Wednesday, December 4, 2013

An Overlooked Piece of Recycling

You may be at that point where you are thinking, "Hey Mesquite Hugger, I sort my recycling and I take it all to the recycling center. What's next? How do I step up the recycling from here?"

There are lots of answers to that question, but one overlooked answer is to start seeking out recycled products for your own consumption.

One of the biggest goals in recycling is to stop using up natural resources by reusing the ones we have already harvested. Instead of cutting down more trees, squeezing more oil from the ground, or mining more metal from the earth, we need to reuse what we have already extracted. And one of the best ways to do that is to support the companies who specialize in reusing. This helps them to thrive and reuse more of your recycling. It also encourages their competitors to start looking at more recycling.

So, the next time you are out consuming shopping, look to see if there is a recycled version available.

Here are two quick examples we had lying around the house:

Paper goods are a prime example and an easy one to adopt. We have given up paper towels in our home, but I am not about to ask the family to give up toilet paper! So, the next best thing for us is to use toilet paper that is manufactured from recycled paper products. Locally, this particular brand can be found at Market Street and some United Supermarkets, but there are several other brands to be found in other places as well.

This one was a little surprising to find locally, but here is what can be created from used motor oil - more motor oil. Yes, it's a far from perfect solution - (insert shameless plug for electric car here), but if you are still running a gasoline engine, this is a great way to go. It is very competitively priced and can often be found on sale. And it gets high ratings. Unfortunately, it is a very slow mover. People are hesitant to buy an oil that is 50% recycled. As a consumer, this is where we can step it up. Encourage the companies who are trying to do a better job of conserving our resources.
If you have any favorite recycled products, please share them with us. And please keep your eyes open for new opportunities to support recycling efforts.
May your day be filled with recycled goodness! Take care, my friends!
(PS. An even better option for conserving resources is finding ways to consume less, but every little bit helps.)