Simple Steps for a Greener Lifestyle - Start Recycling

By: Your Green Helper

Trying to be a little greener in 2011? I know this is a popular New Year’s resolution for many people. I also realize making changes towards a greener lifestyle can be intimidating. I often get asked where to start. My recommendation is to focus on making one small change at time. This will ease the feeling of being overwhelmed and help ensure your family does not retaliate against your efforts. This year I will be sharing simple steps you can implement to help you succeed on your eco-friendly journey.

Simple Steps for a Greener Lifestyle – Start a Recycling Plan in your Household

If you are completely new to the concept of recycling, I would recommend first checking with your trash company to see if they offer recycling service. Most now offer curbside pickup for recycling. Our company does charge an additional $2 per month for the service. However, they do not require us to sort our recycling which is a huge time saver for us. The only thing they do not pick up is glass. 

You can also check to see if there are any community drop off sites in your area. Most landfills now have a recycling center. However, they may charge you to drop off your recycling. Check out your local schools as well. Some have a recycling drop off site to help earn money to support the school.

Again, I recommend starting with smaller steps and ease your way into a fully committed recycling plan. Start off your first week by only recycling cardboard. You will be amazed at how many boxes you will go through in a week. Once you are in the habit of recycling your cardboard, then you can add in plastics and so forth.

Here are some great tips to get you started….

Break down your cardboard, even the small tea boxes. This will save space in your recycling bin and help out down the recycling line.

Collect newspapers in a paper grocery bag or in tied bundles, depending on your community’s guidelines, and set them out on pickup day.

Don’t recycle wet cardboard. It can clog sorting machines. Throw it away to keep it from contaminating the rest of the load. 

Don’t recycle bottle tops; they’re not made from the same plastic as recyclable bottles. But if you forget, don’t sweat it. They’ll be sorted down the line.

Rinse cans, but crushing isn’t necessary. The aluminum can is the most recycled item in the United States, as well as the most valuable. It can be recycled again and again and so efficiently that a can is regenerated and back on the shelf in as little as 60 days. 

Don’t fret if you can’t get the lime out of the beer bottle or the last of the peanut butter from the jar. The recycler’s machinery will zap all contaminants. But do empty and rinse glass jars and containers. 


Rachel said…
Several times during the year, it's raining or snowing while our recycling bin is out. I hate to think that all the cardboard in there is messing things up down the line, but I don't know how to avoid that.

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