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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Waste not

Reuse and recycle whatever you can
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - April 18, 2011
By: Adele Ong
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Waste not

Saving resources in the home goes beyond not wasting electricity and water. You can also recycle or reuse items like old clothes, newspapers, glass containers, certain plastics and electronics, to help conserve the earth’s resources.

  • First, try to rehome items that you don’t want, but which someone else might use. Hold a garage sale of household things that are usable and in good condition, or give items away to friends and relatives who want them. If items are really worn-out, or are no longer safe or practical to use because parts have broken off, put them into the recycling bin.
  • Look at things you are discarding in terms of their separate components. For instance, instead of trashing an entire used or old make-up item, examine it to see if it has parts (like a glass mirror, or a metal casing) that can be recycled. It will mean a bit of bother and care needed to pry out the glass or separate the parts with pliers, but if it helps reduce the sheer waste of resources, you may consider it worth the trouble.
  • Reuse plastic bags. Don’t just take a bag from the supermarket or food stall to carry your purchases home in, then discard it. Reuse it in other ways, such as bagging food trash (and don’t throw it out until it is full!), or for picking up dog poo if you have a pet.
  • If you bring home takeaways in plastic containers, try to reuse those containers too. Although scientists warn that certain plastics are not safe for microwaving food in, or for storing heated food, or as a long-term drink bottle, you can still reuse them safely in other ways. Once they are washed and cleaned, you can use them to hold dry food items, as storage containers to keep the things in your refrigerator tidy, or as containers in which you can give away your home-cooked food to friends and relatives.
  • To put even raw food waste like vegetable peelings to good use, you could set up a composting bin in your home.

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