How to save our planet: 9 useful recycling ideas

Now more than ever, it’s time to work your way into Mother Earth’s good books by – drumroll, please – recycling everything!

As we all know, our throwaway habits are making a real negative impact on our environment – we drastically need some good recycling ideas right about now.

Did you know that in 2018, “single-use” (as in ‘single-use plastic’) was Collins Dictionary’s word of the year? A few years later, big brands are only just making small steps into the world of recyclable, biodegradable products.

But thank the lords of cardboard – more and more of us normal folk are choosing to make more sustainable choices in our everyday lives (which is great!). But how can we do it better?

Our on-site lake in summer, autumn & winter

blue self storage’s commitment to a greener world

At blue self storage, we are by no means perfect – but we are making good strides in reducing our carbon footprint and demonstrating corporate responsibility.

We carefully select our suppliers and source local products where possible. We even changed our tea bags to plastic-free ones. Yes – the majority of tea bags contain plastic!

In partnership with Carbon Trust, we invested in LED lighting across our site; over 100 acres this makes a big difference. This alone reduced our carbon footprint by 26.06 tonnes per year!

In addition, we have planted several trees across our site and we provide a protected haven for local wildlife with our lakes 🦢

But what about if you’re not a corporation or a business?

We know that recycling can be a pain in the bum sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s why our list of useful yet effortless recycling ideas below will hopefully help you accomplish your sustainability goals in 2021! ♻️

BTW – not entirely sure what you can recycle? Check out Cardiff Council’s ‘A-Z of Recycling’ – type in your items to see whether you can recycle them or not!

Find out more

Buy bigger and refill smaller items as needed.

Buy in bigger sizes – Makro, anyone?!

Sometimes it’s hard to completely switch out plastics, so why not start by buying products in bigger sizes? Items such as shampoo, washing-up liquid, toothpaste, chocolate bars and crisps are all available in larger sizes, requiring less packaging.

Plus buying products in larger sizes results in minimised consumption of products more regularly, and so, therefore, less waste!

This often works out better by saving you the hassle of needing to go shopping so often, so it’s a win-win.

Stylish for work and eco!

Pack your lunch into a reusable Tupperware container

Reusing our old takeaway containers can significantly reduce our weekly consumption of packaging that any typical supermarket meal deals come in.

If you haven’t any of these, then glass containers are a great buy. They are highly disposable and have nonporous surfaces that do not absorb food and smells, making them much cleaner & more long-lasting than plastic containers (just don’t drop them!). 

Price: Glass container bundles, £8-18  

Fight back against needless paper

Go paperless – be rid of letters & pizza menus

Whenever possible opt-in for a digital copy of your monthly utility bills and shopping recipes. This way you will always have them safely stored and are saving the need to get the shredder out at the end of the month.

To reduce the amount of junk mail, it’s definitely worth sticking a ‘no junk mail’ label on the front door and hoping that it’s listened to… (If not, ‘beware of the large angry dog’ might do the trick). 

A chance to get creative and own something something original.

Make use of old tubs, tins, jars & pots

One of our favourite recycling ideas! Great mini storage solutions that can be used for all sorts of different purposes, such as:

  • Pencil pots
  • Sink pots that store our sponges and washcloths
  • Toothbrush pots
  • Tea, coffee & sugar pots
  • Plant pots
  • Make-up brush holders
  • Homemade salads/granola yoghurt pots/soup
  • Fairy light holders

The list is endless!

Price: Free

Artisan soaps also look great on display!

Ditch shower gel in plastic bottles

Soap bars – instead of buying bottle after bottle of shower gels, how about trying different soap bars instead? These usually come in recycled paper packaging, are incredibly soothing on the skin and can make a great display feature in your bathroom.

Whether it is commercially made or homemade, there are plenty of types out there to suit your preferences.  Price: 50p-£6

It’s just remembering them!

Take your own grocery bags – fold them for easy storage

Is there a more frustrating feeling than trudging all the way to shops and realising that, yet again, you forgot to bring your Bag For Life? It’s in the name! Arggghhhhhh!

Keep it easy by turning bags into folded triangles – drop them into your bag pocket, ready to use if need be. A great, quick & easy habit to get used to, especially as the prices of bags continue to rise.

Find out how to fold your bags

Price: Free

Stock photo? What stock photo?

No more makeup wipes

We were shocked – simply shocked – when we recently found out that most makeup wipes aren’t recyclable – they contain plastic and alcohol ingredients.

Some brands are now starting to bring out biodegradable face wipes, but luckily we know an even cheaper, kinder way.

100% pure cotton pads (available anywhere) are fully recyclable. A couple of these with some form of micellar water/makeup cleansing oil will take your makeup off nicely, and this method lasts a lot longer than a pack of 25 wipes does.

Price: Cotton pads, 75p-£2 for various amounts at Boots / Facial makeup remover liquid, from £1.50 at Boots

Saving the planet – with added caffeine.

Reusable coffee/tea cups

The demand for on-the-go coffee has erupted in the past decade and has lead to mass amounts of takeaway cups being thrown out each day, every day.

In the aim to reduce waste, companies such as Starbucks & Greggs have introduced a ‘cup discount’ scheme entitling customers to discounted hot drinks, as long as they take along their reusable cups.

A coffee that costs less?! Mmmmm – nothing tastes as good as a discount!

Price: Various, but here’s one for £10.95!

Dean Daly joins blue self storage in Cardiff as Operations Manager
Dean, our resident cardboard box model

Don’t send it to landfill – store it for later

The ultimate recycling hack is, of course, keeping stuff around for longer in storage.

Even if you’re just looking for a bit of time to sort through old things, a storage unit means you can make conscious choices of what to recycle and what to bin, instead of shoving it all in a black bag and hoping for the best.

We offer previously-used cardboard boxes for £1 to minimise needless waste, and all our boxes are made from sustainable sources. Get in!

Price: Storage units from £13.81 per week with the best storage in Cardiff.

We hope you make good use of our recycling ideas! Let us know if we missed any in the comments.

We don’t make any money from affiliate links or recommendations within this blog – we’re just trying to help. 🌍

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