Many people have great intentions of recycling more in the New Year. But how do you make a well-meaning intention turn into a focused action and habit? Whether you are trying to make changes at home, work, or in your business, here are some tips for taking action with recycling more in the New Year and being kinder to the earth.
Make it Happen: Recycle More in the New Year
The idea of just “recycling more” can be overwhelming, so it can be good to just focus on one or two areas that need improvement. Carton recycling, for instance, (like milk cartons and juice boxes) are able to be recycled, but some people are still throwing them in the trash. To encourage workplace recycling, employee break rooms, copier rooms, and wherever there is a printer, should include recycling bins for office paper and newspaper.
MAKE IT EASY
Making it easy for your family or employees to recycle is key. Consider where the recycling bins are located. Is it easier for someone to quickly throw the recyclable in the trash rather than in the recycling? Do the recyclables need to be sorted or do they go in a single-stream bin? Do recyclables from the bathroom tend to go in the garbage can? Consider adding a small can for recycling in areas that need it. Make a list of all the ways that you can make recycling easier for everyone, and try to implement them gradually.
DON’T JUST RECYCLE – REDUCE
Recycling is awesome. But, reducing how much you are using in the first place is even better!
- Instead of recycling junk mail, unsubscribe to it.
- Instead of using plastic bags from the store, bring your own reusable bags.
- Instead of buying bottled water, use a re-usable water bottle.
- Instead of throwing away old furniture, clothes, and household items – donate, repair, or upcycle!
Saying that you are going to recycle more in the New Year is not enough. You need to hold yourself (or your family or team) accountable so that everyone is working together and helping each other make positive environmental changes. After a week, month, or quarter (or after each recycling pick-up) evaluate if you recycled more or created less waste, then strive to make progress for the next round. Letting your friends and family in on your goal helps to make you accountable too.
With a goal for recycling more and reducing waste, you can make big changes, not just for the environment, but also for your household or workplace. You may find that your family is able to save money because you can downsize your trash can. Businesses who bale their recyclables and compact their trash also see major declines in their trash hauling bill (like this Nursing Home facility, for instance), as their trash doesn’t require as many pick-ups.
Whatever you green goals and New Years resolutions are for the New Year, we wish you great success! At LARA, one of our goals is to continue to educate entities worldwide about recycling to make recycling easier and more efficient for the people, and the earth a greener place.