Reusing and repairing old items can be a great greener alternative to recycling that can benefit both you and the environment. Every year re-usable items ranging from furniture, cloths and electrical appliances are sent to landfills. Through re-using and repairing you can help in reducing damage to the environment, save yourself money and also find new and unique uses for items your already own.
There are a variety of ways in which old items can be re-used. We can find new uses for old unused items like using old tires for planting flowers, or empty jars as containers for screws and nails in sheds. Maybe an old sofa or table is beginning to show signs of wear, then why not give it a makeover to give it a breath of fresh air. Alternatively if a piece of furniture or an electrical appliance is broken why not try and fix it yourself. You could look online for tips or try to find someone locally who may be able to help you fix it. Another option is to donate any items you no longer use, such as mobile phones, clothes, furniture or bicycles. The national re-use phone line is a service that can provide advice and help you move on any items in your home you no longer use.
The potential of re-use has numerous benefits for both the Scottish economy and environment. According to Zero Waste Scotland, 83% of people in Scotland are content with purchasing second hand goods and many are also open to the option of donating unused items. Many people in Scotland are already re-using items that are normally disposed of. Currently 17% of all sofas thrown away are being re-used. As a result this benefits Scotland’s economy and environment by creating £1.5 million through sales and employment and also saves 4,500 tones in carbon emissions. The benefits of re-use holds positive effects for the Scottish economy, creating jobs in the re-use sector and reducing pollution.
A lot of old electronic appliances end up in landfills and this can potentially cause increased landfill pollution. IFixit.org states that 75% of all e-waste ends up in landfills. Through the breakdown of waste gases are released that contribute towards climate change. Even when recycled 30% of electronic materials are lost and cannot be recovered. When in landfills toxics like lead, mercury and cadmium escape into the earth and pollute the soil and water. Every year it is estimated that 20 million tons of e-waste is produced. Only 25% of the thrown away electronic waste is recycled while 75% is destroyed.
In Scotland, the current level of re-use helps to avoid over 85,000 tones of carbon emissions. Through increased use of re-use and repair these levels could increase and help do even more in protecting the environment. The options of re-use, repair and donating hold many positive benefits as it allows everyone to try and make a greener contribution to their local environment.|