Did you know… According to the EPA, 75% of the American waste stream is recyclable, but we’re only recycling about 30% of it. Basically, we have a lot of work left to do; but if every person did a little more each day, the impact would be huge.
Recycling isn’t difficult — and you can do it at work, at the office, or even on-the-go! Here are a few tips to get you started:
TIP #01 No crumb wasted
Yes, food can technically be “recycled”. Composting is the natural process of turning food waste into soil nutrients; in turn enriching the ground and reducing methane emissions from landfills. Items that can be composted include: fruit and veggie waste (pulp, rinds and cores!), stale bread, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags and more. You only need three basic “ingredients” to start your compost pile: dry leaves, grass/greens and water. Compost directly into your yard — no bins required. No outdoor space? Use an indoor bin!
TIP #02 Trash vs recycling
Learn what items are accepted by the curbside recycling pickup in your municipality. Typically, all major recycling programs take paper and cardboard, aluminum, plastic bottles and glass. Beyond that, things can vary slightly by city, so be sure to read up on the recycling guidelines in your area. Also, at the beginning, knowing what you can/can’t recycle can be overwhelming, so it’s a good idea to have designated containers to help streamline the process. Divide your recyclable waste into glass, paper and plastic.
Where something is not, curbside recyclable, brands and companies are still offering green options. For example, Drinkfinity partnered with Loop Industries to create a recycling program that lets consumers mail back their used Pods to be recycled — at no additional cost. Loop Industries then uses patented technology to break down the Pods and reforms them into high purity, FDA-approved PET plastic, that may be used to create new Pods in the future.
TIP #03 Get crafty
With some creativity, anything is possible. Learn how to recycle old newspapers to make your own notebooks; collect wine corks to make a framed cork-board for your office; and melt down leftover crayon pieces together to create one, giant, multi-colored crayon. There’s no limit to your imagination — so, go crazy!
TIP #04 Tech counts too
Most people don’t realize that “e-waste” can — and should — be recycled. Think light bulbs, phones, batteries, TV sets and computers/laptops. Just don’t forget to look up environmentally safe solutions in your area when disposing these items.
TIP #05 Spread the word
Encourage friends, family and co-workers to recycle at home! Teach those around you how to recycle more effectively and take it to the next level by showing them how it’s done. Maybe put together a quick, simple “how-to” guide and e-mail it to your whole family, or set up labeled recycling bins in the kitchen or common areas at your workplace to make it easy on everyone.