Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Recycle, recycle, recycle!

It should be EASY to recycle, right? It is such an IMPORTANT thing for our environment that it should be just a matter of taking your filled up trash bags to the dumpster and some magical green fairy goes through it all and sorts into the proper piles, right? Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. And that is exactly why it's been hard for this procrastinating, hard-working woman to start recycling. It's not that it's hard ... but it does take a little time in the beginning, and some dedication. Well, we've recently moved into a new home, and I've decided that this is the perfect opportunity for our family to start taking better care of mother nature.

The key here in our family is starting out small. If we jumped in with full force, we'd quickly run out of steam and fail. So I'm taking baby steps here. First, I switched to all "green" cleaning products. That's easy enough for ANYONE to do. Just do a little research, run out of old stuff, buy new, better stuff and you are on your way. My next step was to start recycling. I did this for 2 reasons. One ... because it's important for our environment! Two ... because I have an itty-bitty trash can and I'm tired of taking it out every single day. Here is how I've started recycling in my house:

1. Research - I started by going to the website of my new hometown, and checking to see if they have recycling bins set up. I'm sure some cities even offer curbside pickup, but not out here! Regardless, you can find the information for your city online, in the phonebook, or by calling city hall. It starts with the research. For us, we have bins set up a few blocks from our house (bonus), open 24/7 (more bonus), but they only have limited kinds of bins set up (not so bonus).
2. Decisions - As stated above, we are limited at this point to the kinds of things that our city will recycle for free. Corrugated cardboard, #1 and #2 plastic, plain paper, plastic shopping bags, and a few other things. Because this is a new ordeal for us, I decided to choose only 2 things to start with (baby steps, remember?). We are going to start recycling paper and plastic. We already reuse our plastic shopping bags.
3. Action - I created a new "recycling center" in our kitchen (more to come on this later) ... educated everyone in the family about the purpose ... and started putting stuff in our containers! When full, the kids and I will take them down to the city bins and do our part to eliminate waste in landfills!

So far we've been using our new bins for a week. I'm absolutely aghast at how much plastic our family goes through in just one week! I encourage you to start thinking about recycling in your home, if you don't already!

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