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The problem with landfillWe all know by now that it’s important to look after our environment, don’t we? We know that global warming is a serious issue and that we need to be responsible with our resources - both the way we use them and then the way we dispose of them.
We know too that when we fill the land with our waste it can cause untold problems with eco systems and that certain items take a very long time to decay. One of the worst offenders is actually mattresses, believe it or not. Ironically the very substances that are ideal for creating a perfect nights’ sleep are those that are less than restful for the poor old environment! In addition to being sparing with our energy use about the home by turning lights off and not leaving taps running, we need to be intelligent in the way we deal with old furniture and beds.
There are two sides to a thriving consumer culture and we need to consider both just as carefully. Most obviously you’ve got all the lovely clothes, technology and furniture that enhance our lives and endow them with style and interest. There’s nearly always something on the wish-list or something tempting in the sales, isn’t there? Less obviously, you’ve got what you might think of as the back end of the process- all the old stuff that we no longer want. The worst possible thing to do, which sadly many of us are still guilty of, is to just throw things away. The best thing is to recycle.
Now this doesn’t mean that you have to get into “up-cycling” with the shabby-chic aesthetic and the DIY weekends or the organic this that and the other. What it means, more often than not, is simply putting things in the right bin. Lots of councils now provide free collection for large objects and then recycle them for you. Equally, lots of dumps have now been turned into recycling centres too, with different areas for different substances—metal, wood, electronic items etc.—which are then carefully processed in the best way.
Another great way to get your brownie points for helping the environment is to reuse items. This doesn’t literally require you to reuse your own possessions until you can’t stand the site of them any longer! Nor does it mean channelling that make-do-and-mend policy from the war years. It simply involves donating to charities or using online sites that specialise in finding places for what are sometimes termed “pre-loved” objects. If you buy a new wooden bed frame and donate your old one to a charity shop for example, then you’ll be killing two birds with one stone (…or saving the poor things!). On the one hand you’ll be helping someone else to get their eight hours and on the other you’ll be helping to cut down on deforestation, an issue that not only endangers exotic species but disturbs the complex ecological balance of the land.
From recycling properly to reusing furniture, there are so many ways to help our planet that don’t involve great sacrifices, don’t take much time and best of all- don’t require you to turn your life upside down!