We all know that recycling is good for the environment. Recycling wood and paper products means that fewer trees are cut down, and recycling metal means that less land is destroyed for mining. By conserving our resources, we lessen our impact on the planet. But there's more to recycling than putting a blue box of newspaper out by the curb. With a little initiative, and by applying the principles to recycling to other areas of your life, you can not only help save the planet but also save a little money.
Cash for Your Trash
It's easy to take your recycling out to the curb or to the dump with the rest of your trash, but did you know that you might be able to sell it instead? Many communities host drop-off centers where you can trade in your aluminum cans for cash. The payoff is small, usually less than a dollar per pound, but it might be worth the effort if you're in the neighborhood anyway. Non-aluminum scrap metal, such as copper or steel, fetches a more premium price. Call your local waste management company to see if there are any metal recyclers near you.
Save Money by Shopping Secondhand
Recycling isn't just for garbage anymore. Next time you clean out your closets, instead of hauling your old clothes, toys and furniture to the charity shop, consider selling it at a rummage sale instead. Your old possessions will get a second life, and you'll make a little cash. Likewise, consider doing your own shopping at rummage sales, consignment shops or antique stores or through the classified section in the newspaper. You'll find unique items at reasonable prices, and by buying secondhand, you reduce the demand for brand-new consumer goods, which means that fewer natural resources are squandered.
Ditch the Disposables
Choose reusable goods over disposables. A sturdy water bottle or set of cloth napkins may cost a little more upfront, but you'll save money in the long run by not having to constantly replenish your supply of disposables. That also means less garbage filling up landfills. Try finding creative new uses for products you would otherwise throw away--empty wine bottles can become flower vases, and old peanut butter jars can hold pens, buttons or spare change.
Compost for a Better--and Cheaper--Garden
If you garden, or know someone who does, the greatest way you can recycle is to compost your food and yard waste. Vegetable peelings, apple cores, egg shells and other kitchen waste, along with fallen leaves and lawn clippings, will decompose to become rich, organic material that will give your vegetable and flower gardens a better boost than any commercial fertilizer. Maintaining a compost pile is easy, and if properly done it should not smell or attract vermin.
- Photo Credit scol22, sxc.hu
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