18 March 2022
How recycling can save you money - Global Recycling Day
This year is the fifth annual Global Recycling Day. A day which makes us consider the impact of our habits on the environment. Recycling has become a key part of the circular economy (a model of production and consumption which involves extending the life of materials and products for as long as possible by sharing, reusing, repairing, recycling, and refurbishing) and has been named the ‘seventh resource’ due to its growing importance. Recycled materials can be made into many new items such as picnic tables, playground equipment, sleeping bags and building insulation.
Not only is recycling helping to save the planet, but it can also be great for your pocket too, saving you money!
Here are eight ways in which recycling can save you money!
1. Sell / upcycle unwanted clothes - Turning old, unused clothes into something else can be super exciting, it gets extra use out of them and saves you from buying new. Selling any unwanted garments gives the opportunity for a new owner to love and wear the clothes that would otherwise be thrown away. You can often make money out of doing this too. If you don’t want to take the time to sell your unwanted clothes, always take them to a charity shop and avoid the bins! This process of selling and buying second-hand clothes can go on for years, shown by the prominence of vintage clothing!
2. Buy second-hand clothing - Continuing on from the previous idea, there are many places where you can source second-hand clothing including online sites such as Depop, eBay and Vinted, as well as in vintage and charity shops too.
3. Drink tap water rather than bottled water - Reducing the use of single use plastics such as water bottles is better for the environment. Purchase a reusable bottle which can be refilled time and time again, saving the planet and money.
4. Compost food waste - Putting extra food wastage such as fruit / vegetable peel, coffee grounds, stale bread etc. into a compost heap in your garden helps to reduce the amount of waste going in the bin. It saves you money by producing your own nutrient-rich soil, allowing your garden to grow healthier! You could even grow your own fruits and vegetables too.
5. Reuse plastic bags - It may not seem like a big cost spending 10p on a plastic bag every time you go shopping, however, over the course of a year you could save over £20 (based on buying four bags weekly)!
6. Refill shops - Refill shops are still a relatively new concept. The idea is that you take your empty containers to the shop and fill them up with anything you’d like. They usually stock items such as oil, pasta, nuts, washing up liquid, and fruit juice for example. You are charged based upon the amount you’re purchasing, often by weight. This process reduces packaging and encourages people to reuse their containers multiple times. As you are choosing how much of any product you’d like, it minimises wastage, in turn saving money. These shops are popping up all over.
7. Terracycle - This allows you to recycle everyday items that usually would not be put into any type of recycling, such as crisp packets, contact lenses, bread bags, medicine packets for example. Terracycle allows you to find your nearest drop off point for each of these items. It also awards points to the collection point based upon how much they’ve collected which is then turned into money to be donated to a charity. Although this isn’t necessarily saving you money, it is better for the environment and helps charities too. You can check out Terracycle here.
8. Sell cans - Scrap metal sites, recycling centres and some businesses offer cash for aluminium cans. Although you may not be able to make a lot of money, it is an easy method for earning a few pennies!
Fun fact: Recycling one glass bottle would save enough energy to power a lightbulb for four hours!