As we buy our self daily products, recycling symbols become familiar in our household. It is at the bottom of your water bottle, on the lid of every plastic container you manage to collect, and also on any snacks packaging you have. And that may make you feel safe, and happy, to know that they all will be recycled someday and won’t harm our environment or our kid’s future. Well, apparently it may not be the whole truth.

Although teachers and grown ups have told us that buying bags from recycled detergent plastic is the way to save the earth, it is not the best way. If you remember the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle campaign, then it is apparent that the first step is ‘reduce’. It means that it is much better to not bring in more plastic in our life than to recycle it later.

The fact is, recycle is just not working in the way we imagine. From all bottle plastic waste we have on the earth, only 10% are managed to be recycled. The rest are either floating on the sea, consumed by fishes and whales, littering our water source, or creating mountains of garbage on the land. There are a lot of reasons for this, one of them is the poor waste management system, the amount of it itself, and the fact that recycled plastic will have a lower quality that can’t be used for many consumer’s products.

Of course, it does not mean that you should stop recycling and managing your waste at home. If done right, it can help our planet a tiny bit, and it does matter. But the most important thing we need to remember is that recycling won’t solve the problem. Remember, the plastic will still be on the earth much longer than our life.

So the best way to “save the environment” (I prefer to say “save humanity”), is to buy less plastic and any other un-compostable products. But of course even compostable products need management as well (let’s keep this topic for another article). The goal here is to have a zero-waste household so we won’t litter the earth. We can do it step by step, first by listing your daily plastic product consumption, and find a better replacement, for example plastic water bottle. You can now change it with a collapsible water bottle to bring around on your trip.

What else in your list? Let us know in the comment!