Went on a recycling trip and realized we are probably up to 90-95% range of what we bring home. I’ve found places around town that take different things. Our schools use paper bins for a fund raising recycling project and takes ALL paper including shredded, newspaper, phone books, mail. paper bags, etc. As it’s on the way to our city recycling area, I stop there first. It’s what I call a win-win because I get to clean up ‘paper’ but the school benefits as well with their project.
Then I go to our city recycling center where they take plastic, cardboard, metal, aluminum, glass which even has sorts for clear, brown, green. They also have a paper bin. Not too long ago they added a few other large bins for plastic bags – really happy with the addition because that particular plastic takes many generations to decompose in a landfill.
I have several things in mind when I go shopping:
- what I need (and have room for which in itself also solves two issues for me: I despise clutter and things are easier to find),
- what are the ingredients (I don’t want preservatives or man-made sweeteners – lots of info on High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and Splenda, etc. and before I totally lose my train of thought
- what type of container (is it recyclable)
- another huge consideration is and I really think more people need to be aware of – Is it “Made In America”?
Here’s a ‘short’ list of some of the things I recyle:
- Metal – all cans, not aluminum like cat food or aluminum pie plates – I’m collecting any pull-
tabs for the Ronald McDonald House
- Plastic – milk and frozen juice containers (though I haven’t found a place for the lids), some ice cream containers, sour cream, yogurt, even those little plastic coffee containers used in Keurig machines. My husband used to use those to start plants but found a really neat idea on Pinterest using toilet tissue and paper towel tubes. No need to transplant, just plant as the cardboard decomposes rapidly. We collect the used coffee grounds and put around our outdoor plants. We also use tea leaves/grounds – chagra – for a similar purpose.
- Glass – wine bottles, more juice, spaghetti sauce (lid goes into metal)
- Paper – everything paper including labels from cans
- Cardboard – all boxes, frozen pizza containers and cereal boxes – after I remove the ‘BoxTops’. The plastic goes with the plastic bags.
- Egg containers are either plastic or cardboard and can be reused, recycled or donated to school for different art projects, great for sorters and the cardboard ones can be used for Basic H demo purposes.
- Clothing is usually donated.
- Large appliances we will also donate to a Mom & Pop operation for parts
In short, we try to keep as much as possible from going to the landfill.
If you have other ideas or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below so we can all learn and leave a cleaner, prettier planet for generations to come.