The final post in Expedition Education’s Earth Month Series and the most common suggestion among most Earth Lovers is to simply Recycle.
Ultimately, the idea behind recycling is to convert your waste into something that can be used again. It’s a very simple concept, however, it isn’t always easy to accomplish. Here are a few tips to aid in your recycling success:
Containers. Designate separate containers for your recycled goods! Depending on where you live you may need more containers than others. For example, residents of New York City must separate their paper products, from their plastic, from their glass; in many upstate New York towns such as where I live, all three of these items can be put in the same container seeing as they will be filtered out at the plant. In our household we have a garbage can with a clear bag in it designated for paper, plastic, and glass. Under the sink, we have a cardboard box for any bottles worth 5 cents and of course, we have a trash can (hoping soon to have a compost jar for our new community compost program as well!). For a user-friendly, comprehensive list of what you can recycle and how, click here. Another great suggestion, especially for families with children, is to attach pictures of what can go into certain bins to the bin itself. This makes it very easy for your child to comprehend what can go where; this skill will carry over into their lives outside of the walls of your home as well!
Upcycle. This means to take ‘waste’ and make something new out of it. This is often done with old furniture pieces; a little bit of sanding and staining can often make an old piece current. With this being said, there are many other things that can be upcycled as well! Pinterest is always a great place for DIY Upcycling inspiration. This is a great strategy to prevent waste by creating something new and beautiful out of something you may have other ways thrown away. Trying to do crafts and art projects with your children? Use unwanted household items to create your works of art (toilet paper rolls, old costume jewelry, fabrics, old crayons, etc.)! Have a few fashion items you’re just not feeling anymore? Think of a creative way to mix them all together into something new.
Use Recycled Products. There are plenty of companies that create products out of recycled material; preserve, pictured below, is a company that prides themselves on this concept. In my household, we are sure to purchase paper towels, toilet paper, food containers, and even our almond milk bottle made from recyclable material. There are plenty of other items that are created from recycled materials as well, for example, Keen and DAKINE both have a line of bags made from recycled materials; recycled toys, bicycles, and phone cases are other hot recycled items as well.
Recycling is one of the most common ways to ‘go green’!
I hope these suggestions help you to do your best to recycle.
Wondering what the plastics you recycle turn into?