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Ruben Moreno Montoliu

6 easy ways you can reduce your impact on the planet today

The planet will thank you.

DO YOU DO your bit for the planet? Are you careful about always putting paper and plastic into the green bin rather than the black?

Good stuff. However there is more that you can do – and it’s not much more difficult than chucking your paper into the recycling bin.

Here are six easy ways to help reduce your impact on the planet today. If you have any more tips, let us know in the comments below.

1. Watch the water

Kiwi Tom Kiwi Tom

Did you know that using water more efficiently can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions? This is because it takes a lot of energy to purify and bring drinkable water to your home. Turning off taps and taking shorter showers can help but so can putting a brick in your toilet cistern to displace some of the water and so you don’t flush so much.

2. Ditch disposable dishes

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Sometimes you can’t avoid using plastic plates, cups or cutlery, but for the most part, if you can, do. If these are put into a landfill, as they tend to be, the plastic never biodegrades. Ever. So ditch those dishes.

3. Bring your own coffee cup with you

Look, we all need that coffee jolt of a morning, but did you know that even if you rinse out and put your coffee cup into the recycling, chances are it’s still not getting recycled? A better option is to bring your own reusable coffee cup with you and save the planet one caffeine boost at a time.

Same goes for your water bottle. Buy a reusable one and… reuse it.

4. Know what you can and can’t recycle

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Some things that you can recycle that you mightn’t have known about are light bulbs, including CFL (energy saving) light bulbs, electronic cables and batteries,  just not in your green bin. All these electrical items are handled through the WEEE programme which offers several different ways to recycle.

You can also recycle aerosol cans. Just make sure they’re empty, the lid is removed and never pierce them – not that you ever would.

5. Reduce, reuse, recycle… repair

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We all know the old ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ but what’s becoming popular more and more is the fourth ‘R’ – repair. Repairing an item rather than throwing it away means it won’t end up in a landfill and will save you money. There are Repair Cafés around the country where you can go and see if someone has the skills to fix what’s ailing your item, or you can offer your own skills to items in need.

6. Look into that Zero Trash life

It’s not a glam as a thug life, but the Zero Trash life is out there, and it’s gaining ground. It may seem impossible at the outset, but there is plenty of evidence to show it can be done. Much like eating better and getting exercise, it takes planning and preparation. You might not be able to get to Zero Trash, but you can significantly reduce your rubbish output. Check out Trash is for Tossers for inspiration.

How do you reduce your impact on the planet? Let us know in the comments below.

Fancy doing even more for your planet? Don’t throw your old CFL (energy-saving) lightbulbs in the bin. You can swap any old CFL bulb for a flowering bulb for free at any participating hardware store . It’s another bright idea from WEEE Ireland

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