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45 - The Recycler

$ 0.50

Learn how recycling helps our environment. Put stuff you'd normally throw away aside and recycle it. Here are some ideas:

1. Baby Steps
Once you make the decision to recycle, do not feel as though you have to jump in 100 percent. While passion is a wonderful thing, placing too much pressure on yourself to go green can result in stress and frustration during the learning process. Give yourself permission to start small. Learn about one aspect of the process and implement it, making it a habit for you and other family members before moving onto the next step. By taking baby steps, you are more likely to integrate recycling into your lifestyle permanently.

2. Reduce and Reuse
While it may not seem like part of recycling, reducing the amount of materials you use and reusing items instead of tossing them can assist in your recycling endeavors. Limit the amount of objects needing to be thrown in your bins and you will avoid being inundated by recyclable goods, helping you stay on top of the situation.

3. Know What Can Be Recycled Curbside
It is easy to overlook items that can be recycled or to get confused as to which goes where. You should check with your service provider for specifics on your particular program.

4. Have a Bin in Every Room
Ask the majority of recycling families where their bins are and you will likely receive a resounding collective of “in the kitchen”. Unfortunately, many of the other rooms become neglected, allowing perfectly recyclable materials to end up in trash cans. Place a bin in the bathroom to collect cardboard toilet paper rolls, empty product containers, pill bottles, and packaging. In the office or craft room, you can collect printer paper, bottles, old files, pamphlets, and flyers. The bedroom provides, amongst other items, product containers, to-do lists, and magazines. Do not forget the garage where you not only have items such as jars, bottles, and project waste, but items that come with you out of the car once you have parked such as glass bottles and cans.

5. Rinse and Repeat
Rinse out containers prior to placing them into your recycling bin to avoid contaminating the whole bunch with food and residue. In addition, regularly rinse your bins to keep the smell to a minimum and bugs and rodents at bay.

6. Recycle Technology
With the massive amounts of technology in the world today, the landfills are brimming with defunct computer systems, cellular phones, televisions, printers, and more. Instead of ditching your obsolete tech toys into the trash can, call your local electronics store to see whether they provide a recycling option. Many electronics stores will actually take back certain items and provide a credit, or can put you in touch with companies to assist you. The manufacturer of many products also accepts unwanted items that can be refurbished or used for parts.

7. Recycle Water
Before you let your used water swirl down the drain, find ways to recycle it in and around your home. You can go as simple as pouring the water from cooking pasta directly into a flower bed, or you can make changes to your plumbing to allow you to utilize greywater. Greywater is the water throughout your home that has been used for a single purpose such as bathing, cleaning dishes or washing clothing. This water can be recycled to support your lawn and garden, keeping your landscape fresh and green in a less wasteful manner.

8. Recycle Food
Recycling food is more commonly referred to as composting, but it is still a form of the process, nonetheless. Organic matter is the greatest source of methane emissions and, unfortunately, landfills are bursting with it. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, an average of nearly 20 pounds of food is wasted each month per person, helping to make organic waste the second largest component found in landfills.

Composting at home can be done in a do-it-yourself bin, or one purchased for indoor or outdoor use. If you have a large amount of food waste, though, check with your city to see whether you have the option of curbside pick-up specifically for organic waste. Commercial compost facilities usually accept plant-based goods, dairy items, and meat. If you are composting in or near your home you might want to stick with plant-based items in order to reduce the smell and avoid attracting animals to your yard.

9. Buy Recycled
If you are recycling to minimize your carbon footprint, it makes sense to use the same principles when purchasing new items. When you buy items made from recycled materials you are using your dollars to vote for greener business practices, letting companies know that products made in an eco-friendly manner matter to you. In addition, items that are made from recycled goods are likely to be recyclable again once you are finished using them.

Take the time to understand how to integrate recycling into your lifestyle and use these recycling tips to get a solid handle on the practice, ensuring that being green becomes a lifelong habit. Then, after you've started to get the hang of it, pick up your Recycler Brag Badge.