Beginners guide to Recycling

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What does it mean to recycle?

"We never know the worth of something, till it's gone" - Thomas Fuller

There are several questions to think about when discussing sustainability and in how far this issue affects us all. One certain topic regarding this issue is recycling. Do you really have to recycle things in order to protect our environment? What does the word recycling even mean? Roughly speaking it means to re-use resources and thus, helping to spare our already scarce resources. Many share the belief that they themselves alone will have no impact by separating their waste or recycling. However, this way of thinking is what creates the problem in the first place. If everyone would think this way, nobody would do anything to save our planet. Every single one of you is important, so as a whole we can achieve positive change in our society.

In advance, we firstly should explain the term recycling, since it often is understood differently. The statutory definition states that we only speak about recycling if the resources previously were counted as refuse, otherwise it is just reutilization. During the process of recycling resources are extracted from the refuses, which again enter the economic cycle. They then are going to be manufactured to new products and so it is an endless circle. The biggest advantage of recycling is the fact that the amount of waste is shrinking, while resources are getting spared.

Are paper bags really better than plastic bags?

Did you know that there are several myths concerning which resources are the best to use? As an example, the statement that paper- and organic bags are more ecofriendly than plastic bags is actually wrong. In order that paper bags can be used for the heavy groceries without ripping they have to be thick enough.

Therefore, more resources have to be used, which are chemically treated. This way the manufacturer needs more energy and water as he would need to produce plastic bags. Besides that, it is important to know that you should always choose multi way bottles over one way bottles. It is said that if we would only fill up non-alcoholic drinks in multi way bottles we would economize 1,25 million tons of carbon dioxide.

In order to spare our natural resources, you should use boxes, backpacks, baskets or reusable carrier bags. Most of all the German environmental aid suggests to use pouches made of recycled synthetic material. Even after 10 usages, the alternative bags make up their money’s worth.

How to live a more sustainable lifesytle?

If you ask yourself now, what and especially how you can start to recycle and live a more sustainable lifestyle, we collected some good basic tips on how to start:

1. Reduction: And with that we mean your whole consumption. It begins with having less hot showers, consciously reduce the usage of air conditioners during summer and less usage of the heater in winter. Instead of posting letters and reading paper magazines, you can send mails and read the newspaper online. Also an alternative would be using car pools, E-vehicles or public transport, to reduce the bad emmission of cars. And last but not least, as our NinetyNine soaps states: stop the water while using me!

2. Second-hand: It is not only cheaper for you it also reduces the enquiries on rarely resources.

3. Conscious: Try to buy products which are recycled or have ingredients, which have a lower impact on the environment. For example, buying local and organic products with less packaging. Eating less, or more concious produced meat, as meat has a huge environmental footprint.

Even small steps can have a massive impact and we owe it to the planet. We as a team for example try to conciously make decisions to decrease our carbon footprint. For example by using products made of wood, bamboo and other more sustainable products. Our toothbrush for instance are made of bamboo and instead of plastic straws we use paper straws. The toothbrush cups are also sustainable and we only use green cleaning, avoiding the use of chemical products.

As you see, the more you pay attention, the more you can create change. Do not look away and be part of a good change.

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