Reducing waste, buying less, and carefully recycling the rest is key to going Waste Free. But when buying new, choose products made from recycled material. Buying recycled supports the green economy, and saves energy and water.
To show how easy it is to buy recycled, we've compiled a list of 5 everyday things you can easily buy recycled right now (and this will help you complete Challenge #6 in the Waste Free Challenge!)
1. Toilet paper, tissues and paper towel
While some may be put off by this, rest assured that buying tissue made from recycled paper is cleaned and processed to be as good as new. It's something you use everyday, so why not buy recycled?
2. Office supplies - paper, scissors and pens!
It's easier than ever to buy recycled printer paper or notebooks. Look for 100% post-consumer recycled content. You can also look for recycled content in other office products like scissors, binders, desk organizers and other supplies. We're excited about getting a new type of pen for the TEA office made from recycled paper or plastic! Refillable ballpoint pens mean you only throw out the ink cartridge when done, and look for a pen made from recycled material for the pen body. Major pen brands (like Bic and Pilot) sell pens made from recycled plastic or recycled paper.
Next time you're buying gifts or toys for the child in your life, look for eco-friendly toys with recycled content. Chapters-Indigo sells Green Toys a line of recycled content toys (check out the Recycling Truck made from milk cartons!) - and the toy packaging is fully recyclable cardboard (no twist ties or plastic wrap).
4. Household Goods
Everyday cleaning tools can contain high recycled content - RONA's Eco line includes brooms and mops with 100% recycled bristles or handles. Garbage bags made with recycled plastic can be found at most grocery or hardware stores. Plastic storage boxes and shelves can be made from recycled plastic - Canadian Tire's 'Blue Planet' line of products are made in Canada from recycled plastic.
Plastic fibres and even worn out textiles and fabrics can be recycled into new fabrics for new clothing. Old plastic drink bottles get recycled and spun into polyester fibres for t-shirts, jackets and fleeces! Small and larger stores like MEC, Patagonia and American Apparel sell a number of outdoor and clothing items made from recycled fibres, including recycled nylon, polyester and even recycled wool!
Things you probably already buy recycled (without even trying):
It's not always easy to find 100% recycled material, but keep in mind that you can choose materials that are easier to recycle, or that likely already contain recycled content.
Glass, steel, aluminum, newspaper and cardboard - these materials are already very heavily recycled. The energy, water and costs saved by using recycled material instead of raw materials has already pushed manufacturers that use these materials to choose recycled!
Have you been buying recycled?
Let us know how you're adding more recycled content to your shopping list in Challenge #6 Buy Recycled!