In many cities, there are recycling systems in full swing, which certainly makes the lives of those hoping to lead a greener life easier. However, in many cities, the recycling system is still for the birds. For people that live in these areas, it can seem hopeless. Recycling is certainly a lot more challenging and it requires people to have to deal with the issue practically on their own. Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to help make the recycling system work for you without spending a small fortune. With these ten ideas, you should be able to find the perfect way to recycle so that you can leave less of a carbon footprint while also embracing a greener lifestyle.
1. Create Your Own System
If your city doesn’t have a ready recycling system for the public then work to create your own. One way to do this is to set up a variety of different trash cans to sift through your garbage. You can look to see what recycling centers are in your area, so you will know which items you can work with. Once you have your system in place, then keep recycling until you fill your bins up. Then, drive the items to the nearest recycling center yourself. This might seem like a lot of work, but when you get into the routine of it then you might not have an issue. You can even turn the event into a treat by grabbing an ice cream cone or other treats to celebrate recycling, which can help train children to want to recycle too.
2. Research Facilities
One of the key ways to learn more about recycling in your area is to research facilities. There are many websites that will give you information on recycling facilities across the nation. This will allow you to come up with a game plan when it comes to dropping off the recycling you collect. You might even learn how you can support these facilities to help improve the recycling in your community overall. Often, there are volunteer or fundraising opportunities you can enjoy. This will also give you an idea as to what you can actually recycle, as some facilities might not be able to take certain items. You might also learn about recycling in ways you never thought possible. For instance, you can actually send in old markers to Crayola, so they don’t fill up landfills. This type of recycling is just as efficient and will allow you to change the world one step at a time.
3. Know What Can Be Recycled
Half the battle of recycling in any community is actually knowing what can be recycled. A lot of people feel that just about anything in a category can be recycled, which can cause a major problem when it reaches the recycling facility. Often, this means that the operators must sift back through the items and throw away anything that doesn’t belong. This can cost the facility quite a bit of money too, which is definitely harmful when it comes to facilities with very little funding. So, before you toss something in the recycling bin, make sure it can be recycled in your area. There are usually labels on plastic, which will make it easier for you to figure out what can be recycled. You should also separate these into their separate numbers unless otherwise specified. The more you know about the recycling in your community, the better off you and the recycling facility will be.
4. Shop Wisely
Another major step you can take when recycle is to be mindful when you do go shopping. You might look at a product and consider its recyclability. Some plastics can’t be recycled at all, while some products offer way too much packing. Try to consider the best way to approach buying each item. You might even look for stores that allow you to bring in your own bags for items like dried beans, cereals and so much more. Before you know it, you’ll have limited your wastes, which will mean worrying less about recycling.
5. Alternative Uses
Sometimes, recycling isn’t an option. May it be the type of plastic or something that is just old and worn out that could never have been recycled anyway. When it comes to items like these, or even items that can be recycled, you might consider trying to reuse the item for something else. For instance, if you have a bunch of glass bottles or jars, you can easily transform them into unique crafts, storage or even containers for other food. The same can be said of boxes, papers, and other recyclable items. Before you know it, your first instinct will be to wonder what you can make your trash into opposed to how you should dispose of it. This mindset will certainly lessen your carbon footprint but might also lead you to enjoy a crafting project that could earn you some extra money.
6. Get Active
Part of the problem with recycling in communities that don’t have support, is there are not enough voices to make recycling a priority. In order to improve your recycling facilities, you have to be active. You can start by writing your local and state officials to make it known that recycling is the future. You can also pass around flyers and educational materials to encourage others to do so too. The more people that know about recycling and how it can change the planet, the more support you will receive. You might also run panels to talk about it. This will help more than you know. As the government sees a demand for the facility then chances are, they might start budgeting towards building or upgrading a facility in the area.
7. Form a Recycling Club
Recycling doesn’t have to be a solo activity. If you can find more people that are interested in recycling, then you might consider forming a club. Club members can take some time out of the month to pick up recycling throughout the community. If everyone pays some dues, then it should be enough to transport the recycling to the local facility. The club can also help spread the word about recycling in hopes that others might catch on. You may even find that people will gladly jump in if only a group is readily available to help them out. Best of all, your club will have the numbers needed to keep up with petitions and requests for better recycling facilities and services.
One of the key elements to getting a better recycling center is funds. Generally, funds aren’t available for these things because the government would prefer to use them elsewhere. This can be a major problem if you are hanging onto the hope of getting a facility in your area. Instead of just waiting around, you might start by starting up some fundraisers. Talk to local officials, so they understand your goal and are willing to work with you. You might find that companies, news stations, and even radio stations will help get the word around. You may even have other people willing to help you fundraise in new and exciting ways, which will help your contribution to the new or upgraded service grow.
9. Properly Dispose of Electronics
Recycling isn’t all about plastics, papers, cans, and cardboard. You can actually recycle your electronics too. As a matter of fact, you’re supposed to do this. However, a lot of people have never really known about the rule, so these items continue to build up in landfills. Recycling your electronics doesn’t have to be as tough as it sounds though. All you have to do is look up a facility, or even a store, that takes the items. Sometimes, there will even be a special period of time to drop off all of your old gadgets at a store for recycling. You might have to pay a small fee to do this, but it will be much cheaper than the fine you might get if you’re caught throwing the items away.
A lot of people don’t consider doing anything with leftover food either. However, you can really reduce the amount of waste you send out each month by composting your food wastes. This doesn’t mean you should throw out everything leftover from dinner though. Instead, try to make the most out of your meal by eating the leftovers or transforming them into another meal. The items that do go bad can be tossed in compost in most cases. This special storage area will help transform the food you don’t want into fertilizer that you can use in your garden or sell to others that can’t compost. There’s lots of helpful tips online so you can find the best way to compost in your space. You can even buy an indoor composter that works almost instantly, but you’ll have to spend some money on this device.
As our planet changes, it is increasingly clear that we need to try harder to recycle and do better for the world we live in. This might not seem easy if you find yourself in a community that doesn’t offer recycling in a readily available way. These tips will help make recycling a bit easier for you, so you won’t have to stress out over not doing your part to keep the planet cleaner.