Have you ever stopped to think about where all our plastic containers, spray tops, plastic jars etc. go to??

Lots and lots of people just throw them into the trash, without giving it a single thought. Well, it goes straight to the landfills which just keep piling up! In some countries, they have no more space to put their trash and so it gets exported to other countries. Equally bad on both sides - the country producing so much trash that they have run out of space to store it, and the country who imports the waste.

While the plastic containers, spray tops, plastic jars etc. are necessary to use for these products, they can be recycled and re-used over and over again.

Everyone and especially our children need to be taught about recycling. I have become so fanatical about recycling and if I even just allow myself to slip due to laziness, I will actually go into the trash, scratch around and haul out whatever it is that I was too lazy to put into the recycling. It is so easy to recycle, if you can throw something into the trash, why not have a separate bin for recycling and put it into there instead. The time it took to haul it out of the trash, could have been cut in half by simply placing it into the recycling bin. Since I started recycling, I have far less trash than I used to. It's amazing how much of it can be recycled and quite a frightening thought that I used to put all of that into the trash! It has been made so easy for us here in South Africa. We are supplied (free of charge) with clear plastic bags which we can place all our recycling into and they will collect it once a week, right from our doorsteps and then replace each bag with a new one, what could be more easy!

Plastic shopping bags - thousands and thousands of plastic shopping bags get used everyday in supermarkets. In supermarkets in South Africa, you have to pay for plastic bags. A wonderful concept I think, as it encourages people to use their own earth-friendly bags and it also helps to reduce trash from blowing around in the streets.

There are many people who have become very creative with resuing plastic. In the town that I live in, an entire bridge has been made out of recycled plastic. On many of the craft markets in South Africa you will see handbags that have been made out of soda and beer bottle tops. Many environmental villages have created ways to make compost by placing our fruit and vegetable peels into containers with red wriggler worms, who eat the cast offs and produce the most wonderful "worm tea" which can be used to fertilize our gardens.

However, recycling goes beyond just plastic, aluminum cans etc. We can also recycle water. There is a method called a Grey Water System which can be installed in your home, which allows all your bath water, dish water etc. to be used for the garden. What a wonderful way to reuse water. Even better if the water has not been contaminated with toxic household cleaning chemicals. By using earth-friendly cleaning products, there will be nothing harmful going from your water into the garden. The grass, plants, little earthworms, insects and bugs will welcome the unpolluted water. I have a grey water tank in my yard and it is a wonderful feeling knowing that your bath, shower and sink water is being used twice! If you have a swimming pool, install a salt chlorinator, this way you will not be swimming in chemicals and when you clean your pool, the water from the pool that goes into your garden will be safe.

I have a solar panel on my roof, whereby the suns energy is being used to provide me with hot water, instead of using electricity. A wonderful way to use our natural resources.

Install a washing line outside, that way your clothes can dry from the sun instead of using a dryer which takes up a lot of electricity.

As with making the switch to earth-friendly cleaning products, recycling requires a mindset and once you get started with it and see how easy it is, you will not look back. There are so many ways in which we can help our planet.