Learning to adopt a daily recycle habit is easier than many other beneficial behaviors. Compared to quitting smoking, becoming a thoroughly positive person, or going back to college after years away from school, helping to create a healthy environment is a walk in the park.
Establishing the Recycle Habit
You may have heard that new habits can be formed in as little as 10 to 14 days. Everyday conservation and recycling can fit into this fast and easy time frame. These few tips will make it even easier and successful.
Simple Recycling Suggestions
- Get everyone involved. If you have a spouse and/or family, get them all involved, even small children. After a short period, everyone in your household will be consistent recyclers.
- Locate a good area for recycle bins. While you needn’t prominently display your recycle bins, put them in a convenient place to promote the recycling habit and make it convenient to regularly (daily is good) deposit your goodies.
- Learn to identify types of plastic (marked on bottom of containers). Many plastic products are recyclable, but some are not. Plastic containers come with their “code” number at or near the bottom. Learn which are recycling candidates and which are not. If possible, reuse those that cannot be recycled.
- Do it daily. Like most habits, daily recycle activities must be practiced. Urge all family members to perform their particular recycling task daily. This keeps your home neat and hastens recycle habit development.
- Recycle newspapers, magazines, and junk mail. These items can all be recycled, but keep them dry whenever possible. Newsprint and ink can degrade and “run” when wet. Even newspaper stock can break down when saturated. If possible, tie up these items with a piece of biodegradable string for easy handling.
To further a healthy environment, opt out of receiving junk mail (opt-out.cdt.org), which reduces your paper recycle volume, saves trees, and requires less fuel to transport your donations to the dump or recycling collection station.
When thinking of Valentine’s Day, we often think of a heart-shaped box containing sinfully delicious chocolate truffles, or chocolate filled with caramel, or other delectable. While it tastes good on the lips, it’s not good for the hips – even for children.
According to the Center for Disease Control, currently 16 percent of children are obese. Studies show that early weight problems can lead to diabetes and heart disease, even in childhood.
How do you show your children love this Valentine’s Day without pouring on the sugar?Consider these fast and healthy treats, many of which you can make with your children:
- Pink Heart Shake. Blend raspberries, strawberries, mangos, spring water and ice, along with stevia or a drop of honey to sweeten. Serve the shake in individual portions in decorated paper cups, and embellish each portion with cocktail umbrellas for a special touch.
- Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Dip. Load red or pink plastic skewers with strawberries, cherries, watermelon and red seedless grapes. Use a tiny heart-shaped cookie cutter to shape the watermelon, to add to the festive look. Low-fat vanilla yogurt works well as a dip, and strawberry yogurt makes a perfect a Valentine’s Day theme.
- Chocolate Fondue with Fruit. Melt 1½ cups of semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double-boiler (use dark chocolate – it helps blood vessels relax, to lower blood pressure, and has heart-protective antioxidants). Add 3 tablespoons of sour cream and stir until smooth. Prepare fruity treats such as fresh strawberries, banana chunks, apple slices, orange slices, or fresh or canned pineapple. Using a fork, dip the fruit into warm chocolate and eat immediately, or dip and freeze for later (to freeze, place the fruit on wax paper on a cookie sheet).
This Valentine’s Day, keep the sugar at bay by mixing it up with treats that will keep your
children’s asking for more — and keep them “in the pink.”