Happy America Recycles Day – November 15
There is no better time than today to start recycling! According to America Recycles Day, 75,496 people have signed the #BeRecycled pledge. If you sign the pledge, here is what you will be committing to do:
- Learn – I will find out what materials are collected for recycling in my community.
- Act – Within the next month, I will reduce the amount of waste I produce, I will recycle more, and I will buy products made with recycled content.
- Share – In the next month, I will encourage one family member to take the #BeRecycled pledge.
Recycling starts with an awareness of how you personally impact our environment. There are 3 main ways to recycle: reduce, reuse, recycle. Reducing the amount of items you waste, reusing the items you can, and recycling those items you can’t reuse.
As you consider ways to reduce, think about your shopping habits. What do you buy that you don’t need or that you could borrow or share with someone? Purchase products that can be recycled or reused. Instead of buying a cabinet full of cleaning products, buy all-purpose cleaners to cut down on bottles and glass container waste. Choose items with less packaging. Contact all of your creditors to go to paperless billing. This can also save you money and storage space. Go through your home and donate any items you are not using – this will benefit others and you as you will have less clutter.
Hazardous waste has become a big problem for our environment. Check out How to Recycle for ways to reduce the amount of hazardous waste you create.
Repurposing or reusing is a great way to clean up our environment. This decision can save you money as well as you won’t have to spend on buying new items.
Reusing or Repurposing Ideas
- Plastic Grocery Bags – reuse these to carry items after you use them for your groceries or use them as small trashcan liners. Many people use them to clean out the cat litter or to clean up after the dog rather than purchasing bags.
- Reclaimed Wood – the reclaimed wood industry has gotten a boost in the last few years as so many of us are using it for decorating. If you aren’t particularly artsy, advertise your used wood online and you may find a buyer!
- Cardboard and Newspaper – can be used to line an animal cage or for packaging items for shipping.
- Blankets and Towels – many pet shelters and zoos are looking for these items. Homeless shelters and other charities are always happy to take them.
- Egg Cartons – you can use these to separate beads, screws, nails, or any other small items. You can also use them as seed starters to grow plants.
- Old Cell Phones, Computers, Tablets and Household Appliances – donate these to The Salvation Army or Goodwill as they may be able to repair or use them for parts.
For more ideas on repurposing your unwanted items, have a look at Mother Earth News.
Recycling has a direct impact on cleaning up our environment. Just by following a few simple rules, you can change the entire future of our world!
Helpful Hints for Recycling
- Keep a recycling bin nearby and make sure that everyone in your household or work area is aware of where it is located
- Check with your local recycling collection centers to make sure you understand what may need to be separated in to different bins
- Buy recyclable products whenever possible
- Purchase products made from recycled materials to support the effort and cut waste
- Use grass clippings in compost to spread under your bushes and trees to provide extra nutrients
- Make recycling a natural part of your every day life and it will become a good habit
If you’re a teacher looking for resources to help your students or a parent trying to teach your kids about recycling, The Recycle Guide has the best free resources and links. The How to Recycle section, Recycling in Schools and Recycling Activities are perfect places to start.