Wednesday, April 11, 2012

9th Simple Step to Sustainability: Tips to Start Recycling

Today's Step will be a little different. Today we will look at several tips if you would like to start recycling or take your recycling routine to the next level.

Here are some tips to help you start recycling if you don't yet. (I'm not going to go into why you should recycle, as that info is pretty much everywhere. If you have questions or need some convincing, please message me or leave a comment. Id' love to help!)

  • If you are just getting started, start with just one type of recyclable such as paper, plastic, or cardboard.
  • Locate your local recycling center. They have them at a lot of major supermarkets, SAMs Clubs, and Wal-Marts. Take a look at what they accept. (It will be written on the dumpster.)
  • Contact your local waste management office to inquire about curbside pick up. Many cities offer this service as part of your city fees or for a small additional fee. There are some lucky (and smart) cities that even offer discounts on your garbage fees if you recycle!
  • My suggestion is to start with items that don't have to be rinsed or cleaned. Cans, bottles, and plastics should be rinsed of all food particles and cans and glass need to have labels removed. However, paper and cardboard tends to be an easier start: just dump it in.
  • Find a container and a spot in your house for your recycling. My paper goes in a canvas bag that hangs on the slider door. Other recyclables are sorted into old laundry baskets on our porch. 
If you're a seasoned recycler, there's always room for improvement. Here are a few tips to make recycling a bit easier and help you to recycle more and throw away less.
  • Get a good system in place. Once you're recycling many different types of materials and ones that require cleaning, it can be a little hectic, and let's face it, we're already busy enough. To get your juices going, our system includes all recycling that needs to be rinsed going next the the sink. I then rinse them when I do dishes (great for using the water while you wait for it to warm up). Afterwards, they go out to the porch. If it's hot, raining, or snowing, I might leave the recycling by the slider door until I can get out. (Makes a great kitten jungle gym!)
  • Pay attention to what recycling receptacles are at your recycling center. I started recycling glass when they added a glass dumpster to the center by our Wal-mart. 
  • Add one material at a time to your recycling routine. This helps to make one habit at a time which helps you to keep the habit going longer.
  • Build recycling into your schedule. Whether you load it up on your way to the store, or on Sunday night to take out Monday on your way home from work. Make it a part of your family's schedule to take the recycling out. It's easy to pile up the recycling on your porch, but it's got to make it to the recycling center it's just keeping a bunch of junk. (This is one of the hardest things for us to do!)
  • Watch packaging of unusual purchases for recyclable materials. It's easy to get into the habit of recycling your cereal boxes and soda cans, but that new toy for Johnny might have recyclable plastic casing and those inserts in your video games and DVDs can be recycled as well.
There it is. Step 9- ten tips for recycling. Don't know why I didn't make that step ten, but step ten will be awesome as well. (Yep, just looked at my cheat sheet and step ten is awesome!)

Comment Below With Your Recycling Tips!

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