Don’t Forget! Earth Hour is tomorrow, March 26th, at 8:30 pm your local time.
Let’s Make Sure We Recycle So It Counts
Recycling Sucks! Don’t get me wrong. As someone who has done it most of my life, I enjoy the act of recycling. It makes me feel proud to help our planet and its inhabitants. What I hate is figuring out how to recycle in a way that works. It sucks to wonder if the items I put in my bin will actually get recycled.
What most people don’t realize is that just because you put something in a recycling bin doesn’t mean it gets recycled. I know, this used to be me. A lot of what we think we are recycling ends up in landfills and oceans despite our efforts. Reducing our waste is critical, but when we do generate it we need to make sure we dispose of it correctly.
Become a Recycling Superhero – It Matters
Here are some ways to ensure what you put in your bin actually gets recycled.
- Check with your recycling service to make sure you only put in your bin what they accept. Recycling services are not all the same. What they accept and how you should put it in your bin varies from city to city. Some may need it sorted and some don’t.
- Don’t know who your recycling service is? Search your local government website. If they don’t have details on what you can recycle they likely have a link to the company that provides your service.
- If you live in a community where you have to drop off recycling, make sure you know how it’s done and follow the rules.
- Always wash recyclables to avoid contamination.
- Grease and food waste are big problems to recycling. Dirty materials can prevent an entire bin from being recycled. Greasy pizza boxes are a big problem.
- Check out these Wikihow tips on How to Recycle.
- If your service doesn’t take it, it’s likely you can still recycle it. Visit these sites to search for ways to recycle specific items in your area:
- Earth911 has a huge database of items and where to recycle them in the US.
- Recycle Nation is a place to also look up items and a resource for recycling guidelines for US states.
- The European Commission provides recycling information and offers tips to reuse and recycle in EU countries.
Let’s learn how to reduce the waste that goes into landfills and oceans. Avoid the garbage bin as much as you can.
Think Before You Buy
We often don’t think about how to recycle our waste until a container is empty. It helps if we make a conscious effort to buy less packaging. It’s just as important as thinking about the price tag when you buy something.
- Avoid buying beverages in plastic containers. Aluminum and glass containers have a much better chance of being recycled.
- It may cost a few more cents to buy products in glass or metal containers, but it’s worth it since these are more likely to be recycled when put in a recycling bin.
- Buy beverages in cans and glass.
- Don’t buy bottled water. There are healthier alternatives for you and the planet.
- Whenever possible, don’t buy packaged produce.
- Stay away from soft plastics, like shopping bags and wraps.
Be an earth-friendly shopper. Keep your eyes peeled for ways to reduce the packaging you buy with every purchase. Think what would happen if we all did this. Companies will have to find ways to use less!
Why It’s Important
There are a number of reasons why the stuff we put in our bin doesn’t get recycled. The biggest culprit is plastics. Though it’s a cheaper type of packaging, it’s also the most complicated to recycle because of all the different types.
- Plastics aren’t easy for your service to recycle. This will change as we buy more recycled packaging, but currently the market for waste handlers to sell this commodity is slim. They often have no choice but to send it to a landfill.
- Scientists have now found microplastics are in human blood. This means it’s in our organs and can create numerous health problems.
- We only have one planet. We need to be kinder to it!
Earth Friendly Events – Mark Your Calendar
Don’t forget Earth Hour is tomorrow, Saturday, March 26th at 8:30 pm your local time – make a plan for what you will do when you turn out your lights. Maybe start with buying some candles.
Earth Day is April 22nd. Don’t forget to grab your free tool kit and help make a difference in the life of our planet.
With Much Gratitude
That’s it for this week. If you like this post, please forward it to every earth-friendly human you know.
Drop me a line anytime if you have questions or comments. I love hearing from you.
I do not get paid to write this blog, none of the products I recommend sponsor me, so any support you can send my way would help, even a few bucks.
Thank you for reading these tips and subscribing. Pat yourself on the back for doing your part. Remember, every little bit helps.
Don’t fuss if you aren’t always able to do this stuff, keep trying, and don’t give up.
You got this!
All my best,
jen.thilman (at) gmail.com