Top tips to help you Reduce, Re-use and Recycle

Recycling processes are generally carried out by commercial or governmental organisations; however, the entire process starts with you. Besides recycling, you can help protect the environment by reducing and re-using. The following tips might help you.


Change your perspective. Before you buy or agree to sign-up for anything, consider reducing your consumption and the impact your decision will have on the environment.

At home

Figure 1 Stop junk mail being delivered to you by writing to the Mailing Preference Service, Freepost 29, LON20771, London, 1E 0ZT or phone 020 7291 3310, or e-mail

Figure 1 Sign-up to emailed newsletters and downloadable information instead of selecting printed material

Figure 1 Do not unwittingly sign up for unsolicited mail when completing surveys or questionnaires

Figure 1 Whenever practical, buy family sized products to cut down on packaging you have to recycle or throw away. Only buy what you need

Figure 1 Consider the effect of sell-by dates

Figure 1 Buy concentrated and refillable products

Figure 1 Consider using a multi-purpose cleaner

Figure 1 Buy products loose – remember you pay for the packaging

Figure 1 Think durability – buy rechargeable batteries; refillable ink cartridges and re-useable cloths instead of disposable paper tissues

Figure 1 Hire equipment you use infrequently

Figure 1 Buy recycled goods if you can

Figure 1 Use cotton nappies rather than disposables – they are much better for your baby and the environment

At work and school

Figure 1 Share reports, handouts, journals, and other publications

Figure 1 Make more use of notice boards and shared information

Figure 1 Use the phone or e-mails instead of writing letters

Figure 1 Only photocopy when necessary and use the double sided facility

Figure 1 Avoid wasting materials like paper – use only what you need

Figure 1 Choose refillable and recycled items

Figure 1 Write on both sides of a piece of paper and use scrap for drafts


Change your lifestyle. Before you throw anything away consider whether the item has an alternative use or value for you or someone else.

At the shops

Figure 1 Consider durability and repairability when you’re buying something

Figure 1 Avoid buying single use items like disposable nappies, plastic cutlery and cameras wherever possible

Figure 1 Buy products that can be refilled

Figure 1 Use your own carrier bags, either plastic or fabric

Figure 1 Use re-usable rigid plastic boxes with handles for loading goods when shopping

Around the house

Figure 1 Re-use plastic bags as bin liners

Figure 1 Re-use margarine tubs and other strong containers for packed lunch boxes, for storing nails or buttons or the contents of half opened tins for freezing

Figure 1 Pack school lunches in a reusable lunch box instead of using plastic bags

Figure 1 Fill a flask with your favourite drink each morning instead of buying cans or cartons

Figure 1 Give school uniforms that don’t fit any more to friends or to your local charity shop

Figure 1 Avoid using cling film and aluminium foil to wrap food – use boxes with lids instead

Figure 1 Re-use glass jars and margarine tubs for storing household items

Figure 1 Swap magazines with friends or take them to doctors surgeries

Figure 1 Take unwanted clothes, shoes, books, and spectacles to charity shops or have a stall at a local car boot sale

At work and school

Figure 1 Write on both sides of a sheet of paper

Figure 1 Use pencils or refillable fountain or ball point pens

Figure 1 Use paper as scrap before recycling

Figure 1 Pack your lunch and drink in a reusable lunch box and flask

In the garden

Figure 1 Compost your garden and green waste

Figure 1 Empty, cut down mineral water bottles can be used as mini green houses for your young plants

Figure 1 Old carpet or cardboard can be used to insulate compost heaps or places on the ground to clear areas of weeds

Figure 1 Old wood and pallets can be used to build compost bins

Figure 1 Cracked and broken crockery can be smashed and used for drainage crocks in plant pots

Figure 1 Use yoghurt pots for planting seedlings

Figure 1 Avoid throw away barbeques

Figure 1 Metal coat hangers can be used to pin down plastic covers


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