Re-purposing: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…

We are all learning that the only way to look after our planet is if everybody does their bit. You may think that you do, but there are always more things that you could be doing to reduce the impact your life has on the environment. It has never been more important to be careful about the amount of things we throw away – our landfill sites are filling up too quickly and in the meantime the earth’s resources are running out. There are plenty of things in your house that could be recycled – are you making sure you recycle everything you can? Here are some things that are commonly thrown away rather than recycled:

Repurposing - recycle

Ink Cartridges

Manufacturing an ink cartridge takes a lot of time, machinery and resources. Yet, when they are empty we just throw them away! Instead, try buying refillable ink cartridges – when they run out you can simply fill them up full of ink again. This will save you a lot of money as well as being much kinder to the planet. If you must throw your ink cartridges away (for example if refillable cartridges are not available for your printer) then consider taking them to a recycling centre. They will be able to make sure they are reused in some way. There is always a better option than taking them to the tip.

Repurposing - reuse

Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are a huge problem to the environment. Even those that claim to be biodegradable often take years to fully break down. Shops are encouraging people to bring their own reusable bags when they go shopping, rather than taking loads of one-use plastic bags home with them. If you have a surplus, take them down to your local recycling centre. They will be happy to take them off your hands. Always avoid using plastic bags unless you absolutely have to – using more durable long-life bags will really make a difference.

Recycle plastic bags


The average house goes through a glut of cardboard every week. It’s there in a lot of food packaging, for example cereal and tea bag boxes and it is also there in plenty of other things such as toilet roll cylinders. All of this cardboard can be recycled. If you have young children,hen cut up the cardboard and let them draw on the blank side. This will save you a lot of paper elsewhere and help use up the surplus of cardboard in your house. Take any unwanted cardboard to your local recycling centre where it will be reused to make other applications.

Cardboard? Reduce & recycle


All bottles, whether they are shampoo bottles, water bottles, washing up liquid bottles or even bleach bottles can all be recycled and should never be thrown in the bin. Collect up your bottles and crush them so they take up less space, before taking them down to your local recycling spot.

Repurpose your bottles

Take a look around your home – which other things can you spot that could be recycled? It’s really good to know that you are doing your bit to help protect our planet.

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The author of this post is Norah James, an employee at PrinterWorks West, leading printers in Calgary. An audiophile, Norah is a huge fan of Bryan Adams.

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