If you’re anything like us, you might be feeling a tad overwhelmed with the pressure to recycle but less of the know-how.
This week we are partnering with Everybody and Everyone for your chance to win their amazing “All Good Things” bag made from recycled plastic bottles!
Here’s Week 4’s challenge: Start recycling today by putting just ONE thing into the recycling bin this week instead of sending it to landfill. Your conscience will thank you.
Here are our top tips on recycling whether you’re a newbie, pro or total guru.
TAKE THE WORK OUT OF REMEMBERING TO RECYCLE
Buy a dedicated recycling bin (or bins) and keep them right next to your trash can or in an accessible location that will remind you to recycle.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO RECYCLE, START BY REMEMBERING THE ACRONYM, CAPP
C is for cardboard, A is for aluminum cans, P is for plastic bottles, and P is for Paper. Some of the best items you can recycle are those we frequently encounter: cardboard, empty plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and paper.
Did you know that recycling 2000 pounds of recycled paper or cardboard can save 17 trees, 1,400 liters of oil, more than 2 cubic meters of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 27,000 litres of water? Another fun fact is that recycling aluminum cans saves 95% of the energy to make new cans. Oh and lest we forget, approximately 80% of energy that is used to manufacture plastic can be conserved when plastic is produced from recycled plastic!
DON’T RECYCLE PLASTIC BAGS!
Unfortunately, some items just can’t be recycled, plastic bags being one of them. Plastic bags often jam recycling equipment, and has even created work stoppages that can shut whole recycling facilities down. May this serve as a gentle reminder to move away from plastics bags once and for all and make the switch to reusable tote bags for your shopping.
KEEP CONTAMINANTS OUT OF THE RECYCLING
Always keep food and liquids out of your recycling. When food or liquid are placed in a recycling container, they might saturate otherwise perfectly recyclable paper and cardboard they come in contact with. This will make paper and cardboard lose their ability to become recycled. Watch out for pizza boxes!
SHARPEN YOUR RECYCLING SKILLS; IT’S AS EASY AS 1-2-3
Check your local recycling rules– not all recycling programs work the same way. Some ways you can sharpen your recycling skills include: (1) recycle envelopes with plastic and staples, sort the plastic and metal later; (2) remove caps or lids from glass bottles and jars; (3) rinse steel and aluminum cans, it makes them easier to process.
BE A GOOD EXAMPLE TO OTHERS IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD…
…Whether it be your kids, your roommates, or your family members.
Those who see you recycle will follow your lead. Explain to them why you are throwing plastic instead of the trashcan. If you see items that have been thrown into the trash that should actually be recycled, help your housemates out! Chances are if they see you actually making an effort to go through the trash and sorting it out on their behalf, they may be less inclined to make the same “mistake” again. Hey, a little bit of guilt-tripping is okay, especially if it’s for the greater good of the planet.
THE MORE WE REDUCE, THE LESS WE HAVE TO RECYCLE
This might sound counter-intuitive, but if you really want to take your recycling game up a notch, the best thing you can do is to reduce the amount that you buy, even if what you buy is recyclable.
Unfortunately, recycling doesn’t wipe the slate clean. Although the blue bin is always preferable to the trash can, recycling still requires a substantial expenditure of energy and resources, from collection, transportation, and the recycling manufacturing process itself. By reducing the amount that we buy – especially by going paperless or investing in higher quality items that will last, we can stop waste before it’s even created. If that’s not considered a superpower, it should be.
THINK – REUSE FIRST, RECYCLE SECOND
Before you recycle an item, ask yourself whether it can be repurposed or repaired first. By consciously looking for ways to extend the life cycle of our household products, we can save the energy that comes from recycling. The opportunities for creative re-use are endless. Need help getting your creative juices flowing? Always try to re-use old gift wrapping. When it comes to your old clothes and shoes, why not gift them to charities in need? Don’t throw away that hotel shower cap! Consider donating rubber bands to teachers for student projects or for other uses in the classroom.