Think Recycling Is Too Hard? We Have Easy Ways To Help
Lots of people now consider recycling to be a personal no-brainer. You have your blue plastic bins and bottle-drives. Scale it all up and together the biggest benefits may be the impact that our recycling programs have on our communities.
Recycling programs encourage many people to recycle. If you and your neighbors didn’t have curbside recycling bins, how reliably would you actually go out of your way to dispose of your plastic bottles, aluminum cans and cardboard. We all like the easy button. Communities which invest in solid recycling infrastructure will ultimately see fewer recyclable materials incinerated or put into landfills.
Everyone can help their community with some good R & R & R (reduce, reuse and recycle), but if you’re not sure where to start, we at BIG have some easy ways to get started.
Recycle at home
Most of us live in areas with an option for curbside recycling. It is important that you know how to use it. But let’s face it, it can be confusing on what you can recycle and what you can’t because it may vary depending on where you live.
You can’t just throw anything into your recycling bin (then it would just be the trash). Items going into your recycling bin should be empty, clean, dry, and free of food and liquids. Once you know what can be recycled in your area, help make it easy for pick-up by checking that the right materials are in the appropriate containers.
Recycle in the Garden
The key to recycling in the garden is compost! Millions of tons of garden waste end up in landfill sites every year, but grass cuttings, twigs and leaves are excellent sources of nutrients and can be used to make compost.
To further cut down on your contribution to local landfills, compost can turn tea bags, fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells, newspaper, cardboard, and more into top-quality soil in a matter of 6 months. If you aren’t interested in starting your own compost heap, then most communities offer compost bins, which will bring your compostable goods to a composting center and turn it into soil
If You Don’t Love Something, Let It Go
Marie Kondo is making organizing fun again and providing great opportunities to reuse what you no longer love. Lots of charities welcome your donations. Groups like Freecycle exist to help you get rid of useful objects that you no longer have use for. Like they say: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Give away clothes that don’t fit, the boxes that you used from your last move, those scented soaps your in-laws sent you that disagree with your sensibilities. Make it a rule in your house that nothing in your home goes in the trash and you’ll be amazed at the clever ways you’ll come up with re-homing your goods. This is a great project for Earth Day coming up on April 22. Clean out your stuff and head over to BVR (link to the BVR address) to recycle it.
So you’ve cleaned out your house. Now what? In addition to purchasing recycled goods, keep an eye out for recyclable goods. Not just goods which come in recyclable packaging, either. Whenever you purchase something packaged, think about how you can repurpose the packaging. Give preference to products which can be easily upgraded or used for parts so that you don’t have to trash it if a single part breaks. Products that are fused together or “unfixable,” while often cheaper up front, are frequently unrecyclable.
Finding ways to work together with your community to recycle your stuff (maybe have a trade day for reusing it?) all goes toward a healthier planet. Hey, we all have to live here – let’s make it a clean place.