If you are looking to learn more about recycling, here we have 5 easy ways to improve your recycling at home. Recycling is talked about every day; whether in the news, on social media or with our family and friends, but it is still quite confusing at times as there are a lot of gray areas.
This confusion is due to several factors, mostly due to the fact that when we are sorting our waste at home, not all plastics can be recycled, or only a certain amount of the packaging can be recycled. Life is busy, convenience is king in these modern times, so the idea of trying to figure out what to put in our recycling bins or not can feel like a bottom of the list task.
Additionally, not all waste disposal centers/sites are able to recycle certain materials, meaning it adds to the task of the recycling process and again it gets pushed further down the list. There have been strides over recent years in Canada to improve recycling efforts and awareness, but there is still a long way to go.
If you are keen to recycle and learn more about it, but don’t want the hassle, here are 5 ways to improve your recycling and build good habits that will, in time, become an easy part of your routine.
Learn what can and can’t be recycled- improve your knowledge
Education is key. Knowing what can and can’t be recycled, especially in your area, will help you massively long term! It will take a bit of research initially, but set aside some time to look up your area and local recycling/waste disposal center and see what they do or don’t accept. Then, when you do your food shopping, take a look at the packaging and see what can and can’t be recycled. If it helps, make a note and leave it somewhere it can’t be missed, so that when it’s time to throw the materials away, you know where they need to go! It seems like a lot of effort, but in time it’ll feel like part of your normal routine!
Have separate waste containers to separate general waste and recycling
Separating waste is made much easier if there are different containers/bags to put it in. Most likely you’ll have your general waste bin, but having an additional bin/container for plastics and cardboard materials will aid in your recycling journey. Also it saves you from having to sift through the general waste bin to get the recycling out.
Cleaning out containers improves recycling
Another easy way to improve your recycling and recycling habits, is to clean out jars and containers before putting them in for recycling. While this doesn’t necessarily help you, it helps the environment and people working at the recycling centers. Jars and containers that still have food/residue in them, cannot be recycled as they’re contaminated. Washing them out ensures the process can be carried out properly and less waste is sent to landfill.
Get your kids involved with recycling
Recycling doesn’t have to be a daunting, lonely task. If you have kids or other kids in the family, your friends’ kids, get them involved! Teach them what you have learnt about recycling, or learn together. This is a really great way to introduce future generations to recycling and start awareness and education early. Make it fun by creating games together.
Reuse and reduce!
The final tip is to reuse and reduce! We all go through stages of having massive clearouts at home, often without much thought as to where our discarded belongings end up. When decluttering/organizing, think about how various items could be reused or upcycled, or given to family and friends rather than thrown away. Reducing what we consume in terms of items can be helped by shopping second hand or by looking at what we already own. Reducing and reusing contributes less waste being sent to landfill and the oceans, which is awesome!
The important point to remember is it’s not about being perfect; any and all attempts at recycling and improving our individual sustainability journeys contribute to the overall big picture. Starting with these 5 ways to improve your recycling efforts will take time, but it will be worth it.