Did you know that a whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled?
This shocking statistic shines a spotlight on the plastic war that the world is currently fighting. Have you joined the battle against plastic? To start, you MUST recycle!
If your family doesn’t think twice about throwing away soda bottles, food waste, wrappers, and jars into one huge garbage can of mush, it’s time to take action.
This trash habit can be hard to break, but there are a few simple ways to make your home recycling journey a success. Before you begin, find out the answer to this vital question: how does recycling work?
How Does Recycling Work?
Recycling is basically the process of converting waste into something new and usable. For instance, “trash” such as plastic, aluminum, steel, and paper can all be converted into new products.
Recycling can not only reuse what we already have, but it also conserves raw resources. For instance, the University of Southern Indiana found that “if all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!”
Another benefit of recycling is that it uses less energy to produce. Extracting and processing raw resources requires a lot of energy. Certain materials do not require so much processing, which results in less energy being wasted.
Recycling also decreases the amount of trash that’s collected in landfills, or that is sent to an incinerator. This results in less ground and air pollution.
As you can see, recycling is vitally important! Check out these 6 ways to make your recycling at home a whole lot easier.
1. It Starts With YOU!
Nobody likes the inconvenience of doing extra chores. To make your recycling mission a success, you need to have the right mindset. Do some research as to why recycling is vitally important.
After you’ve done your homework, sit down with your kids and partner to explain the effects of recycling and NOT recycling.
Show them photos and videos of the damage that’s being caused. For instance, the shocking 5.25 Trillion pieces of trash floating in the ocean. You could even take your kids to a recycling center to see how the process gets started.
Knowing the facts about what to recycle at home and what happens when you don’t recycle can help you and your family to think twice before chucking stuff away.
2. Convenience is Key
The key to a successful recycling campaign in the home is convenience.
As recycling rules differ from place to place, your system may be different. For instance, some areas don’t mind if glass, cans, paper, and plastic are all in the same bin. However, other areas require that you separate them all.
Make sure your bins are easily accessible right in the kitchen or in a close utility room. If they are tucked far away somewhere, there’s more chance you’ll revert back to the regular trash can. In fact, try to put the recycling bin in an easier to reach place than the regular bin.
Keep a paper recycling bin next to the front door for junk mail and envelopes. And do the same for your office space or where the kids do their homework. Place a small bin in the bathroom to collect shampoo bottles and another recyclable packaging.
Find an easy system that works for your family and stick to it!
3. The Recycling Spirit
To get your family into the recycling spirit, arrange a household contest. For instance, give everyone their own bin and see who can fill it up first. Some recycling centers pay cash for cans and glass, so let your kids keep the proceeds as a reward.
You can get crafty with trash too. Use paper towel rolls, magazines, glass jars, and more for crafting projects. You could also get your kids to decorate the recycling bins to make the process more appealing.
By making it exciting, your kids are more likely to get into a good routine which will last in the long run.
4. Get Organized
On a Monday morning when you’re feeling like a zombie, the last thing you want to do is figure out which bin your empty milk carton needs to go in.
Keep organized by having a plastic recycling chart on hand. A plastic recycling chart should have a list of what to recycle at home. Stick it on your fridge, or above the recycling bin so that it can be seen at all times.
Label each recycling bin accordingly. For instance “Cans” “Glass” “Paper” and more. You can get loads of cute printables from online to spice up your trash cans, or just make your own.
You can even put a reminder sign on your regular bin which says something similar to: “Before you chuck it, can it be recycled?” This may prick your conscience before you throw something away.
5. Wash, Rinse, Repeat
It’s always recommended to give the recyclable rubbish a little rinse before you add it to your bin. It’ll keep your kitchen smelling fresher for longer and will also help those working at the recycling center.
Just take a moment to think about the poor old folks separating smelly cans of tuna and sticky yogurt pots. Save their pain and give them a rinse.
To make it easier, try to arrange your kitchen so that your recycling bin is close to the sink. This convenient set up will encourage you to complete that step before you throw it away.
6. Transforming Banana Peels
Composting is a great way to cut down on household waste. Using your composted kitchen scraps not only provides solid nutrients for your plants but also saves precious space in landfill sites. Keep a nifty composter on your countertop so that food scraps can be disposed of easily.
As your kids watch their banana peels transform into nutritious soil, it’ll be a great lesson in the importance of recycling.
But, can you recycle wood? Yes, some untreated wood can be put into your composter. Other woods can salvaged or chipped down and reused to create other products.
Begin Your Home Recycling Journey
It’s clear to see home recycling can be made super simple by just being organized. Follow these tips and you will be left with peace of mind, an orderly system, a thriving garden, and a better world.