Easy Tips to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Day 359Redfish Recycling has come out with some easy tips to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Reduce

  • Buy only what you will use – If you have leftovers of something, especially paint or chemicals, pass it along to someone who can use it instead of throwing it away.
  • Purchase products packaged with less waste – Always chose easily recycled products over wasteful ones, buy larger containers that you can divide yourself rather than single serve that use excess packaging, and reconsider bottled water.
  • Remember your grocery bags – Instead of taking home bundles of plastic bags, consider bringing reusable bags to the store. Most stores also offer paper and plastic bag recycling bins.

Reuse

  • Choose durable goods over disposable ones – One higher quality razor creates much less waste than multiple disposables.
  • Donate before throwing away – When getting rid of unwanted possessions such as clothing, appliances, or equipment, donate them to an organization that can reuse them. Places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army are happy to repair and redistribute these items.
  • Use washable dishware over paper and plastic – Most restaurants are willing to fill your reusable travel mug instead of a disposable cup.

Recycle

A lot of what you cannot reduce or reuse can be recycled – in fact, the EPA estimates that 75% of everything we throw away can be recycled!

You can recycle:

  • Paper and Cardboard
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Cardboard Boxes
  • Glass
  • Mail
  • Books
  • Paperboard Food Boxes and Cartons
  • Plastic (#1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Metal
  • Aluminum Cans
  • Tin Cans

Make 2022 a year of reducing, reusing and recycling!

Tomorrow, ways to recycle your tree.

The Decomposition of Everyday Items

Day 328 – Most of us don’t give any thought about how long it takes for common items to decompose. We tend to toss things into the trash and never think about where it goes from there. Many everyday items are here to stay for a very long time.

Here are 20 items and the length of time it takes for them to decompose.

  1. Plastic bags – It can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.
  2. Cigarette butts – 10 years
  3. Plastic straws – 200 years
  4. Wet wipes – 100 years
  5. Plastic 6 pack holders – 450 years
  6. Tin cans – 50 years
  7. Tires – 2,000 years
  8. Nylon fishing net – 40 years
  9. Plastic bottles – 450 years
  10. Synthetic fibers – 100+ years
  11. Aluminum cans – 80-100 years
  12. Hairspray bottles – 200-500 years
  13. Shoes – 25-40 years
  14. Disposable diapers – 500 years
  15. Lumber – 10-15 years
  16. Batteries – 100 years
  17. Ink Cartridges – 450-1,000 years
  18. Glass – over a million years
  19. Aluminum Foil – never
  20. Styrofoam – never

We all need to think twice before we throw things away. We need to ask ourselves a few questions.

Can this be recycled? Items in bold print can be recycled.

Can this be reused?

Can I avoid using this item in the future?

We are running out of places to put our trash. We need to make changes now.

Tomorrow, dogs to the rescue.

Recycle Across America: Let’s Recycle Right

Day 270 – Recycling has had it challenges throughout the years. As a society, we consume way too much. So much so, we can not keep up on the waste. We don’t have the infrastructure to recycle what we can and we are running out of landfills to bury everything else. Our first goal to improving our situation is to reduce what we are using and throwing away. We need to move to a reusable way of life and ditch the single-use items.

Recycle Across America is a non-profit trying to improve the recycling rates across America, by providing information with best practices to reduce, reuse, refuse and recycle. They offer countless resources to help increase recycling rates and to take the guessing out of the recycling process.

Tips to Reduce Waste and Recycle Right

Recycling Facts

Recycling Toolkit

Resources for businesses, airports, stadiums and much more!

Here are a few simple ways you can recycle right:

  1. NO food, NO liquids, NO straws, NO plastic cups and NO plastic dishware in the recycling bin. 
  2. NEVER put your recyclables in plastic bags and never put any plastic bags in your regular recycling bin or recycling dumpster. Plastic bags and plastic wrap get jammed in recycling processing equipment, which causes recycling to be expensive to process.
  3. NO plastic bags, NO Styrofoam, and NO plastic wraps or wrappers should ever go in the recycling bin.
  4. Unless you have a clean cardboard pizza box, please do not put cheesy, oily pizza boxes in your recycling bin.   The oil, cheese, and sauce on the box can contaminate the cardboard. 
  5. Never put glass drinkware or window glass in your bin.  Recycle glass bottles and jars only.
  6. Put the plastic cap back on the empty plastic bottle or jug before you put it in the recycling bin.
  7.  Recycle all clean paper and all clean and flattened cardboard boxes. If you have time, please remove all tape and all plastic wrap that might be attached to the cardboard. They will accept tape on the cardboard, but the cardboard recycling processors will greatly appreciate it if you remove all plastic materials from the cardboard.
  8. Instead of wish-cycling, make sure every common recyclable such as metal cans, plastic bottles, plastic jugs, clean cardboard, and clean paper gets recycled.  And if you’re not sure about something, let it go to the landfill to avoid contamination.  
  9.  DO NOT THROW COMPOSTABLE PLASTICS IN RECYCLING BINS – compostable plastics such as PLA, are not recyclable and can actually contaminate good recycling. 
  10. Do not throw batteries or electronics in your recycle bin. Take them to the proper facilities to have them recycled properly.

“Without exception, recycling is the top action society can do to simultaneously improve: the environment, the economy, sustainable manufacturing and to prevent waste from going into oceans.”Recycle Across America

LET’S DO OUR PART!

Tomorrow, reusable takeout containers in Chicago.

Green & Grumpy: Your Guide to Sustainable Living

Day 218Green and Grumpy is a website with a great deal of information. They cover topics like recycling, climate change, yard and garden, reduce and reuse, green products and much more. Their tagline reads, “It ain’t easy being green. Practical sustainable living ideas for real, imperfect people.” And that’s why it’s such a great resource. They don’t expect you to do everything perfectly. They realize that people want to help the environment, but are not always sure how to do it. They give practical, useful information that people can use in their day to day lives. Information that will direct them to the best practices for a more environmentally friendly way of life.

Their articles include subjects like:

Do I Need to Rinse Recyclables?

Yes, recycling is broken. It’s still worth doing.

Biodegradable vs. Compostable – What the difference?

How to Waste Less Food

Can I Recycle Tea Tins, Coffee Cans and Cookie Tins?

I hope my daily posts on ways to save the planet are helpful, but I do think having more places to find information is important. The easier it is to understand how to live a more sustainable life, the easier it is to implement the changes needed to be successful in reaching your goals.

Tomorrow, an organization helping furnish homes for people exiting homelessness.