16
May
10

Recycling Tips

Recycling is really important to me; we only have one big blue ball and it isn’t even ours.  In addition to recycling, I also am all about ease and order.  Here are some tips that help me:

I keep two “trash” bags in my car.  One is for trash and the other is for recycling. They are different colors, so I know which is which.  Not that there is a high contamination risk, but I do keep the recycling bag on top (they are stacked) as it’s harder to drop something UP than it is to drop something DOWN.
I use bags (paper or plastic – probably…recyclable!) for things that need special recycling, such as batteries.  Keep the bags in a specific, but out of the way, place.  (Baggies of batteries do not go well with many interiors.) 
When having a large gathering that produces a lot of recycables, it is absolutely acceptable to drive those recyclables to a facility that does not require them to be sorted – just try to combine it with a purpose to the same area.  For home life, I totally am the sort that has dividers in my bin so I sort as I go, but sometimes that just is not viable.
Make sure company knows which bin is for recycling and which is for trash.  Make sure they know that “nobody likes the person who kills the earth for all of us.”  I sometimes put a sign on my recycling bin: Hello, My Name is RECYCLING ONLY.  I label the trash too: TRASH ONLY, NO RECYCLING – this is a situation where it’s okay to have your signs ‘yell.’
Casually work gentle reminders and motivators into conversation.  For example, “Yeah, I’m really looking forward to going to Australia someday.  Of course, I’ll have to pack lots of sunscreen since there’s that hole in the ozone layer from assholes, but you know: I’m doing what I can.  What’s new with you?”  This sets up a good opening for earth-friendly activities and awareness.

Peer pressure non-recyclers into recycling.  Sometimes I offer to take my non-recycling friends recycling with me to take care of.  Nothing like a little guilt for motivation.

I can’t quite get myself to do this yet, but vermicomposting is supposed to be really easy.  I’m working on thinking about it.
Take things a step further and reduce the number of things you need to recycle, by opting out of junkmail and catalogs:
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