Do you not bother recycling? Not only is recycling mandatory in many areas, but it's also the responsible thing to do. If we just throw everything away, it creates two major problems. Firstly, there will be an enormous amount of garbage to dispose of (very bad news for the planet). Secondly, we have to use more and more resources to create items, and these will simply end up in landfill. So it's time to get into the habit of recycling - and here's how …
Start by organising a recycling area in your home; having dedicated bins or boxes for each type of recycling will save time and make it very simple. In or near the kitchen is best, as you can put items straight in after using them. Be sure to keep your recycling zone clean, so that it doesn't attract vermin or put you off recycling.
Check what can be recycled, rather just throwing items in. It pays to know your local rules on what you can recycle; it's particularly confusing if you move from one area to another, as each one may have different rules on what can be recycled, and how they are sorted. Don't just assume that something is recyclable.
It's also best to buy products with the least amount of packaging possible. Even if something is recyclable, the recycling process still uses energy. So the best option is to not create recycling in the first place, or at least minimise it. Refuse a bag in stores if you don't need one, especially those tiny plastic bags that are too small to be reused for anything.
Some think that it's a waste of water to wash out anything you're going to recycle, such as cans and plastic pots. But if you don't, your recycling boxes will soon become pretty gross and attract flies! So rinse out all food containers before putting them in the recycling boxes. You don't need to use fresh water; the water you've washed dishes in will do.
Local authorities generally collect recycling like paper, plastic, glass and food waste. But what do you do with other items? You'll have to find a location to recycle things like electronics and textiles, but do try to do so, rather than just throw them away. Look on the website of your city council to find out where you can take these other items; in New York, grownyc.org has lots of useful suggestions.
While recycling is better than throwing garbage into landfill, reusing is better than recycling. Before you put something in your recycling boxes, consider whether someone else can make use of it. And try to acquire fewer possessions; we invariably have so much more than we actually need.
You don't want your recycling to pile up and take over the house. So make a note of when you need to put your recycling out; marking it on your calendar is a good way to remind yourself. If you don't have a doorstep collection, but take your recycling out to communal bins on any day, get into the habit of emptying the recycling as soon a sit fills up.
Follow these tips, and you'll soon get into the habit of recycling!
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