Hot Tip #6 Recycling

(It’s been a while since my last Hot Tip but Justin and I are in full force recycling.)

There are many ways you can incorporate recycling into your life. And it’s not just plastics and pop cans, there are many other ways to recycle. Here are some of the easy one’s that we’ve done.

First, see if your local waste management company (your garbage peeps) offer recycling bins for weekly pick-up. Most cities now have them for free. Some offer just one bin. Others will give you different bins for different items (one for paper, one for glass, one for aluminum) to make sorting easier.

Paper – We read the newspaper every day. We get junk mail, bills, and magazine every day. This stuff piles up, seriously. Create a designated place to collect the paper. In Las Vegas, we got bins from Ikea and they fit perfectly in our pantry. Here in Minnesota, we’ve got what looks like a cedar chest (but isn’t) with a lid. It looks like a piece of furniture (and sometimes we use it as such) but it holds 2 weeks worth of recycling.

Don’t forget you can recycle your shredded bills and important documents (shred them first).

Plastics – All plastics have a designated number on the bottom of them. In Las Vegas and here, they only recycle numbers one and two. Anything else we have to throw away. But you don’t have to just toss them. You can reuse them for simple storage ideas (hair ties, sewing supplies, yo-yo parts, etc.). Water bottles will take up less space if they are collapsed. Always remove the lids when recycling them. Or better yet, just stop using plastic water bottles all together. Get one of these. Just make sure it’s BPA free. Oh, and not buying cases of bottled water will save you money too. Don’t forget that!

Aluminum – Or known up here as “pop cans” or in Texas “coke cans”. Whatever you call it, cans are the easiest thing to recycle. Just crush them up and toss them… into a designated box, bag (paper works great), or bin. Some recycling centers take soup cans too. Las Vegas did, Minnesota doesn’t. Too bad. If your area does, just make sure you rinse out your smelly tuna cans.

Once a month we have used motor oil pick up and once a year they pick up left-over household cleaners and solvents that you really shouldn’t dump down drains. Don’t do it. Just set them out in the garage for that pick up day.

Ok, those are the easy and obvious ones. There are other ways to recycle. Buy second hand instead of something new. Stores like Savers, Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Deseret Industries all get gently used clothing. A store like Savers is a “for profit” so some of their stuff is actually from department stores. Justin and I have scored some great fall clothes there. Jeans, pants, sweaters all for $30. Seriously.

Zip top bags can be replaced with fabric bags with velcro closures (for food storage). A great way to use up small fabric pieces and use less zip top bags.

Another way to use of fabric is to make a grocery tote. (which I’ve actually made).

There are many other ways to recycle and it might save you money too. Let me know what you are doing to recycle or if there’s anything I’ve missed that you are doing.

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