Friday, October 17, 2008

The R's

So this is the first recycling post that I promised awhile back. I'm not sure how many of these there will actually end up being, but here we go...

Of course, everyone has heard of the 3 R's - Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. They are in that order for a reason - first you REDUCE, then you REUSE, and then lastly, you RECYCLE. I will touch on each of them in future posts but I found the following here awhile back and love it because it takes the 3 R's even further:

Refuse what you don't need
Reduce what you do need
Reuse what you can't reduce
Recycle what you can't reuse
Rebuy (buy recycled) whenever possible.

Isn't that great? Maybe print it out and post it on your refrigerator or inspiration board. I love the addition of REFUSE what is unnecessary first before anything else, and then REBUY at the end, which is closing the loop on the whole process. I think alot of people go straight to recycling something, but that should be a last resort. Further, alot of people are recycling and think that is enough, but there is so much more that can easily be done to lessen our negative impact.

Some people are not even curbside recycling though and that makes me sad, when it's something so easy. Just call your city and see where to get some recycling containers. Normally they are free, but they might cost a small amount. Put them in your garage right near the door, or if you have the room and it's too far of a walk to your garage (or your apartment living), then set up a center in your kitchen and take it out once you pile up enough to warrant a trip. Your city should give you a list when you get your containers, but if not, go to their website and obtain a list of the recyclables they accept, because it truly is different with every city. Maybe post that on your refrigerator or somewhere convenient until you get down all the #'s. If you cannot find a # on the item or are unsure about something, then maybe call your city and ask about it specifically. You could also do a little searching online or drop me a question and I'll do my best to find the answer for you if I don't know it. Anyway, then take the bin(s) out to the curb on whatever day in your city, and then start all over again :). See, SO easy!

For you apartment or city dwellers, I know it's not always as easy maybe, but recycling can still be done! We did it for awhile and they did not offer any recycling, but we collected and drove to big recycling dumpsters every weekend to drop it all off. A little more work involved and obviously you have less room to collect, but still, it can be done. Our tiny laundry room was pretty full of recycling by the end of the week. :)

I know many kids LOVE being involved in it all too, which is such a great way for them to learn early on. Amy mentioned a great idea she had heard about regarding field trips to landfills - kind of sounds gross, but that is the point - to teach kids where stuff you throw away goes! Recycling centers would also be great to visit.

It's just so important to remember that not all waste is "trash" - the vast majority of it can either be recycled or composted! Even what most consider "trash" can be reused in some way, shape, or form - if not by you, then by someone in need. Recycling goes far beyond just curbside recycling as well, but I'll touch on that in future posts. There are SO many different layers of the "R's" that it's really hard for me to narrow it down, but I'm going to try, and hopefully we can all learn something along the way.

Have a fabulous weekend!!! I baked some fall goodness today for us to enjoy - pumpkin cranberry bread and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies - YUM!


maya said...

This is really clear, I'm putting it up on my front door - right next to my affirmation, "I am a really fast dishwasher." I don't think that's a gross field trip. Although, we also LOVE our sewer-to-wetlands tour around here. It starts at the waste treatment facility & ends in gorgeous, expansive wetlands filled with waterfowl & muskrats, beavers & foxes. I also love that she's walking! What a sweetheart. Mekhi, too, hasn't taken his first couple of steps. I haven't caught it on film, yet, though. If only you lived in CA...

Monica said...

So we have an issue at our house. What do you put shedded paper in so it doesn't blow all over the neighborhood when the recycle guy dumps it in his truck. We had shedded paper all over the yard last week. Is there anything?

beki said...

Thanks for this post. I've been thinking a lot about this lately. Unfortunately, I live in an area that does not have curbside recycling. I was talking to a friend about this, and he reminded me that is has to start with someone. I plan to research what I can do to get the ball rolling.

Angela Harris said...

Thank you for taking the time to explain it step by step. Isn't it amazing how easy it is to you and others just don't understand it. It's like I need a how to to get started. I'll be taking notes and trying to put them into action.

Thimbleina said...

I love to see posts on the 3 Rs.

My daughter's school often ask for things for their junk modelling(they do rather alot) so quite a bit of our stuff goes their. Clothes almost never get out of house unless they are being passed to someone else to wear, they either get cut up to make something else or if very stained and have holes then are used as clothes to wipe up things I might have previously used kitchen paper towel for (we haven't bought kitchen roll, clingfilm or tin foil for a long time now)