5 Tips To Help You in Your Recycling Endeavors

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Image by University of Scranton Weinberg Memorial Library via Flickr Creative Commons license
Image by University of Scranton Weinberg Memorial Library via Flickr Creative Commons license

November 15th is America Recycles Day. It’s a day when Americans are encouraged to take the next step in their recycling endeavors. Those who don’t really recycle are urged to do so and those who do recycle are urged to do a little more. Recycling helps reduce the volume of trash going to local landfills and helps the environment in the process. Don’t throw recyclable materials away. Don’t allow plastics and recyclable waste to clutter our oceans and harm ocean life. Don’t waste the opportunity to put recyclables to good use. Why toss something in the trash when it can be reused, up-cycled or taken and turned into another usable product?

According to America Recycles Day, the recycling rate in the United States has risen over the past few decades is 34%. No reason why we can’t help raise it to 50% in short order. To help you in your recycling endeavors, we offer 5 simple tips:

1. Take the America Recycles Day Pledge

One of the first, and easiest, actions is to take the America Recycles Day Pledge and encourage friends and family to do the same. You can pledge to start recycling specific items like plastic bags, or go broader and get your entire office on board. Voters in the State of California recently went really broad and voted to ban the use of single-use plastic carryout bags at most grocery stores, liquor stores, pharmacies and convenience stores.

2. Add a Recycling Bin to Your Home and Office

Another simple action to get you (and others) recycling is to add a recycling bin to your home and office. When people have a place to put their recyclable materials, they will generate do so. If all you are offering is a trash receptacle, then guess where those items will go? That’s right…in the trash and off to the landfill. By putting a recycling bin or two in your home and office, you’ll find your family and co-workers will generate a lot less trash. If necessary, put a list of recyclables on the bin so nobody has any questions as to which items can be recycled.

3. Find Out What Materials Can Be Recycled (Knowing Is Half the Battle)

For those who aren’t familiar with what materials can be recycled, Earth911 has a pretty good list of not only what can be recycled, but where and how it can be recycled. Remember, not all recyclables will be able to go in your bin at home. You may even have to divide your “trash” into multiple bins to maximize your recycling efforts. The Earth911 recycling center search guides answer recycling questions about:

  • Automobiles
  • Construction
  • Glass
  • Plastic
  • Household Waste
  • Metal
  • Electronics
  • Paper
  • Household

4. Reduce and Recycle Your Incoming Mail

We all get mail we don’t necessary want. Some of it is junk mail from companies whose mailing lists we somehow managed to get on, while others may include bills, catalogs and brochures we asked for, but now no longer need. You can reduce the amount of mail you get by opting off mailing lists and choosing online billing. Then any of the remaining mail you get can all be recycled. Don’t throw it in the trash…recycle it. NOTE: Be sure to remove your name and address first, then stick it in your recycle bin.

5. Reduce Your Overall Consumption

While recycling is a very important action for the environment, reducing your overall consumption will also have a massive impact. It’s simple math, consume less and you’ll generate less trash and require fewer items to be recycled. Recycling does take time and energy, but it is well worth the effort when comparing it to simply dumping such items in a landfill where they will remain for who knows how long. However, if you don’t consume as much, you’ll have less you need to recycle.

This America Recycles Day, take the pledge and make a commitment to increase your recycling efforts.

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