Yesterday, recycling was a new concept that only came to light on Earth Day and at special green rallies. Today, there are green and blue bins everywhere. Recycling, reusing, reclaiming, and Reducing are becoming more and more prevalent in America's vocabulary. Recycling has become a trend across multiple areas of life. Examples of this can be found in new energy technologies, carpooling, and even tiny houses. With knowledge about climate change and environmental dangers expanding, people are becoming more concerned with taking care of the planet.

Every day, we discover new ways of taking care of the planet in more modern and efficient ways.

New technologies shaping new ways of life

One new technology taking shape to change the ease and efficiency of recycling comes from Mexico. Typically, the process of recycling takes a lot. It requires a great amount of water and energy to be able to make plastics reusable. Ak Inovex, however, has created a way to recycle plastic without water or excessive temperatures. The technology is based around special walls that would be able to mold and cool the plastic at the same time, eliminating the need for high temperatures and water baths. This means recycling plastics would no longer be a waste of water or energy.

The company is also working to replace the lye detergent used in recycling with something more Environmentally Friendly.

An older form of reusing materials and reducing waste is composting. Usually defined as using organic matter as a soil enhancer, composting has been around since the time of the Romans. Today, though, people are finding more things to compost and more efficient ways of doing so.

More specifically, people are finding ways to create high-quality compost in their own homes. In-vessel composters are being developed as smaller and easier-to-use home composting systems, but people are also creating their own methods of composting. Do-it-yourself methods involve either putting organic material from the yard directly onto the soil, or simply creating a personal compost bin.

Home composting systems should follow a simple set of rules: a lid able to be secured to the top, spaces or holes in the sides for ventilation, and holes in the bottom for seepage. The system should be monitored for proper moisture and not placed in direct hot sun for too long a period of time. While these forms of composting may not seem very high-tech, they point to the innovative spirits of people trying to do right by the planet.

Other new technologies revolutionizing environmentally-friendly practices include "thermo-depolymerization", desalination, hydrogen fuel cell usage, solar collectors, harnessing energy from the ocean, roof gardens, bioremediation, disposal of greenhouse gasses, and electronic paper.

The ideas behind these new innovations are to make oil and other necessary materials out of organics, use natural energy resources such as the ocean and sun, allow plants to do work that would otherwise require man-made energy, curb the effects of growing carbon dioxide emissions, and overall decrease waste. While some of these techniques are more efficient than others, scientists are working every day to make such practices more sensible for modern society.

Human efforts to save the world

Although technology is certainly lending a helping hand in the process of cleaning up the Earth, humans are finding their own ways to reduce waste and reuse materials without it. A prime example of this is the emerging trend of repurposed materials when it comes to building, design, and crafts.

From television channels such as HGTV and DIY to YouTube tutorials and Pinterest pages, people are discovering new innovative design projects that take advantage of otherwise wasted materials.

In home design, repurposed wood is a rising trend. The vintage look and feel of wood salvaged from old barns is becoming desirable from a design and environmental standpoint. Another new home trend that some environmentalists are supporting is tiny house living. Because of their reduced size, tiny houses require less materials and energy than regular houses. Regular houses take about seven times as many light bulbs and as much lumber as tiny houses. Because forests are rapidly decreasing (and thus becoming more important) and electricity is where a lot of the world's carbon dioxide comes from, these are huge issues that tiny houses help solve.

In general arts and crafts, money-saving techniques have also become environment-saving techniques. Again, reusing old materials is a big trend. Jam and jelly mason jars can become glasses, beer bottles can become outdoor string lights, and old plates can become fun mosaics. These examples are particularly important because glass can face a more difficult (and even wasteful) recycling process than other materials. Other forms of reuse in the name of craftiness are newspaper flowers, soup-can plants, and silverware jewelry.

Not only are large companies and brilliant scientists getting involved in environmentally-friendly innovation, but everyday people as well. There are many websites, television channels, and internet shows that make it easy to get behind modern movements.

The world is moving toward easier and more efficient means of recycling, from organic material reuse to renewable energy, and America might be starting to catch up. It is now easier than ever to reduce, reuse, and reclaim.