By Terri Bennett
RISMEDIA, February 6, 2010—(MCT)—The easiest way to do your part and help the environment is to simply recycle. It’s also one of the most effective ways to conserve natural resources, create less pollution and reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill.
Seventy-five percent of the waste we generate in American homes is recyclable but less than 35% is actually making it to a recycling center. The following steps are simple practices you can put into place to help you do your part and make a habit of recycling.
Make It Easy: Most of us keep our recycling bins outside or in the garage, which isn’t always convenient. Put other containers throughout your home to serve as recycling bins—especially in places where it’s easy to forget to recycle. One of those places is the bathroom. Think of all the empty shampoo bottles, toilet paper rolls, and even those cardboard soap boxes that usually get tossed in the trash. In your home office, have another basket to collect paper for recycling. By spreading out small containers for recycling around the house, the entire family will be more inclined to think twice before throwing something in the garbage.
Know Your Numbers: All plastic containers have a little number inside recycling arrows located on the bottom which identifies the type of plastic used to make the product. Many local curbside recycling programs accept products marked with a No. 1 or No. 2 but some take all seven types of plastic.
It Makes Cents: Throwing aluminum cans in the trash is like throwing money out the window. Recycled aluminum is turned into new cans in less than 90 days and it can be recycled over and over again. It takes 95% less energy to make a can from recycled materials and produces 97% less water pollution. So choose beverages in aluminum and recycle every can.
Speak With Your Wallet: Filling your curbside-recycling bin is just the beginning. Complete the circle by seeking out products made from recycled content—especially post-consumer content. That’s the materials you recycle and not the scraps on factory floors.
(c) 2010, The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.).