Tuesday, January 15, 2019

New Recycling Solution

One of my goals for the new year is to 
improve our recycling efforts for 2019.
We've been recycling for quite a while,
but recent changes have enticed me to rethink our system.
We stopped our private curbside garbage pick-up when they ended their recycling program.
Since our county still recycles, but doesn't offer curbside pick-up for our area,
we are responsible for bringing our trash and recycled items to the dump.
It didn't make sense to me to pay for trash pick-up
if we would still have to visit the dump to recycle our household items.
By visiting the trash station every week,
it really made an impression on me.
So much garbage, and it just keeps coming!

With the news that many countries that formerly accepted our recyclables 
will not continue to do so,
it's imperative that we find another solution.
Even though we are still personally working to recycle as much as possible,
seeing all the garbage being left there
(many things that could be recycled),
made me want to do more.

So, for 2019, I have a three-tiered approach
to decrease even our recycled items.

1.  When making purchases, pay attention to packaging.
Buy in bulk when possible or purchase items with the least amount of packaging possible.
Of course, we already bring our own bags when going shopping.
Just say no to those plastic bags!

2.  Although it is ultra convenient, order less online.
Buying local allows you to have a bit more control over packaging
because boxes and packing materials aren't necessary.
This not only helps the environment,
but it's better for the local economy.
3.  Whenever possible, bring your own containers to stores for purchases,
or personal dishes, bowls or jars for take-away food from restaurants.
The benefit of the latter idea is that it can save the eatery money 
on take-away containers.

Here is a great website to help us all do a better job of recycling.
From their website:
"Variation in recycling programs, unclear labeling, and inaccurate recyclability claims 
make proper recycling a challenge. 
The How2Recycle label was created to provide consistent and transparent 
on-package recycling information to consumers in North America."

They have some great info on their website
and search engines to find out what's available in your area.
For instance, did you know that there are designated store drop-off locations
where you can bring air pillows, stretchy plastic, bread wrappers and food storage bags?
Since most community recycle programs don't take these items,
it's good to know that there is a place conveniently located
that will pass them on to the proper place.

We shop at the big box stores as infrequently as possible,
but at least it's good to know that they are participating
in this program and are readily available to take these items.

We may not be able to completely do away with plastic,
but I am thankful that we can responsibly recycle most of what we use.

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