12 August 2010

Reduce, Recycle, Reuse


My boyfriend is CRAZY about recycling EVERYTHING! I'm all in favor of recycling and saving the earth, in fact I took it upon myself to develop a recycling center at work. However, sometimes he makes my head spin....for example recently I was reprimanded for not putting the empty toilet tissue roll in the paper recycling...really who is thinking of that when their scrambling for tissue because someone left only one square on the roll?! anyway...

We are lucky to live in a neighborhood that collects plastics #1-#7, all glass, tin/metal and all cardboard and paper products, so we are able to put everything in one bin, unsorted, easy-peasy! Unfortunately not all towns make recycling so easy, and recently I discovered that despite the fact that the water bottle your recycling says its a #1 plastic, the cap is not. So what do you do with all those items that your pick up service wont collect?

Here are some ideas and places to recycle that I'd love to share:

Whole Foods - last year Whole Foods started a recycling program with Preserve called Gimme 5 where they will collect your #5 plastics. #5 is commonly used in yogurt containers, syrup bottles, ketchup bottles, caps, straws, medicine bottles, bottle caps, etc. The Gimme5 program also collects/recycles Brita water filters. The store will send all the plastic to Preserve, who uses it to make household products including toothbrushes, razors, tableware, and kitchen products. Pretty cool right?!

Staples - Staples with collect and recycle your old ink and toner cartridges for free and even give you $3 Staples cash in return which you can use on anything in the store. Go here to read more. Additionally, Staples partners with Collective Good to offer free recycling of personal electronics such as mobile phones, PDAs, pagers, digital cameras, and chargers. They also offer free rechargeable battery recycling in partnership with the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation. Furthermore, for a small $10 free (which covers shipping and handling costs) Staples will recycling your old computers and monitors as well. WOW - Go Staples!

Plastic bags - Although I am a HUGE supporter of using reusable shopping bags, we are all bound to end up with a plastic bag now and again. If you haven't yet noticed, take a look around the entrances to your local grocery stores. Many are now collecting plastic bags to be recycled. Just drop them in the bin and you're on your way. Another idea is to donate the bags to local thrift stores and food banks who will use them to distribute goods to their customers. My local thrift store is always short on bags and thrilled to see people bring them in!

More ideas and tips to come.....

If you have any recycling ideas to share, please feel free to comment below!

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