Most Americans have good intentions when it comes to recycling, but life can get busy and sometimes we fall short. With a little bit of effort and proper planning, all of us can do our part to contribute to the health of the planet. Here are eight easy tips on how to recycle at home.
1. Do Your Research
Find out whether there is a service in your city that will pick up your recycled goods or if you have to take them to a recycling center. Also find out if you need to separate items ahead of time.
2. Create A System
If you do have to separate your recyclable items, create a system that makes the process as simple as possible. Designate bins and decide the best solution for your home and family — and then start recycling as soon as it’s ready.
3. Consider Location
To encourage your family to recycle, put your recycling bin(s) in a prominent place. The kitchen can be a great place for a recycling bin, but if you don’t have room for a large enough one there, consider adding a smaller set of bins or a temporary bin that you can use to transport items to a main recycling area in your garage or elsewhere.
4. Know The Rules
If you’re new to recycling, you’ll want to get a basic understanding of what can and cannot be recycled. Here are a few items that can and should be recycled:
- Plastic bottles
- Paper products ( greeting cards, mail, wrapping paper, newspapers)
- Aluminum cans
Here are a few items that cannot be recycled:
- Take-out food containers
- Pizza boxes
- Plastic grocery bags
- Plastic bottle caps
5. Collapse Boxes
Be sure to break down your cardboard boxes because it will allow you to fit more into your recycling bin.
6. Rinse Food Containers
Not only does rinsing out food containers help the folks at your recycling center, but it will also keep odors in your home to a minimum — and once you get into the habit it will become second nature.
7. Recycle Electronics
Many electronics can be recycled — just not at a regular recycling center. Most technology brands and electronics stores offer recycling programs, so before you toss your old smart phone or MP3 player, do a little research and find out how your unused gadget can be recycled nearby.
8. Buy Recycled
Aside from implementing recycling practices in your own home, buying recycled or refurbished products is a good way to reduce your carbon footprint and close the loop on recycling.