Small Change | 8

A series to encourage making one small change to preserve our planet. “There is no such thing as ‘away.’ When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.” ~ Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff

Know Your City's Recycling Policies | the beauty in simpleSmall change #8: Know your city’s recycling policies.

I was digging through my neighbors’ recycling bins in search of cardboard for a gardening project. I found cardboard, but I also found a lot of stuff that isn’t accepted in my city’s recycling program. There were plastic bags, Starbucks drink cups, Styrofoam containers, plastic lids, and bubble wrap, to name a few. There were containers with food, beverage, and other household product residue, and cardboard boxes that hadn’t been broken down. In my city (and probably yours too) we’re instructed to rinse containers, remove lids, and breakdown cardboard.

By not sorting and properly preparing our garbage we’re making a mess. We’re creating a less efficient and more expensive system, and giving ourselves of false sense of the amount of waste we produce.

Know Your City's Recycling Policies | the beauty in simpleIf your city has a recycling program, learn, and respect their policies. Chances are they have an infographic that you can print and tape to your fridge, the inside of the cabinet where the bin is housed, or some other convenient place. And if I may add – consider recycling a last resort and start taking steps towards zero waste living.

4 thoughts on “Small Change | 8

  1. Yes.. see this all the time!! People need to pay attention and be thoughtful in this area. Must be so frustrating for the recycling workers..

    1. I can just imagine how many recyclable materials end up in the landfill because of people’s carelessness. It’s disconcerting.

  2. Julie, Thank you for your recycling tips. I evidently needed them. What is in paper cups and plates that make them not recyclable. Loved your recipe for Lip Balm and cream. I keep it in the kitchen and use it all the time. Curt users it too. The only drawback is that Allie our dog loves the aroma too.

    1. I’ve been curious how your balm turned out. I’m glad you like it! You can feel good about Allie licking your hands because there is nothing in the balm that can harm her. Pepper also loves my balms and lotions. I can’t say for sure why paper cups and plates aren’t recyclable, but I think it has to do with them being lined with plastic. I’m glad you learned something about recycling. 🙂

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