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The Recycling Era

Writer and Photographer - Life is there for experiencing, which I live each and every day to do!

A dumpster bin often has 100's of recyclable items in it!

The dawn of the Recycling Era

A new dawn is arising today in our society, it is changing our daily habits, our routines and making us more aware of the consequences we personally take when we process what was once considered trash: The Recycling Era! Recycling is not just for paper and bottles any longer. Did you know that now, in this day and age, we can recycle over 1000 everyday household items? In this new age, the Recycling Age we can now recycle your old televisions, all telephones (car, corded and cellular), light bulbs, batteries, ink cartridges, e-toys and coffee pots ~ just to name a few!!!

Recycling really excites me -- as a woman who is determined to be a part of the movement taking place for our environment.

Being a young woman in my thirties, I am very privileged to say that I worked for a non-profit society that has allowed me the freedom to create a recycling department, in our small community of 5300 people, that accepts around 1000 items! When I started with the facility we were a second-hand furniture store... old T.V.'s that didn't work kept flooding in and there was nothing that we could do to stop it! Then, about a year into our venture we caught wind of a recycling program that was starting up for electronic waste! Since the developing years e-waste was taken on; then small appliance recycling, e-toy recycling, tool recycling along with batteries, ink cartridges and a lighting recycling program that takes everything from bulbs to fixtures! When I left my position; we were sending out ton's of these products to be recycled every week!

The world is ours, so is the decision to make greener choices, I am going to stand for a greener world, full of reducing, reusing and recycling... I am hoping that you will take a stand with me...


Reusing, Upcycling & Repurposing

ABSTRACT RECYCLING: Will make a big difference for the environment

Reusing really is easy to understand. You take something you own, something someone gave you, or something you found that someone else has previously loved and you reuse it...

Have a look at the picture on your right. The dresser was an auction find ($10!) The vase was my grandmothers and the ceramic pot on the right was picked up at a local thrift store -- all very valid ways to Reuse items who have lost their current purpose in your life.

The paintings in this lens were created on material that used to be something else. That is the simplicity of Up-cycling. You take one thing (please ensure that it is at the end of it's usefulness) and create something completely different out of it.

The dresser in the lens? It is actually no longer serves as a dresser in our home... It is now a buffet in our dining room that gives us very valuable storage space. It is quite old, has a crack along the top of it and has areas where the paint is completely gone... But we love it. This piece really is the focal point of the space!

Anyone can go down to a Walmart and buy there home furnishings and accents for a very little investment... the problem with that? It will last for a very little time, as things are not produced today with the same standards of quality of those from bi-gone generations and chances are, you are not the only one that has been shopping at Walmart, so you will be purchasing what so many others (thousands upon thousands of people) have already, or will in the near future, buy.

Do we want unique, individual, quality home furnishings? If so: reclaiming, re-using, re-purposing and up-cycling is sooo the way to go!

10 Categories of Recyclable Items

  1. Beverage containers
  2. Paper products
  3. Electronics: Televisions, Stereos, Computers, Phones and all of their lovely assessories
  4. Small Kitchen Appliances: Toasters, Coffee Pots, Mixers, Blenders, Deep Fryers and so much more!
  5. E-Toys: These are toys with any electronic element, if you plug it in, recharge it or put batteries in it, odds are that you can recycle it!
  6. Power Tools: This is a fairly new recyclable item and applies to most every handheld power tool you can imagine
  7. Batteries: There are two primary programs for batteries: Automotive and Household. Did you know that rechargeable batteries are recyclable too?
  8. Floor care items: Such as vacuums (floor and hand models), steam mops and steam cleaners
  9. Air Treatment products: Such as Air cleaners, fans, heaters, purifiers, equalizers, aromatherapy machines and humidifiers; plus many other items!
  10. Lighting: Bulbs, tubes, fixtures and ballasts

Styrofoam! Oh so NO!!!

Our home is a no Styrofoam zone. Very few communities have the resources to recycle this toxic material at this current point in time. Why? The stuff is mass marketed all over the world, bought, used for a few seconds to a few minutes, then disposed of in our overflowing landfills.

Did you know that it is estimated that Styrofoam will take a million plus years to decompose? Why isn't this stuff illegal?

If someone brings Styrofoam into my home, I make sure that the trash can is not it's second stop. I have become creative with how I can re-purpose 'the stuff'... Such as crumbling them into planters to help for drainage or start seedlings in them... Put those toxic little suckers through the wringer by using reusing them as many times as you can!

Say good-bye to Styrofoam & hello to a corn based alternative

There are other, better options to than Styrofoam based products... Such as products that are manufactured for re-use or products manufactured from materials that can decompose.

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Make your shopping choices a little greener... - Items Made in North America

Items that are manufactured locally will more often than not cost a little more -- due to the fact that in North America (and other places) we have established minimums of labour... People get paid here to work, not get enough to barely sustain life! If we reduce the amount of products that we purchase from Countries with unfair labour laws we can take a stand for fair wages!

Give a little thought to green purchases...

Reusing is the wisest shopping alternative; but if you are looking at new there are some ways that your new purchases can be a little greener. Seek out products that are made from recycled products or even for items that are manufactured locally. Shopping local is a plus, plus scenario -- you get to support your local artisans and will find a unique, one of a kind item.

I am the change for the world, we all are... it is up to us to decide how we will make our change matter: Today, tomorrow and always

— LouCannon

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Lou Cannon

Please share your green feedback!

Lou Cannon (author) from British Columbia, Canada on January 27, 2015:

There are pro's and con's to both sides of that scale. Landfills are filling up and people need to take a stand for a better environmental future... Hence why I choose to write educational Hubs on the environment... knowledge is power!

poetryman6969 on January 27, 2015:

I really like these things we are required to do for ourselves rather than imposing government mandates on our neighbors. I like freedom and liberty even when it is inconvenient. But the easier we make it for people to do the right thing by informing them that it is possible for instance, the better off we will all be.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on January 15, 2015:

I recycle as often as I can. And we never touch styrofoam. Thanks for this informative look at upcycling.

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on August 11, 2014:

I'm a great believer in recycling and do my best to encourage others to do the same.

MariaMontgomery from Coastal Alabama, USA on August 11, 2014:

We recycle lots of things, but I didn't know I could recycle my old vacuum cleaner. Now I can get it out of my garage! Thank you.

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on August 11, 2014:

It does this little recycler's heart good to find this page. Keep spreading the word!

Melody Lassalle from California on June 15, 2014:

Very informative! I'm very lucky to live in a region where reducing waste is a statewide priority. My county has paper, plastic, food scrap, battery, metal, and garden waste recycling. We also can have electronics and appliances picked up for free for recycling. We have mandated waste reductions and our waste management company is always adding new items to the recyclable list. As a side note, I would not mind if styrofoam disappeared completely. I don't like the way it feels and you can never get rid of those styrofoam packaging peanuts!

soniabaad lm on May 30, 2014:

very informative lens. Thanks for sharing

Monica Lobenstein from Western Wisconsin on May 30, 2014:

I am passionate about recycling too. It takes time and it is so worth it. I also love to upcucle and most of my craft projects involve upcycling of some sort. Next step... I'm getting better at minimizing packaging and waste to start with. Baby steps! Thank you for your lens!

Bricecannon on May 25, 2014:

iv read all your lenses and loved them all their amazing and so are you:)

Bricecannon on May 25, 2014:

hey can you do a lens on raising children?.

Bricecannon on May 25, 2014:

Hey i just read it its amazing

JoleneBelmain on May 25, 2014:

I recycle as much as I can (it sometimes drives my husband a little crazy), and if I open up the garbage and see that someone has thrown out something plastic, I will dig it out to make sure it cannot be recycled, and if so will wash it up and recycle it. He's getting the hang of it, slowly lol.

The kids are getting really good, and always ask before they throw something out to make sure that it can't be recycled first. It sure saves a ton of extra trash from heading to the landfill site here.

We can all make a difference, and a huge one at that!

JoleneBelmain on May 25, 2014:

I recycle as much as I can (it sometimes drives my husband a little crazy), and if I open up the garbage and see that someone has thrown out something plastic, I will dig it out to make sure it cannot be recycled, and if so will wash it up and recycle it. He's getting the hang of it, slowly lol.

The kids are getting really good, and always ask before they throw something out to make sure that it can't be recycled first. It sure saves a ton of extra trash from heading to the landfill site here.

We can all make a difference, and a huge one at that!

AlanJC321 on May 25, 2014:

Thanks for this motivating lens. I didn't know a lot of this.

ToxicFreeClub on May 24, 2014:

I didn't realize all the things that can be recycled. Time for me to step it up a notch

TapIn2U on May 23, 2014:

If only everyone would think of recycling, the world would be a better place. Sundae ;-)

Joanie Ruppel from Keller, Texas on May 22, 2014:

If everyone could change just a few of their habits, a change would start to take place. We are big recyclers, reusers, and consider it a victory when we repurpose something. Nice lens!

Lorelei Cohen on May 22, 2014:

Congratulations on your pretty purple star. Recycling really is so very important today. I can think of no other better cause as it is one also very close to my heart. Each person has to do what they can and it really does not take much effort to make a very large difference.

Lou Cannon (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 22, 2014:

@Ruthi: I truly agree... By Monday I should have three more lenses completed on green living and reducing is promoted through one of them very strongly :)

Ruthi on May 22, 2014:

Excellent ideas and information for the recycling era. I feel that, as with most things, prevention is the key, and would love to see more articles and solutions for reducing the objects that come through our door.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on May 22, 2014:

Excellent, motivating information!

Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on May 21, 2014:

Good suggestions here! Love the dresser find!

Edith Rose from Canada on May 21, 2014:

I am with you on Styrofoam. I hate that stuff. Good lens

lesliesinclair on May 21, 2014:

Along with reusing and recycling it's important to use local materials as much as possible, to avoid the long transit costs to the environment of shipping, say bamboo, overseas.

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