"With enough practice and enough opportunities, we will look at all areas of our life through green-colored glasses."
As winter approaches we can look forward to more time spent inside on school projects and indoor weekend projects. Plan on taking some of this time setting up recycling stations around your house to catch things you may otherwise just toss without much thought.
The trick to setting up for recycling throughout your home according to Helen Coronato in Eco Friendly Homes " is to have systems in place so when a family member is holding an unwanted item in his hand thinking “What do I do with this?” there is a receptacle ready and willing to answer the question."
Try one or two of these ideas or set up all 5 of them.
~ Ask your deli manager or a favorite neighborhood restaurant you frequent if you can have a few of their 5 lb buckets they receive their deliveries in. Once they are cleaned they make sturdy recycling containers to place in everyone's closets for clothes and shoes as they are outgrown. The buckets usually have handles which make it easy to periodically gather them up and donate the contents to your local shelters and other worthy community causes.
~ With school starting computer projects become weekly occurrences. Try a dual garbage can practice with one can for garbage and one can for paper. If your cans don't have lids use some left over cardboard and DYI your own lids so it isn't so easy to absentmindedly drop paper into the garbage cans. Be sure to tell the kids if the paper has any kind of food or grease on it throw it in the can designated for garbage.... it can't be recycled. 5 And while your at it create a designated tray holder for paper that can be used again, for instance if you haven't used both sides yet.
~ I don't know about you but our house has a drawer full of computer mouses (that don't work anymore) cell phones, keyboards and wires ( I have no idea what they might fit) and rechargeable batteries. Websites like greendisk.com handle "techno-trash" by reusing and recycling it. In an earlier blog I suggested having an office wide collection of broken and discarded cellphones but I bet your colleagues have a drawer just like ours and you can split the small but required shipping and handling charges! Once the drawer is empty if it is going to continue to be the designated place to hold such recyclables, place an old shoe box in the drawer with a lid that says "Techno-Trash" on it so everyone knows how to use it.
~ Create small stations in your bathrooms for empty shampoo bottles etc. No one is likely to walk dripping wet into the kitchen where the main recycling bins may be and so these items often find their way into the local bathroom garbage. The trick here is to empty these smaller bins during your weekly cleaning into the bigger ones you use so they don't stay full and unusable. And be sure to label them so all the family members know what to throw into them. If you have small children who don't read yet you could use pictures for labeling. Amazon sells several different sized of recycling cans.
~ Use a net laundry bag in your laundry room to hold those large containers of laundry soap and softeners etc... Hang the laundry bag by it's string anywhere it is convenient, from a hook placed behind a door or from a pipe in the basement. You can mix all kinds of recyclables from the laundry room and when it's full it's easy to carry to the main recycling containers you may have and separate out whatever is necessary.