We know how important it is to recycle, but do we honestly do enough? I know we definitely don’t (or didn't). We have made a few changes to make it super easy for us to sort our rubbish, and make sure things go where they should go! Here are the steps we took, and the ones you should think about taking too;
1. Understand– Each council/authority treats recycling different depending on the facilities they have locally, so the best starting point do a bit of research! Most information can be found online, of course! If you’re in the UK the Recycle Now website is a pretty good reference. Put in your postcode and it will give you information on what you can recycle at home, it also shows you a map with all the recycle points close to you! BUT, I've found it isn't 100% accurate, it had a glass point missing that is in the car-park of our supermarket; so keep your eyes peeled too. If you are lucky to have a recycle bin provided at your home check what can go in there. Our recycle bin, for example, can take paper, most plastics and metal, but it wont take glass.
2. Organise – Once you’ve found where your recycling goes, you should have a better idea how you need to split your waste up; then it’s time to get organising. You might want to get a new kitchen bin, one that's split into sections to make sorting easier (http://www.homerecycling.co.uk/ has a good collection). I decided it would work better for us to make space in a kitchen cupboard and use two canvas bags (one for our green-recycle bin, one for glass), along with our regular waste bin. Take some time out to put a system in place where you rinse your tins, jars, cans and bottles before sorting. Squash what can be squashed to make extra room. Who’s responsibility is it to do what? Someone does the dishes, the other sorts out the recycling each day? How often are you going to visit your recycling centre? It’s mainly glass that we need to take away from the house; Glass is heavy and I’m weak so we take ours whenever we go to the supermarket.
3. Do it! – You might need to make tweaks to your new routine as you go, that’s fine! The whole point of planning your recycle routine is to make it easy for you. If you can see a short cut, take it. The most important thing is to stick to a routine and don’t let things build up. Do the little bits as you go. Rinsing out a tin of beans, removing jar lids and crushing plastic bottles takes no time at all. You will barely notice the difference.
4. Re-Think – Once you’ve got your recycling routine down, you might want to start thinking about how you can reduce your waste altogether. Although plastic is widely recyclable its production takes up 8% of the worlds oil in its production so why not use a sports bottle instead of buying bottled water? Shop at your local market to avoid excess food packaging. Carry a re-useable bag. Re-use glass jars for home-made pickles and jam. Opt-out of junk mail, switch to online bank statements and bills. Take clothes to charity shops. Use yoghurt pots as plant pots. Start to compost your food scraps. There are so many little every day things we can change that all add up! We're working on having a more reduce-it mindset.
5. Bask - In your awesome environmental awareness and pass your knowledge onto friends and family.