can do is find a refillable station near you, and if you can’t, choose products that have refillable products and options. Once you’ve finished using all of the plastic products, you should be on your way to finding refillable makeup products to instill a habit that will positively contribute to this Global Recycling Day. Also, rumor has it; the Zero Waste Mascara BLK is refillable and cruelty-free, vegan, and clean!
12. Do Not Let The Leftovers End Up In The Bin
Are you expecting family or can’t wait to entertain friends in your new home? Here’s the catch if you’re looking for an answer to the question, “How can we save the earth by recycling?” Fret not and say goodbye to the worry that you cooked too much dinner and can’t even throw it away because, duh, it’s food. If it’s safe to keep, don’t toss it; instead, save it and eat it for lunch or dinner the next day. You can even make it into a new dish by integrating a few fresh ingredients.
So, there were a few ideas you can introduce into your daily life, rather than just when you Google, “When is Global Recycling Day?” And if you want to help make the world a better and more breathable place, do your chunk every day! Kudos, the planet will be grateful in ways you can’t even imagine.
Also, do you wonder about composting and how it works? Here’s a beginner’s guide to getting you started.