Easy Peasy Sustainability

by Amy on August 13, 2015

Want to live more sustainably?Blue Recycling Bins

Want the easiest way?

Start recycling! If you already recycle then increase what you are doing now.

Philly’s doing it…follow their lead. During FY2015, Philadelphians recycled almost 120,000 tons of single stream recyclables – that’s a 140% increase over the start of the program in 2007.

Recycling is good for the environment because it helps conserve natural resources and saves energy in manufacturing and acquiring raw materials.

The Philadelphia Recycling Office reports, “…that the accrued greenhouse gas reductions and energy savings from our curbside recycling efforts last year were equivalent to removing more than 60,000 cars off of our streets, and the annual electricity usage for almost 40,000 homes.” July 2015 Newsletter.

It is also good for the city budget and for you. For every ton of material recycled, Philly avoids a $60 tipping fee. RecycleRewardsStickerRecycling Rewards provides direct benefits to you through earned points for free or reduced cost services and products. It’s easy to sign up and easy to retrieve rewards. Sign up here: Recycle Rewards Sign Up Link Get your sticker, stick it on your bucket, and start earning points (actually it takes a really, really long time to get your sticker but don’t worry, you will start earning points anyway).

If you are confused about what can and can’t be recycled, check out recyclebycity. Why is that

From This From This To Raw Materials To Raw Materials

important? Because we are all collectively creating new raw materials and its important to keep the waste stream as clean as possible by recycling the right stuff. That means keeping things like plastic bags and other thin film plastic; Styrofoam cups and plates; food waste out; and garbage out of the blue bins!

What to do with that other stuff? Check out our guide to recycling other stuff including clothes, carpets, batteries and what have you.

Speaking of batteries, call2Recycle reports that so far in 2015, North America (US and Canada) have recycled more than 5.7 million pounds of batteries! Check out the location feature on the #call2Recycle website for places to recycle many types of batteries and cell phones – there are 6 drop off locations within a mile of my house….

….actually there are 6 call2Recycle stations and one battery drop off at Whole Foods.

Actually Whole Foods solves several recycling problems in one handy vestibule:

  • Plastic bags and other thin film?         Check

    Don't let you bags try to imitate a jellyfish! Recycle! Don’t let your bags try to imitate jellyfish! Recycle!

  • Batteries and Cell Phones?                 Check
  • Corks from all those wine bottles?     Check

Ugh all this schlepping and sorting, is a lot of work you say. One way to reduce the work is to #Precycle! And reduce the amount of potential waste coming in by changing your habits:

  • Keep recycling in mind while you shop for groceries and other products and choose products packaged in recycleable materials.
  • Do a mental Life Cycle Analysis. Before you buy, ask yourself; What will I do with this after I am done with it?
  • Borrow, find anew or trade instead of buying. Use the library to read the newest book, movie, newspaper or magazine; some libraries even have tool collections for check-out; trade books with friends; look in the back of the pantry for never used foodstuffs and make something new and different; know someone with an unused exer-cycle? Borrow it from them! Set up a community swap day and everyone will come away with something ‘new’.

It is great to look in your trash can on pick-up day and see one lonely bag in the bottom – makes the can lighter and brings home that fact that lots of waste has been diverted from the landfill. Of course the recycling bins might be a little heavy… but congratulate yourself that you have achieved your recycling goals.

 

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