(Natural News) One of the best ways to save the planet Earth is by reusing. In fact, it is better than choosing disposable but recyclable versions because some recyclable items are not actually being recycled and are being sent to landfills instead. To reduce the number of recyclable items, here are seven reusable items that you should have in your home:
- Cloth napkins: Once paper napkins have been stained with food residue, they are not recyclable anymore because they cannot be cleaned well enough to be reused in new products. Instead of paper napkins, use cloth napkins. They are available in casual, washable fabrics like cotton and linen and in different styles and prints.
- Coffee thermos: Coffee shops use plastic cups, typically recyclable, for iced coffee and paper cups lined with plastic, typically not recyclable, for hot coffee. Whenever you buy either drink, you are contributing to trash. To prevent this, it is better to have your own reusable coffee thermos or mug and hand it to the barista.
- Dish soap: Instead of using liquid soap, which is put into recyclable plastic bottles, it is better to use bar soap that can be put in a soap dish. Bar soaps are also easy to find in paper packaging or without any packaging at all, which is even better for the environment. When choosing a soap dish, buy one with a slatted bottom, which helps the bar of soap dry between uses. Get one for the kitchen, bathroom, and shower, so that you won’t have to recycle a plastic soap bottle again.
- Dryer balls: Instead of using dryer sheets, which are not recyclable nor reusable, use dryer balls. Dryer balls, which are reusable wool spheres that bounce around in the dryer, help reduce both static and drying time. They also last for years, unlike dryer sheets. In addition, they are a non-toxic alternative to the harmful chemicals that some brands of dryer sheets contain. You may also want to add a few drops of essential oils to them to keep them smelling good.
- Produce bags: In addition to bringing your own reusable tote bags whenever you go grocery shopping, use reusable cloth produce bags. These can be a replacement for using plastic bags when you buy produce, such as lettuce, broccoli, apples, and carrots, or whatever you would typically put in a plastic bag.
- Shipping materials: Bubble mailers, which are used to ship packages, are mostly not recyclable but reusable. Just tape a new address over the old address and use it again whenever you ship out your next package.
- To-go containers: Whenever you are out to eat, there is a high chance that you would have to use a disposable container like styrofoam for leftovers. However, styrofoam is not recyclable and is damaging to the environment. To avoid this, find a lightweight container around your house, such as a glass jar or a clean plastic yogurt tub, and put it in your bag whenever you go to a restaurant.
Reusing products is also a way to prevent waste by reducing the source of waste. By practicing this, you contribute to saving natural resources and energy used to make new products. This also lessens greenhouse gases linked to manufacturing and waste disposal and saves disposal costs. (Related: USDA scientists are reusing discarded almond shells and hulls to create renewable products, from biodegradable plastics to biofuel.)
Read more about reusing by going to Enviro.news.