- Take your own bag or basket or big Ikea bag when you go food shopping to avoid taking home half a dozen plastic bags you won’t re-use
- If you do take plastic bags away from the supermarket, keep them and re-use them whenever possible (as bin liners, scrunch them up to surround items when you're packaging as an alternative to bubble wrap, use them as 'doggy doo bags' when walking your dog!)
- Avoid buying heavily packed goods whenever possible
- Buy energy saving light bulbs, they will last longer and use much less electricity so you’ll also save on your electricity bill!
- Re-use old envelopes for scribbling down shopping lists, to-do lists, and notes
- Old magazines are appreciated by hospitals, doctors’ and dentists’ patients (in the waiting rooms) and friends
- Plastic ice-cream containers or yogurt containers can be cut into strips for seed labels for your plants, or reused around the home to contain clothes pegs, your nuts and bolts or your children’s toys or crayons or. You can also use them to store food in the freezer.
- Crèches, schools and kindergartens often need boxes, plastic bags, old buttons, used wrapping paper, old calendars or greeting cards, ribbons, tiles, crockery and other materials for art resources. They may also want old phones, keyboards, etc. as learning toys.
- An upside down plastic bottle with small holes in the top can be used to provide water for your plants while you are on holiday.
- Broken crockery can be used as drainage at the bottom of pot plants.
- Tin cans can be used as pot plant holders. Decorate the outside of the can to your liking, put some soil in it and plant away. (Make sure you put some drainage holes in the bottom of the tin before you start potting the plants.)
- Avoid leaving your computer or TV on “sleep-mode” overnight. Sleep mode uses 75% of the energy used when appliances are on.
- Remember to turn the water off while brushing your teeth!
- Take showers rather than baths
- It’s not easy to recycle when the supporting infrastructure is lacking, but you can collect your glass bottles and drop them of in the glass containers in town on your way to lunch or work
- Car pool whenever possible
- Turn your car’s engine off when waiting to park, filling up on gas, etc.
Spread the word. By encouraging others to get started, we increase the savings that can be made. Also get your children involved – early education, will help them grow up conscious of the environment and waste reduction. Later, they will be able to apply these tips themselves.
Remember, even by doing a few of the above things, you’re making a difference!
For a thread on ecology related articles in Turkey please see here