There are many ways we can have a positive impact on our environment, especially if we follow the simple guide to reduce, reuse, and recycle! When you reduce your consumption of energy it helps save on your utility bill and your pocket book. There are many other areas of daily living where we can apply the simply concept of “Reduce” to benefit our environment.
We all produce trash that is hauled off by the waste management companies to a landfill. Reducing the amount of garbage your household disposes of is a first step. This can be accomplished by removing any recyclable material from your garbage. Set up a recycling system to separate the different recycling materials. Three basic recycling bins will serve most households, paper, glass, and cans.
Tossing your paper into a recycled paper bin is easy to do, so why do so many people throw it into the garbage to clog the landfills with usable materials? Habit. But habits can be changed! Set aside an area for paper recycling. This is where you place your newspapers, junk mail (aha, there is a useful purpose for this irritant), any paper that you toss out, toss it in this pile. You can also flatten empty dry food boxes (cereal boxes, cardboard egg cartons, etc), paper towel and toilet paper tubes, tissue boxes, and toss them in your paper recycle bin.
Recycling aluminum cans is common, especially since they have a bounty on their return. While flattening aluminum cans can conserve space, check with your local recycling center to determine their requirements. Some recycling centers want the cans in their original shape. Not just soda cans and beer cans are recyclable; look for the recycling stamp on the can if you are not sure.
Clear empty jars are great for recycling. There is no need to remove the labels, but be sure and rinse them out before tossing in the recycle bin. Toss the caps into the can recycling bin.
Some communities have a curb side pick up service for the recyclables, which makes it easy to recycle. But what if there is no pick-up serviced offered in your area? Start a recycling program of your own!! Most people belong to at least one group, or organization, a church, a garden club, are involved with their children’s school, etc. With a little organization and a small group of volunteers, you can get other members to contribute to your recycling program, with the funds going to help the organization/group as an on-going fundraiser.
Written by Carol Culver De Leo