Sunday, June 3, 2012

Recycling and Composting

I am not a tree-hugger by any means--I'm more of a tree-petter.  I love trees and the woods and the environment in general!  However, I am VERY ashamed to say that I didn't get on the recycling and composting bandwagon until April of this year.  Sad, I know--better late than never I suppose!

Nothing really spurred me into action--I just went and bought a second trash can which turned into the recycling can.  I fill up the can, and then I bundle the recyclables and take them to my local co-op.  Our apartment doesn't have a recycling program although I could encourage them too--hmmm...  The really great aspect of my recycling is that nothing has to be separated!  That makes life so much easier! 

Anything with the trademark recycle symbol can be recycled.  If you are wondering why some have numbers (usually plastic items) it's because that is the classification of plastic.  Just make sure that all items have been rinsed out, and I usually try and flatten as much as possible.  Researching this has led me to the answer of my burning question: are Ziploc bags (and their generic brands) recyclable?  The answer is YES: if the community recycles plastic classification #4. 

If you didn't know, you can also recycle old computers, electronics, batteries, engine oil...  The list is endless!!!  Please check with your local waste management company for drop-off locations!

With my recycling endeavors, I have also started composting.  This is a HUGE deal for me; I make most of my meals (about 98%) from scratch which means lots of biodegradable and compostable materials such as onion skins, vegetables trimmings, egg shells, and fruit trimmings.  My grandparents started composting at their house about two years ago (again--I know--a little late) so I fill my compost bucket, and when I see them for my weekly visit, I drop off the compost.  Sometimes, we don't see each other (or I have lots of compost) so I freeze the compost until I can dispose of it.

Having started recycling and composting, I am ASTOUNDED by the amount of 'trash' I have reduced in my apartment; we went from 3-4 full trash bags a week to just one!  AMAZING!  I also create about a gallon of compost and two bags of recycling.  I feel awesome just being able to do this small change in my life to help the planet and environment!

If you have any questions or want to start recycling and composting in your own home, please visit EPA Waste Conserve for more information!  Don't worry if you don't have wonderful, composting grandparents like me!  The EPA website under "Practice Composting" has a link for local and regional composting programs.  Heck, you could start one yourself too!

I challenge you to start recycling and/or composting if you don't already!  If you do, how long have you recycled and/or composted?
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