Simple Ways to Save the Planet

Some people may think that recycling is a burden or that their efforts alone won’t do much to improve our planet. Some people do not understand the impact of recycling and how it not only improves our environment but also reduces health risks. The average American produces up to 4.5 lbs. of trash every single day and 70% of that is thrown in the trash – not the recycling bin. When you think of recycling you may think of soda cans and water bottles but there is so much more! Paper products, the tray from your frozen dinner, even the dinner itself can all be recycled!

Most, if not all cities have some sort of recycling plan. Bins specifically designated for household recyclable trash can be issued to almost any homeowner with curbside pick up available. The obvious thing to throw in them would be soda cans and water bottles and even newspapers. But what else can go in there? If you have a local recycling office they will tell you how to determine what items are recyclable by their terms. Most plastic items from things like frozen dinners, containers that hold luncheon meat and baby food containers all have a small triangle with a number on the bottom of it. The company who does your recycling will tell you what numbers they accept.

Almost any paper product from your house is recyclable. Take that box that housed the frozen dinner – recyclable. Cereal boxes, magazines, junk mail – all recyclable. Milk cartons and well as the plastic milk containers are all recyclable. Almost anything you buy for your laundry is recyclable from the detergent box or bottle to the fabric softener to the box that contains the dryer sheets. Take a look at what you’re throwing out every day and you’ll find that a large portion of it can go into your recycling bin rather than the trash.

Recycling doesn’t end with paper, plastic and glass, however. Old computers can be sent back to the manufacturer where they will strip it of all it’s usable components and properly recycle the rest. Old cell phones can be donated to women’s shelters where they will repair any broken phones and then distribute them to women in need. Old TVs and other electronics can be sent to recycleforbreastcancer.org – they will send you a free shipping label for your item and then will repair and redistribute old items to those in need. If you have some old paint lying around you can contact local theaters to see if they’d like a paint donation. Radio Shack will take all old used up batteries and refurbish them. Many auto shops will take your old car batteries when you buy a new one so they can be recycled but if you do your own car work make sure to bring in old batteries for proper disposal.

Recycling is as easy as throwing out the garbage – you just need to know what bin to throw it in. It doesn’t take too much concentration and in the end it helps the environment. If everyone thought that they wouldn’t make a difference then nothing would get done. Anyone who recycles makes a difference – you may even get others to join in!

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