10 Ways to Become a Recycling Master

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Hopefully, you already recycle at least some of the time. After all, Americans use more than 2,500,000 plastic bottles in a single hour- just think of the massive amount of trash that would result if a decent amount of those bottles weren’t recycled! And that doesn’t even take into consideration all the paper, glass, aluminum, and other substances we use and throw away every day.

Even if you regularly place plastic, glass, paper, and aluminum waste in your recycling bin instead of tossing it into the trash, there’s always room for improvement. Here are 10 great ways to become a master of recycling:

  1. Find out exactly what you are allowed to recycle in your city. This can vary widely from area to area. For example, in some locations you may only be allowed to recycle plastic item with the number 1 or 2 on the bottom, while in other areas you can recycle virtually any plastic bottle or tub. You can usually find out by looking up the website for your local recycling center or company. Many will even send you a handy chart to hang on the wall near your recycling bin.
  2. Find out your recycling style with this fun eco-quiz!
  3. Recycle your old electronics. Just because that old laptop or TV is broken beyond repair doesn’t mean it’s worthless and needs to go in a landfill. It most likely contains valuable parts that can be recycled or reused. Here is the EPA’s guide to recycling electronics if you’re curious how to get started.
  4. Donate or sell whatever unwanted household items you can. As long as something still works and isn’t damaged, stained, etc., you should be able to find a new home for it by donating it to a thrift store, listing it on the “free” section of Craigslist, or selling it online.
  5. Reduce your more frivolous purchases. The less extraneous stuff you buy, the less there is to throw away or recycle. Your bank account will thank you, too.
  6. Get into upcycling. Instead of tossing out your old furniture, clothes, books, or other items “upcycle” them into trendy decor objects or artwork. Pinterest is full of ideas for this.
  7. Rent or borrow items that you don’t use often instead of buying them, which leads to waste. Return the favor by lending out items to friends and family when needed.
  8. Drink out of a refillable water bottle instead of buying plastic bottles of water.
  9. Try composting your kitchen scraps instead of throwing them away. This is a great way to reduce waste and get into gardening at the same time.
  10. Recycle your old tires instead of letting them take up space at a landfill. Many tire retailers and auto shops have tire recycling programs. You can also try making cool crafts out of old tires, like this stylish ottoman.

Following these tips should take your recycling to the next level. Be sure to encourage your family to get in on the recycling action, too.