How to recycle

Here are a few of our recycling tips for your home and office.

Remember the 3 Rs:

  1. Reduce waste first
  2. Reuse what you can
  3. Recycle if you can't use it

At home

Reduce

Fridges – did you know that each minute the fridge door is open uses three minutes of energy to cool down? Make sure you close it.

Low-energy light bulbs only use 20% of the energy of ordinary ones and can last 12 times as long.

Reuse

Did you know that 1,500kg of waste is made to produce one PC? If you really need a new one, find a PC that upgrades easily, or buy second-hand.

Reuse your greetings cards with Friends of the Earth's re-use labels.

Plastic bags: did you know that had Columbus thrown plastic from his ship in 1492, fragments would still be drifting in the ocean today?  Buy a cloth bag that will last.

Recycle

Paper, glass and plastic: Thanks to Friends of the Earth, local councils have to provide separate collections for at least two types of recyclable materials, so pop these in your recycling box.

Give items like books and CDs to local charity shops. Don't worry if garments are unfashionable, holey or torn: charity shops have arrangements with textile recyclers, who buy most unsold items – bed linen and curtains included – for recycling or export.

Get rid of old PCs with www.donateapc.org.uk.

Old spectacles can be given to high-street opticians to be donated to people around the world.

In the office

Reduce

Keep bins away from desks - too tempting to throw perfectly usable items away.

Did you know that each time we overfill the kettle we waste enough energy to run a TV for over 24 hours? Only boil the water you need.

24 per cent of the water we use goes down the toilet. If you don't have a modern dual flushing toilet, many water companies offer free water saving devices for your cistern.

Reuse

Install a roller towel at work instead of disposable paper towels.

Replace disposable products with reusable equivalents - drinking cups, cutlery etc.

Restore or adapt something you already own. Half of the electrical goods left at dumps still work or require only very basic repairs.

Recycle

Food - Paper Round can collect your food for compost, distributing it to local farms in Kent, to grow more food.

Recycle your paper. If you need to buy new, Paper Back is the only UK paper merchant specialising in recycled papers.

Did you know that 1,500kg of waste is made to produce one PC? If you need a new one, find a PC that upgrades easily, or buy second-hand.

Find out more

Read more of Friends of the Earth's recycling tips, including ones about getting out and about, and getting more from less.