18 March is Global Recycling Day, the perfect opportunity to revise the do's and don'ts of reusing the planet's natural resources.
Every year, the act of recycling is commemorated around the world on 18 March, also known as Global Recycling Day. Anthropology reveals that the process of reusing the planet's natural resources has a longstanding history, with humans known to have started recycling as early as 2500 BC.
As even the glorious Statue of Liberty in New York is covered with about 80 tonnes of recycled copper, nobody should think of themselves as being above such a simple yet sustainable practice. So, let's cut to the chase and get into the do's and don'ts of recycling.
How to avoid recycling altogether
Before you even get to the recycling stage, do ask yourself a series of questions regarding your buying habits. For instance, are there ways to decrease your overall use of plastics? Do you stick to reusable shopping bags? How often do you get a new phone or laptop?
Going over these questions should already give you an impression of whether you may be able to avoid some purchases altogether, which in return means that you don't have to think about how to properly recycle as many things.
Should you already be an expert at remembering your reusable shopping bags, then consider a trip to Ouni, "Luxembourg's first packaging-free organic grocery store". Shopping at Ouni allows you to cut down on a considerable amount of unnecessary plastic, as the store only sells products in reusable glass jars on deposit. So, do pay them a visit.
Recycling in your area
Do familiarise yourself with the recycling practices in your hometown. For instance, Valorlux has recently readjusted its waste sorting mechanisms, which means that people living in municipalities that participate in the blue bag collection system can easily recycle the following objects: plastic bottles, pots, cups, trays, films, bags, as well as metal packaging and beverage cartons.
Also, don't forget about your local recycling centre. Electronics or light bulbs should not go into your general bin, so do pay a regular visit to your local centre to properly dispose of any unusual items. If you are not registered with a municipal collection service, then this is also the place to get rid of glass and paper.
General recycling tips
When it comes to general recycling tips, do remember to always rinse out bottles and jars to remove any leftover food. Although biodegradable, leftovers are not recyclable and should therefore not enter the cycle.
In terms of adequately recycling paper and carton, don't forget to remove any other materials, such as metal clips or plastic covers. Also, don't unnecessarily shred paper, as this makes it harder for the sorting machine to properly identify it.
For a list of recycling tips on more irregular objects, you can also visit the website of non-profit organisation Ecotrel, which consults both people and businesses on how to properly dispose of electronics in particular.
Creative recycling tips
It is also useful to consider creative avenues and repurpose a resource by yourself. Even school children learn how to repaint an old mug or turn a shoebox into a picture frame. Don't consider age a limitation, one is never too old to let the DIY spirit take over.
Those experienced in wood or metal work can take the repurposing process to yet another level. Scrap art, for instance, is an inventive way of creating something entirely new out of something that others have already discarded as junk. Don't despair if you think that you cannot produce something as creative yourself, you can still support the practice by supporting artists and their repurposed metal work.
If you feel comfortable trying out something new, then try and do it yourself. After all, with Global Recycling Day just around the corner, now is the perfect time to up your recycling game.