One of the most important things that people can do for the environment is to reduce how much trash is hauled away to the landfill. Reducing the amount of trash that we generate can be as simple as changing the way we look at the things we just casually toss into the trash. Recycling and reusing items is not only beneficial to the planet, but it can be rewarding to see how many ways you can come up with to use a single item. Do not look at things as “trash” but as potential resources for a dozen new uses.
There are many items and materials that can be recycled. It only takes a few minutes and it is very important.
- Look for markings on products that you are going to buy to see if they are recyclable. If they are not, choose a different brand of that item.
- Use an easy to understand system so that your family can get in on the recycling as well. Bins are an easy way to keep your items separated so that when it is time for them to go out, they are ready to go. Some communities provide the bins to use and color code them for even easier use. If there is not a recycling program in your community, advocate for one to get started.
- Even in areas that do not have curbside recycling, there are usually options that will allow you to recycle at least some of your items.
- Aluminum can often be gathered and taken to recycling sites for cash. The going rate per pound depends on a number of factors so make sure that you have enough to make the trip worthwhile and hold on to your aluminum until the price goes up again.
- Magazines can be recycled in most communities. In those communities where magazines and other glossy papers are not accepted you can take old issues to libraries to donate. Some people like to collect these outdated issues for craft projects.
- Compost everything that you possibly can: food scraps, egg shells and even dryer lint can be composted very effectively. Read a guide that will tell you what to add and what to keep out of your own compost pile.
- Old jars such as the kind spaghetti sauce or pickles come in can be washed and reused. You can store leftover foods quite well in these jars- you see what is in them, they are kept fresh by the tightly fitted lid, and they can be rewashed and used over and over again. Smaller jars can be used to hold items in your garage or for arts and crafts.
Think outside of the box- an old sock can be used as a dust cloth. A larger sized sock can be stretched over the head of the reusable style mops replacing the need for the expensive cloths. You can even wet the sock down with your favorite cleaning solution for deeper cleaning needs.