Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. When shopping, do you ever wonder what products are eco-friendly and which ones aren’t? Do you ever wonder how you can reuse old products? Well, here is a chart of materials dividing the recyclable from the non-recyclable, and some suggestions on what is reusable and what is not. Following these tips can both trims your expenses and helps the environment. I hope it helps!






 Food and beverage containers and jars 

All other glass including window glass, light bulbs, mirrors, Pyrex, ceramic, porcelain, drinking glasses.



Aluminum food and beverage cans, aluminum foil and cake plates. Aluminum and steel aerosol cans containing non-hazardous materials, such as coffee cans

All other metal containers including aerosol containing hazardous materials or paint cans, cleaning fluid and poison containers, scrap metal.



Small and wide mouth containers, such as water bottles, milk gallons, or shampoo bottles.  

Motor oil and anti-freeze containers, chip and candy bags, food wrap, bubble wrap



Clean, dry newspaper, magazines and catalogs, junk mail, computer paper, photocopy paper, stationery, bills, shredded paper, envelopes with windows.

Soiled paper, telephone books, overnight delivery envelopes, glossy magazines, books of any kind, greeting cards, gift wrap and product samples.



Clean cardboard with a wavy middle layer of brown paper.

Dirty boxes, wax coated cardboard.


Cereal, cracker, shoe boxes and shirt boxes, beverage cartons and six-pack cartons Boxboard with wax, plastic or foiled coating and boxboard that has been contaminated by food.  


Unwaxed Milk-type containers and juice boxes    

There are some materials that may not make this list, but that can be reused. For example, grocery bags can be reused as bathroom trash bags, or trash bags for the car. Glossy magazines cannot be recycled, but can be used for alternative purposes. For example, I  have stuffed two Ottoman cushions with old magazines and scrap paper. They are very comfortable!  Old books, although not recyclable, can be re-sold to a used book store or donated. I’ve sold some of my old books to two such bookstores in Hamra and made over $100. It’s worth it!

In addition, some of the recyclable items here are also reusable; what comes to mind immediately is glass. You can easily reuse glass jars to store things in. Some plastic containers can be reused as containers for other forms of storage. Get creative!

In order to help the environment, there are certain things we can avoid buying. For example, materials like styrofoam cannot be recycled or reused; this is a material commonly used for disposable utensils. As such, one is better off using solid cutlery. Dirty pizza boxes, bags intended for chips and chocolate also cannot be reused or recycled, and we are better off not eating such things for both health and environmental purposes. Who would have thought that keeping healthy would also help the environment?  

My fellow Lebanese, I hope this helps! We can do it if we want to!!