Here at Inspired Habitat, we’re all about a fresh new look on a whole-life approach to living green. We’re more about looking forward to what we can do to change the world of the future rather than looking back at what’s been done to the planet in the past. We’re all about being real, not radical. And we’re always learning, changing, and moving forward with an eye on tomorrow. With Earth Day approaching, we figured it was time to talk recycling again.
Recycling just makes sense. Products made from recycled materials not only use fewer resources to produce, but they also usually require less energy, and produce fewer harmful chemicals during the manufacturing process. Plus recycling keeps those materials out of the landfill. A single Pollywood Adirondack chair made from recycled HDPE keeps over 300 milk jugs (and similar plastics like detergent bottles) out of our landfills.
There’s no doubt about it, recycling is smart. Keep your recycling simple and smart with these five tips that stop the most common recycling missteps in their tracks.
- Assuming it’s not recyclable
Recycling methods have gotten more sophisticated in recent years. Check with your local collection agency for specifics, but many larger areas have curbside pickup for just about everything. That includes CDs, furniture, wine corks, and more.
- Tossing those bottle caps
In the past, bottle caps were not recyclable. That’s old-school thinking. Most recycling facilities in the US will take those bottles with their caps still on. Empty the bottle, crush it, replace the cap, and toss it in the recycling bin. As always, check with your local program for spcecifics.
- Putting dirty stuff in the recycling bin
As sophisticated as new systems are, they’ll still be thrown off if there’s soiled paper or cardboard in the batch. Grab that greasy pizza box and place the clean parts in the recycle bin. The rest can go in the trash (for now).
- Plastic bags
OK, we get it. Even in the best of circumstances, sometimes plastic bags happen. Unfortunately, there aren’t many options for dealing with these urban tumbleweeds. Do what you can to reduce your plastic bag use, and save up the few you do have until you can return them to a store or facility with a collection bin.
- Forgetting to repurpose
We’re all for recycling, but can that item have a second or even third life before it gets broken down and remade? This one depends on you, and there is no right or wrong answer. If you’re just not a DIY’er, then toss that stuff into the recycle bin so it can find a new life, then go shopping for your repurposed treasures at bambeco! Otherwise… check out Pinterest for some inspiration on transforming those yogurt containers and egg crates into seed starters.
For more information and recycling tips, or to find the recycling center nearest you, go to Earth 911. They’ve even got an app for that!