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.