Depending where you live, recycling at home can make a substantial difference to the environment for future generations. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the recycling average is right under 30 percent nation-wide. Recycling at your apartment is a great way individuals can make a difference on both a local and global scale.
Here are six tips for easy recycling at home so you can kick start your efforts and improve our planet for the better.
Tip #1: Sorting
Check into your city’s recycling policies to see what items can be recycled and how to go about doing it. Some cities need you to separate plastic from glass or aluminum and some cities need you to use certain types of bags. Every where is different. Set up a recycling station in your apartment so you will place each item in the correct place such as paper and cardboard, plastics, glass and aluminum. Label each container and make sure each bin has a lid to avoid unwanted smells.
Tip #2: Local drop-off locations
Research a drop off center in your city where you can safely dispose of batteries, metals, light-bulbs and electronics. If you have an old cell phone or computer, consider donating it to someone in need or selling it. Many electronic stores also have drop-off kiosks where you can recycle broken or unused electronics.
Tip #3: Rinse items
Rinse and remove any leftover food from all bottles, tins and other recyclable items before placing them in your recycling bins. There is no need to thoroughly clean everything or use a lot of water, just a light rinse is all you need to ensure that your containers remain dry.
Tip #4: Re-use
DIY recycling projects are a fun and creative way to re-use your old items and put them to a new use. Whether it’s decorative or practical, it’s just another way to minimize your impact on our planet. Another way is to wash and re-use ziplock bags or glass jars to be used again and again.
Tip #5: Bring your own bags
Bringing your own bag when you shop is an effective way to limit plastic in our communities. Many stores will even give you a small discount for doing so. If you do take plastic bags, most grocery stores and recycling centers have bins where customers can drop off used plastic bags for recycling.
Tip #6: Buy recycled
Choosing products that we bring into our homes that are made and packaged with recycled materials is a great way to limit our impact. Products that can be commonly found that are made with recycled materials include boxes for food items, bottles that contain soap or other household cleaners—check out this all natural brand— and even furniture.
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