Have you ever stopped to think of all the trash that you go through on a daily basis? Tissue, shampoo bottles, foam food containers, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, plastic cups, utensils etc. I know for my household of two we literally empty our trash at least 1-2 times a day. That's just using the essentials we need to get through our day. To be honest, recycling wasn't part of my daily habits for a long time as I'm sure some of you can relate. We go through the routines of our day not giving a thought to where the things we are putting in our trash cans go. At least I didn't. It wasn't until last summer that I really started to notice and take stock in all the stuff we throw away. In our house, it's just the two of us, and we had a LOT of trash. I couldn't help but think if our tiny household of two had this much trash, how much was being churned out by the rest of the world on a daily basis?
It was that thought that got me to be more mindful of what and how we disposed of the products that come into our home. We just moved, and I knew that I first wanted to do something about our water. We drank TONS of bottled water and didn't recycle the bottles after using them. I know. I know. Shame on us. But hey! We've learned our lesson and are making some changes.
Not only is recycling plastic good for the environment, but it also inspires product innovation. I had no idea modern technology can allow used plastic bottles to be recycled into clothing like jackets. We've started being mindful of purchasing things that have already been recycled, like long-lasting decks, food storage containers and even some patio furniture. You can find products made from recycled materials more so nowadays, so it's up to us to bridge that gap and move from single use to reuse.
Also, the bottles you have laying around your home are begging for a second life once you've used them. Keep a mini bin in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room for those plastic products to be recycled. Just remember to give them a quick rinse and twist the caps back on before recycling.
Another thing that we have started doing is using reusable tote bags when we go to the grocery store. This helps cut down on our plastic use on the regular. There are times that we may leave our bags at home or in another car and do not have any to use. That's ok. We simply take the plastic bags home, empty them and store the plastic bags until we are able to take them to our local grocery store and properly recycle them to be reused again.
If you do have plastic bags at home, before you recycle them, think of things around your home that you can substitute with a plastic bag. Maybe your bathroom trash can, a waste bag to clean up after your pet, packing material, protect your plants during cold weather. Whatever it may be, there's always a way that you can reuse that bag before it ultimately needs to be recycled. If you can no longer reuse it, it may be time to recycle it. You can find recycling drop-off locations around your community by clicking the link here. No matter how you use your plastic items, be sure and give it a second life, and if not, recycle it to reduce your plastic consumption at home.
Be sure to checkout reuseplastics.org to find out more information on how you can help cut down your plastic footprint and go from single use to reuse today.