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Revamp your recycling for Earth Day

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

Start a better recycling routine

Sure, you recycle. But are you really efficient? Learn how to fine-tune your recycling habits to make more out of your contributions to saving the environment.

Woman shopping at thrift store

Start a better
recycling routine

Sure, you recycle. But are you really efficient? Learn how to fine-tune your recycling habits to make more out of your contributions to saving the environment.

You’ve organized your recycling routine and gotten your family on board. Now you’re ready to level up in recycling. This Earth Day, learn how to revamp your recycling to do even more for the planet.

Think outside the bins

Recycling goes beyond remembering to toss your plastic, aluminum, glass and paper into organized bins for municipal pickup. Increase the scope of your family’s recycling to include other materials.

  • Bring batteries and electronics to a recycling center.
  • Consider collecting rainwater to water your garden and houseplants.
  • Start composting to convert kitchen and yard scraps into fertilizer.
  • Incorporate items like glass food jars into your crafting and gift giving.
  • Take plastic shopping bags to your local grocery store for recycling.

Remember to reduce

You’ve learned how to finally organize your recycling and you’re doing better when it comes to the waste your family produces. But what about reducing and reusing? Decrease your family’s consumption with a few ways to reduce waste.

  • Use your local library instead of purchasing books and other media.
  • Remove yourself from junk mail and phone book distribution lists.
  • Switch to reusable materials for leftovers and lunch boxes.
  • Shop consignment and give local shops your business.
  • Use appliances that conserve water and energy.

DIY compost bin

Making your own compost requires a bit of practice but it doesn't have to mean spending big bucks on a fancy machine. Click here for a tutorial!

Shop for recycled items

You can reduce your consumption, but it’s almost impossible to completely stop shopping for new items. When you do need to purchase new goods, look for products that are derived from recycled materials.

  • Buy toothbrushes made from recycled plastic.
  • Shop for toys made of recycled plastic.
  • When you buy gifts, look for handmade items made of recycled goods.
  • Use recycled paper to send mail and greeting cards.
  • Look into the recycling habits of stores and corporations you give your business to.

Go big when you recycle

Your household may have a great recycling routine, but what about your community? Become an activist for better recycling habits in the community around you. Start small and watch the ripples spread.

  • Encourage recycling at the workplace. Learn how to go green in the office.
  • Talk to friends and family about how easy it is to recycle.
  • Ask your child’s school about campus recycling habits and how you can help.
  • Organize a recycling awareness event. Try to get corporate sponsors involved.
  • Be helpful and encouraging, not judgmental — few people respond well to a lecture.

More recycling tips

How to recycle household electronics
10 Fab alternatives to throwing it away
4 Things you didn't know you could recycle

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