Happy Recycling Week! In 2021 New Zealand Recycling Week will run from 18-24 October. Each day of the week has a different theme to help you make small changes to your lifestyle to help it become more circular, waste-free and aware of what you are using and reusing.
Our lives have been conditioned by convenience. This has exploded to the point where we can buy practically anything from our bedroom. Although this is a great achievement and useful when things such as lockdowns occur, it has negative effects on the environment. These packages often come with excessive amounts of packaging, and although they are becoming greener many of us don’t know how to correctly recycle them, let alone the rest of the waste leaving our homes.
As a society, we need to be more conscious of what we are bringing into our homes and what the items will look like at the end of their lives. For example, when bringing in a biodegradable cleaning cloth you can visualise it leaving being disposed of by burying it in your compost bin. However, for a plastic water bottle, this would be seen leaving your home into your rubbish bin.
In the spirit of Recycling Week, we will be giving you 5 tips on how to make small changes that will make a world of difference.
Ensure you can reuse everything you bring into your home at least once.
It’s okay to bring in things such as glass pasta sauces jars as they can be reused for storing homemade sauces, as a takeaway coffee cup or to help water your plants. Even better they can be easily recycled within New Zealand.
Explore different methods of reusing repurposing and recycling
We often consider recycling to be finished when we place something in our curbside collection recycling bins, however, there are many different ways you can recycle items. You can repurpose them, reuse them, or even Mutu them!
Reflect on your purchases
If you desperately need a shovel and can only find one available online to purchase. However, when it arrives it has a lot of unnecessary packaging you are unable to recycle make a mental note of this for next time to help change your purchasing behaviours to be more considered and mindful.
Research recycling activities in your community
Things such as cans and glass bottles can use a lot of energy when recycled in a plant. Look into if your community offers initiatives such as can collections where the cans and/or bottles will be sent back to the distributor. These often also involve a small sum being paid back to the community for their help, a win-win for everyone!
Rinse and clean
Ensure the recycling you are putting out at your curbside collection is clean. If there is a pasta jar you forgot to rinse out in the mix of things it will often result in the whole bin being tagged as contaminated. This will result in it being sent to the landfill, throwing away all of your hard-earned recycling efforts.
Thanks for concentrating your efforts and helping to make a cleaner New Zealand!
Toby and the Mutu team.