We should all recycle to cut climate-changing carbon emissions, reduce demand for raw materials, protect ecosystems and wildlife, and conserve natural resources. However, many believe popping a plastic water bottle in the green bin, or reusing a bag is enough to save the planet - but here's the thing, recycling goes much deeper than a bag-for-life.
Recycling can be incorporated within all aspects of our life, from our make-up, phones and even the ink you use in your printer. If you're looking to up your recycling game, here are eight things you may not have known were recyclable:
Donating an old pair of glasses you have lying around won't cost you anything but may change the life of someone else. Most, if not all opticians, take back any unwanted or damaged spectacles for refurbishments. In some cases, charities take them to distribute to developing countries.
In Ireland, several brands reward you for recycling your old wares, including MAC, Kiehl's and Lush, each one offering a freebie service when you return empty containers. Used Garnier and L'Occitane packaging can be recycled through their partnership with TerraCycle. Meanwhile, Origins at Arnotts in Dublin will recycle beauty empties from any cosmetic brand.
Unwanted cell phones, chargers and batteries are all recyclable and can be done through Vodafone's new service available in 15 Vodafone retail outlets and 10 Superquinn stores in Dublin. Simply place your phone in the recycling container, and they will dispose of them in an environmentally safe way. Profits from the new programme go towards various community programs throughout Ireland.
The most obvious answer for unwanted garments is to give to your local charity shop, but on the off chance they aren't accepting donations, Enable Ireland will be more than happy to take it from you. They have various donation points all over Ireland and all profits made from selling your clothes go towards supporting their disability services.
Have you some empty or unopened ink cartridges that you no longer need? Get in touch with www.infotone.ie who will organise the collection. They do ask to have a minimum of five ready for collection, and on some cartridges, there's a minimum of 10, but you can mix and match the different makes and models. All monies raised are donated to CMRF Crumlin.
A vast number of batteries end up at the landfill, and the ERP want to change that, so they've teamed up with Barretstown in a bid to power positivity. By dropping your used batteries into a blue WEEE box which can be found in any shop that sells batteries, you will be helping fund the much-needed charity's energy costs.
Unbeknownst to many, all unwanted household electrical items, no matter how big or small - including energy-saving light bulbs - are recyclable and can be brought to your nearest civic amenity site for free. Alternatively, keep an eye out on public collection days which takes place regularly in communities across Ireland for those without a mode of transport.
If you have any bras floating about in your underwear drawer that no longer fit you, send them to Smalls For All, a small UK-based charity. They are looking for your new or gently worn bras in all colours, shapes and sizes, including sports bras and nursing bras for women and children living in poorer countries such as Africa. Simply post them to Smalls For All, 108 Buchanan Crescent, Eliburn, Livingston, EH54 7EF.