Take Part in America Recycles Day!

thDo you try to recycle but have trouble staying committed? Or are you not sure how to go about recycling? Fear not, you’re not alone! But recycling doesn’t have to be hard, read on to learn tips and tricks to make recycling easier, and some things you may not have known before.

Let’s start with the some interesting facts about recycling…
According to Recycle Across America

  • Glass can be recycled an infinite amount of times and never wear out and contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to remove the labels before recycling, they will burn off in the recycling process
  • Recycling a stack of newspapers three feet high saves one tree
  • Recycling one ton of plastic bottles creates enough energy to supply electricity for a two person household for one year

Is that enough to motivate you to recycle? Now lets look at some recycling tips and tricks…

  • When recycling cans, keep the tabs attached, it helps make sure that everything will be recycled and the tab won’t be lost in the recycling process. The same goes for plastic bottles and their caps, so crush the bottle up, put the lid back on and toss it into the recycling bin.
  • Repurpose cardboard boxes and paper shopping bags as recycling bins for inside the home. When you designate a specific container inside the home to collect recycling it is much easier to keep recyclable products out of the trash can. Once the container is full, you can easily transport everything to your outside recycling bin, container and all!
  • Don’t collect recyclables in a plastic bag!! Plastic bags such as trash bags or grocery bags are NOT recyclable in regular recycling. Plastic bags can slow down the recycling process by causing jams in machines or they can contaminate other products. But there is good news! Many grocery stores collect plastic bags to recycle them in the right way. Find out where to recycle plastic bags near you! Sandwich/snack baggies, newspaper and bread bags can be included too!
  • Styrofoam cups aren’t recyclable from home, but mosChick-Fil-A locations now feature special collection bins for styrofoam items.
  • Clearly mark your chosen recycling bin as “Recycling” to ensure that the collectors know which bin to empty, just make sure that you only put recyclable items in that bin.
  • Check out IWantToBeRecycled.org to learn what items are recyclable, how to recycle them and even what they will be recycled into.
  • Find a recycling center near you  to know where you can drop off your recycling items, or call 311 to learn about recycling pick up options.

Now that you know these tips to help make recycling easier you’re ready to become a committed recycler! And you’re ready just in time to celebrate America Recycles Day on November 15th!

You can learn how to eliminate some recyclable items from your house for good such as junk mail, phone books and more by clicking here. (HINT, it’s as simple as taking a picture with your smartphone!)

Some things to remember before you go…

  • Remember that every bit of recycling counts, so start small and work your way up!
  • There are more things that can be recycled than just paper, bottles and cans, you can visit IWantToBeRecycled.org to find out more.
  • Recycling isn’t just getting rid of your trash, you can up cycle old items into new! Click here for some ideas. Or hereOr here.

 

America Recycles Day is November 15th!

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“Reduce, Reuse & Recycle” is the everyday practice of most professional organizers.  At Go to Girl, we regularly encourage reuse of household items in our organizing projects.  Once clutter is reduced, we also set up systems to help our clients keep the clutter away.  So much of the clutter we see is paper – in every shape and form!  So, although America Recycles Day is several weeks away (Nov. 15th), we want to share a few easy and effective tips today to help make your recycling efforts easier.

Stop receiving junk mail in the snap of your smartphone camera!

Did you know that the average American household receives over 800 pieces of junk mail every year? While it fills recycling bins everywhere, it is also a persistent clutter issue that most people would love to eliminate from their home completely.  Well, you can do that with the PaperKarma app:

  1. Search for the PaperKarma app in the App Store or Google Play Store.
  2. Download the free app to your device.
  3. Take a picture of the address label on your unwanted junk mail (make sure to include the name of the mailer in the photo).
  4. Submit to PaperKarma.  They’ll do all of the work – even keeping track of your requests.

Watch this clip from the Today Show.  It demonstrates how easy it is to use PaperKarma.  It is effective too!  One of Go to Girl’s clients was able to eliminate the regular delivery of over 30 catalogs just by using this app.  Give it a try and start reducing the amount of junk mail coming into your home!

Are you still receiving the Yellow Pages?

Whenever the phone book is delivered, I wonder how they stay in business.  I also wonder how they justify printing so many books that are immediately tossed into the recycling bin.  Of course, if the publisher doesn’t know you don’t want the book, they will continue to deliver it year after year.

Opting out of the phone book is another fast and easy process. By visiting www.yellowpagesoptout.com you can easily register and choose to no longer receive the phone book.  Yellow Pages publishers know that there is no point in delivering a print directory to someone who does not want one.  So they provide the opt out service to stop or limit your receipt of the phone book.

Often clients will say they keep the phone book “just in case”.  Once we start talking about how they actually find products & services, clients realize there are many other ways to find what they need and admit the phone book is rarely used.  In these cases, it’s hard to justify storing the books when they are used so infrequently.

Do you want your sales receipt with that purchase?

The last time I bought Tic Tacs, my sales receipt from the drug store was almost as long as my arm.  It included coupons, advertisements, plus the ever present opportunity to take a survey and win lots of money.  It ended up in the trash.  Most of us are accustomed to taking a sales receipt with the smallest of purchases.  It is a habit we should consider breaking, and here is why:

Most cash register sales receipts are printed on thermal paper, which contains BPA.  Now, research conducted at the University of Missouri is reporting data about the hazards of the BPA on these receipts.  The chemicals on the paper are easily transferred through skin.  In particular, after using a hand lotion and touching a receipt printed on Thermal Paper, subjects showed a rapid increase of BPA in their blood.

Also, a New York Times article reported  “About 30 percent all thermal paper receipts enter the paper recycling stream.”  Recycled paper is processed and remade into other paper items such as: toilet paper, napkins and food packaging. Of course the BPA contamination says in the remade paper.

The EPA has been looking for alternatives to the use of BPA in thermal paper but until then, maybe we don’t need to take all of the receipts offered – especially if they’re going to end up as household clutter.  You can avoid thermal receipts by accepting email receipts as an alternative to printed copies. You can also decline your receipt at the gas pump and the ATM. Finally, do not put your thermal paper receipts in with your recycling as it contaminates all recycled paper.

Can I recycle this?

In researching for this issue, Go to Girl found another useful resource:  www.iwanttoberecycled.org.  Use this site to learn what is recyclable (or not), how to recycle it and what recycled products are made into!  Check it out!