Recycle or Compost – Tips
Ban the trash can. When products can no longer be used for their primary or even secondary ‘upcycled’ purpose, capture the embodied materials and energy by recycling or composting rather than tossing them in a landfill.
Make sure products and packages are sorted correctly. Recycle everything you can’t reuse, repurpose, upcycle, reclaim, refurbish or repair. Compost the food scraps.
The Three Chasing Arrows
Know why the Chasing Arrows recycling logo has three arrows? They stand for the three phases of the recycling process: sorting items for recycling, making new products from the recycled materials, and buying the new products made from the recycled materials. You can do your part every step of the way.
SORT FOR COLLECTION
Sort By Resin Number
Plastic items that are recyclable come with resin numbers that correspond to plastic type. You can decipher which plastics can be recycled in your area based on the resin numbers accepted by your recycling facility.
Recycle More Than Plastic
Bottles, cans, paper, many plastics, and even textiles, can all be recycled at the end of their useful life. Recycle vigilantly. Make sure you know what is recyclable in your community and sort it properly. Check Earth911 to learn more.
On your phone you can download iRecycle, a great app that can tell you how to recycle hundreds of items and where the closest facility that accepts these items is located.
BUY RECYCLED AND RECYCLABLE
Look for Products Made With Recycled Materials
Look for products and packages that are made from recycled materials. Unlike some recycled products of days gone by, today’s recycled product work just as well as their virgin counterparts. And some, like jewelry made from silver spoons, even old springs, can pack alot of emotional punch, especially if someone near and dear made it for you. See Kate Gloede’s post, Is it Time to Rethink Diamond Engagement Rings to learn more.
Get Rewards for Recycling
Many companies encourage consumers to return their used products and packaging so that they can be recycled. And they reward. Return your printer’s ink cartridges back to Staples and get cash back on a reward card. Return six primary packaging containers back to M-A-C, and they will give you a lipstick free!
Recyclebank is a fun and informative website where you can earn points for taking quizzes about recycling or taking action by recycling at home. The more good you do, the more points you earn. All the points are redeemable for real rewards, like discounts at your favorite restaurant!
A Bug You Can Really Love
Enlist red wigglers (worms) by giving them the food they crave — your leftover meals. Got some moldy bread or leftover banana peels? Throw those in the compost bin.
Red Wigglers worms will turn that uneaten food into black gold with which to fertilize your plants and nourish your garden.
Compost in the City
Think your apartment is too tiny for composting? Think again! This tip from Lauren Singer, of TrashisforTossers, is sure to turn any city-dweller into a composter. Collect all your food scraps in a brown paper bag and store it in the freezer to keep bugs and mold away. Freezing compostable items also combats the waste from smelling bad. When your bag is full, find a curbside down-off spot in your city and add your compost to the pile. Click here for drop-off locations in NYC.
Got a terrace or roof top? Turn it into a super-productive environment by making homemade compost from your food scraps. Marja shares some tips for how to get started in her post, Composting On An Urban Terrace.
Compost at Events
Even arenas for concerts and sporting events are incorporating composting into their events, which you can read more about composting at the London Olympics in Miranda’s post, Composting Our Way to a Zero-Waste Olympics.
If you’ve dedicated your life to living sustainably, why not go for a eco-friendly burial? Check out this post by Miranda Farley on the “Ultimate Way to ‘Go’ Green.”