Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fall Cleaning? 3 Things You Shouldn't Just Throw Away

Landfills are filled with millions of items that could be re-purposed or recycled. Recycling helps the environment. When products are recycled, fewer resources are used, green house gas emissions are reduced and less space is used in landfills. The majority of items that end up in landfills should not be thrown away. Here are three items that should never get thrown out.
Empty Ink Cartridges

Empty ink cartridges should not be thrown away. The cartridges put an unnecessary burden on landfills and have a detrimental effect on the environment. Ink cartridges are not biodegradable. It can take hundreds of years for one ink cartridge to break down in a landfill. Also, ink cartridges also have the possibility of leaking ink and polluting the soil. Reusing cartridges decreases the amount of materials used to create them. It takes about three quarts of oil to make one printer cartridge. Many places, like office supply stores, will take used cartridges. Some businesses offer incentives to people that recycle cartridges.
Plastic Shopping Bags

Plastic shopping bags clutter most homes. While they are convenient, the environmental damage they cause far exceeds any benefits from using them. Plastic bags end up in landfills and take hundreds of years to decompose. If the trash is burned, the burning plastic releases toxic fumes into the atmosphere. Plastic bags also harm animals. They bags are often mistaken for foods and result in the death of hundreds of animals each year. The best alternative to plastic bags is switching to reusable totes. Finding different uses for the plastic bags is another way to prevent them from ending up in a landfill.
Disposable Plates and Cups

Again, these products are convenient and harmful. Disposable plates and cups are often used at parties because they can be thrown away afterwards. Unfortunately, these items have an impact on the health of the water, land and air when they are thrown away. It takes less energy to clean and reuse a plate or cup than it does to make one. To reduce the reliance on disposable products, use reusable ones. Reusable cups and plates are available in a variety of easy-to-clean materials like glass and stone. Not only will using these items help the environment, they are a more economical option. 
Landfills contain many items that should not be thrown away. A lot of the garbage in landfills can have a second life by being re-purposed or recycled. The harm that the environment sustains can be greatly reduced by limiting the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills.
Lyndsi Decker is a freelance writer. At the moment she is promoting storage units Santa Maria as well as self storageHYPERLINK "" Troy. She is a mother of two and enjoys blogging about healthy living and the environment.