Close the loop: buy recycled

Did you know that you can close the manufacturing loop by purchasing items with recycled content? We need to! Recycling has become commonplace, but with the act of recycling doesn’t do a huge amount for the environment – unless we also buy recycled material and create a market for the recycled material we make.

Recycling is often seen as more environmentally friendly than it really is. Everyone assumes that all recycling goes ‘somewhere good’ but doesn’t really know where. The answer is – some recyclables sit around for a period of years in different stages of conversion waiting to be used, but there is no demand. Designers do not naturally think about using recycled material, which coupled with the fact that many people don’t buy recycled, means that recycling isn’t a viable option.

So how do we ‘close the loop’ and make recycling work for us and the environment?

It’s easy; just by using products and materials made from recycled content reduces the consumption of natural resources and creates a critical market for recycled content goods. Support recycling by feeding this loop: recycle, then buy recycled.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Collection:The first step in the closed loop recycling system is collection. To put it simply, collection is when you toss recyclable products into your curbside bins or take them to a local drop-off center. Collected materials are processed at recycling facilities and prepared to be sold to manufacturers.
  2. Manufacturing:Manufacturing recycled materials into new products is the second step of the closed loop system. Manufacturing plants create new products from recycled goods and ship them to retailers to be sold as new items.
  3. Purchasing:The third and possibly most important step in the closed loop system is when you purchase products made from recycled materials. When you purchase recycled-content products, you are closing the loop!

Some really cool projects that have come from closing the loop are rubber mulch from old car tires, like Porous Pave by Brico Services. This rubber mulch is used mainly in playgrounds so kids can play safely with a nice soft landing, and not only does it keep your children safe is also reduces greenhouse gases!

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Another “hot” project that’s used old items and recycled them into new things is glass mulch. Glass that you recycle get broken and sanded down to make something called glass mulch. This glass mulch has multiple uses; like a very nice and colourful base for a fire pit, or even for outdoor decorations.

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The projects are endless when you close the loop and buy recycled!

Like what we’re doing? Want to share your story or tell others? Do you have a green business in Calgary and want to get in front of a large local audience? Let’s build a green community together!