Some people like to say that recycling is too complicated for them to bother; but, what if you could make it as simple as throwing garbage into the right can? Here are just nine ways to save the planet without inconveniencing yourself or your family.
1. Label Your Bins
Don’t trust yourself to remember that the red bin is for plastic and the blue one is for aluminum. What’s more, do not ask your guests, neighbors or colleagues to understand a complicated personal system. Just label your bins with clear and easy-to-read signs so everyone can utilize them.
2. Recycle Your Cans
People have raised thousands of dollars just by turning in their soda cans instead of throwing them away. One man in Wisconsin actually paid for his grandson’s college tuition by recycling cans for more than a decade!
3. Donate Your Old Electronics
It’s a common misconception that you can only recycle paper and plastic. The EPA has a whole section of their website dedicated to “eCycling,” the practice of donating old and broken technology so it can be broken down and re-formatted into something new.
4. Buy Recycled Goods
Support local environmental efforts by buying recycled products. You can find clothes, toys, furniture and all kinds of paper goods that have been stamped with a seal of approval from recycling companies. Remember: If no one shops for recycled products, they will not be made at all, and the entire point of recycling will be moot.
5. Switch to Rechargeable Batteries
Did you know that a single rechargeable battery is worth 1,000 of the regular kind? Think of those 1,000 batteries cluttering up a dump the next time you are tempted to save a dollar by buying the generic kind. Not only are rechargeable batteries the better deal in the end, but they are also much more eco-friendly.
6. Say No to Plastic
Cut plastic out of your life. Go cold turkey. Use cloth shopping bags instead of plastic ones; switch to thermoses instead of plastic bottles; send emails and create digital portfolios instead of printing and collecting documents in plastic binders.
7. Use Both Sides of Your Paper Products
Do you go through post-it notes like water? Write on both sides before throwing them in the recycling bin. You can save several feet of landfill space and more than a dozen trees a year just by making full use of your paper. Ask your children to do the same with their homework.
8. Start a Garden
Gardens are great for the environment. For every tomato you grow yourself, you will lessen the demand for canned, shipped or plastic-wrapped ones. You can also feed the remains of your dinner to a compost pile and create your own self-sustaining cycle right there in the backyard.
9. Educate Yourself
At the end of the day, you can’t change the world without understanding how it currently operates. Subscribe to environmental newsletters or start reading the websites of gas exploration companies like Sentry Energy Production LLC. The more you educate yourself, the more you can use that knowledge to create a better world.
These are just nine tips for easier and more effective recycling. A cleaner Earth starts with you, so stop making excuses and go green today.