Tips for Making Recycling Easy for the Family

Home recycling is one of the most environmentally conscious and eco-friendly activities one can engage in. The great thing about recycling is that it can be done with anything. From food leftovers, plastic containers, paper products, furniture , electrical goods – the list is endless.

We all know that recycling is important, and we must do it as much as we can to preserve our planet, but sometimes, life gets busy, and little details like waste disposal and keeping other trash in a separate bin may seem like a hassle. To make it easy for the family, you must create a recycling system that works around for everyone. Here are some tips on how you can make recycling easy for everyone at home:

1. Know what you can and cannot recycle.

Check your city or town’s website or give them a call to find out what can be recycled through your local waste management’s services. Make sure that your family knows what is acceptable in your city’s recycling program. Make a list (and if you need to, make an illustrated reminder for your smaller kids) about what can and can’t be put in the recycling bins.

Also, check with your local waste management service how the recycling must be sorted and what day it will be collected.

2. Set up a bin system.

Recycling bins

If you have the room, add a waste bin with two compartments for your kitchen – one is for general waste, and the other is for recycling. If you lack the space in the kitchen, a simple tub in the laundry area, basement, or garage can do the trick to throw your mixed recycling into.

Alternatively, it might work better for your family to keep small recycling bins near each wastebasket you have in the home – in the bedrooms, office, bathroom, etc. This is an easier option if you have a large house. Your child won’t probably take the extra work of going to the garage just to put the extra paper scraps she doesn’t need any more after making her school project. Putting recycling bins in every room ensures that everyone can easily access them if you need to put things you no longer use.

It’s also important to label the recycling bins properly to avoid confusion and ensure that the materials are separated appropriately.

3. Make it fun for the kids.

Starting children early on recycling can ensure that it becomes a habit for them and not a chore. Make it fun so they would participate in your recycling efforts.

Talk to your kids and teach them what goes where, and when you are throwing something, you can say out loud where something must go so they can imitate you.

Make a game or competition out of recycling. Have an incentive or star chart to get the ball rolling and for recycling to be habitual. Follow through and give a reward to your kids weekly or bi-monthly until it becomes a habit. This can work even if the kids are homeschooling , as it can be a great way to teach them recycling and housekeeping at the same time.

Tell them what happens to the recycling after it is collected. You can check out online and search for photos you can show to the kids.

4. Flatten plastic containers, cans, and cardboard boxes.

Flattening this stuff won’t take too long, and you will be able to fit a lot into your recycling bin.

5. Use reusable cloth bags when grocery shopping.

Reusable cloth grocery bag

Using reusable cloth bags is one of the ways to make recycling at home a lot easier. Paper bags only contribute to the depletion of the environment because it’s hard to recycle. A cloth bag can be used over and over again and makes recycling easier at home.

6. Use an old laundry basket for junk paper and old newspapers.

Instead of throwing out an old laundry basket, you can use it to put in old newspapers, junk mail, receipts, and magazines you won’t go through again. Once it’s placed at a convenient location like the laundry basket, it can be easier to bring things to recycling.

7. Find depots to give away dead computers and old phones.

Some office depots collect batteries, dead computers, and old cellphones with no charge. They will recycle these for free and dispose of all unusable materials for you. This can help make recycling at home much easier.

8. Use kitchen waste in the garden.

Another way of recycling is to collect kitchen leftovers and put them in your garden. Recycle food waste – leftovers, food scraps, vegetable, and fruit peelings, etc. – by using a composter. Some cities offer discounted composters, or you can bring them to your local garden center that offers composting.

Be sure to check with your city if they accept green waste, including fruits and vegetables, leaves, weeds, grass, sawdust, and untreated wood.

9. Schedule reminders for recycling day.

If you have a scheduling calendar at home, note the day when the recycling will be picked up. Prior to that day, remind your family to get the contents of the recycling bin together and out to the curb.

10. Buy stuff made from recycled material.

If you don’t have the time to recycle yourself and make something useful out of trash, the easiest way you can help is to buy stuff that other people or companies have recycled. There are even companies that devote themselves to manufacturing new items out of recyclable materials. Also, it’s a wise idea to buy secondhand to help make the most out of any material, be it cars, clothes, or appliances. Accepting hand-me-downs is an economical way to recycle, too.

11. Reconnect your family to nature.

When you have time on the weekends for some family bonding, choose to do this outdoors. Finding ways to enjoy nature and to make your children connected to it is essential. By instilling an appreciation of nature into your children, you are showing them what you’re trying to protect.

Bottom Line

Recycling is a big help to our planet, but unfortunately, many of us are too busy to participate in this activity. By recycling, you’re committing to cutting back waste and helping save our planet. Besides recycling, you can also choose and patronize organic products. Here’s a guide to organic living to help you start living healthier for yourself and the planet.