Actionable Tips on How to Recycle (& on why you should try to do it less)
We’re taught at a young age the importance of the three R’s; “Reduce, Reuse & Recycle”. Apart from being encouraged to use reusable water bottles & to be more aware of how we impact the world around us, we were never really taught how to follow through on any of them.
We at Mousse Blanche want to change that. So we have developed a list of 4 tips and tricks on how to correctly incorporate the three R’s into your lifestyle and why it may be important to do less recycling altogether and prioritize the reduce & reuse aspects instead.
Shop with recycling in mind
It is always best to buy products with very little waste at all, but oftentimes it takes quite a lot of planning and research beforehand (especially when it comes to things like skincare, etc., because it’s not a one size fits all kind of thing). So when that’s the case, shop with recycling in mind. For instance, when I shop for beauty products I consider whether or not they are able to be recycled when I am done with them. I focus on the materials they are made of, whether they will be easy to clean and recycle or reuse when I am done with them.
Also, my personal tip is to always carry a reusable bag with you when you’re shopping. This way you never run into the problem of having to use a plastic grocery bag or go bagless altogether.
Sustainable Product Swaps
There are many products in your routine that you can replace with recyclable or reusable alternatives. For instance, in my current routine, I have switched to reusable cotton rounds/makeup cleansing pads, a bamboo toothbrush & Q-tips, waste-free soap, shampoo & conditioner, and for that time of the month, a reusable menstruation cup.
A product swap you can look into is waste-free or recyclable razors and say goodbye to plastic ones forever!
You can also look into product swaps for other aspects of your life:
- Reuse your empty wine bottles as floral vases
- Swap your paper towels for cloth, ziplock bags, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap for beeswax alternatives,
- Opt for wool dryer balls, sponges,
- and DIY your own natural cleaning products while reusing your old plastics!
- Moms & dads: try cloth baby diapers (to save the planet & some money)
Another thing you could do is to carry cutlery on you when you’re out or at work and switch to reusable glass straws...which to my surprise you can find at the dollar store!
The number of product swaps is endless... you just have to put in the work to find them!
Recycle, Reuse & Repurpose your closet
Conscious fashion is becoming more and more important to consumers. It’s apparent that people care more and are dedicated to doing better for the planet. Although the shift towards a more sustainable closet takes time, it is possible. For instance, instead of buying new “green” pieces or buying from companies who are guilty of “greenwashing”, we suggest you shop your own closet!
Sometimes we forget about how satisfying it is to think of new ways of making what’s “old”, new again.
Personally, I love to shop second-hand. It’s one of the best ways to avoid fast fashion and if you are anything like me, searching through racks of clothing is kind of therapeutic...It’s like taking “retail therapy” to a whole new level. Remember though, that if you’re looking for “trendy” pieces while you thrift, you have to keep an open mind and have patience! Good things come to those who wait.
Whether you’re shopping your own closet or at a second-hand store, both give you the opportunity to learn something new, and by that I mean take it upon yourself to learn how to alter your clothing. There are so many easy DIYs to be found on the internet that can help you along the way. The ability to use a needle & thread (and doing it well) is a talent that goes unrecognized way too often and is quite rewarding when it feels like a job well done.
Yeah, I did just say that… Although we have been taught to prioritize the recycle part of our “3 R routine”, we really should be focused on the reduce & reuse benefits. After all, if we are looking to live more sustainable, waste-free lifestyles, we should be consuming “new” significantly less.
Of course with the exception of plastic bags, batteries & light bulbs, we have become really good at producing piles of plastic for our blue bins. In reality, to recycle is still to consume perishable items and in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t helping the sustainability picture.
For reduce and reuse to take precedence, there are some things you can do to ensure that happens:
- As mentioned previously, shop smarter - if we do our best to avoid products that should be recycled, we are one step closer to waste-free living…
- Buy & reuse products that come in glass, not plastic, and never recycle them again! Glass jars are perfect to reuse as meal-to-go containers, small vases, pencil or makeup brush holders, and my personal favorite as wine glasses!
- Reuse old plastic containers for DIY cleaning products or spray bottles for your plants
- Buy in bulk- whether that’s bulk food, condiments, cleaning products & supplies, buying in bulk is better
- And lastly, do your research and plan ahead and you will find that recycling less is much easier than you think.
Links to Product Swaps:
Reusable Cotton Rounds-
Waste-Free Soap, Shampoo & Conditioner