>> Jan 29, 2013
Everyone benefits from recycling, especially our children. If we teach them when they're young, they'll appreciate the Earth and take care of it when they are older. Preserving and protecting the world can be easy and fun, but also confusing if you don't do your research. As a family, think about ways you can reduce, reuse and recycle everyday items. Here are a few recycling ideas and green tips for eco-friendly homes.
- Do: Make planet-saving activities fun by helping your kids craft bird feeders from household containers, organizing a yard sale or turning old clothes into new costumes.
- Do: Recycle items that arent typically associated with recycling. Batteries, printer cartridges, and other electronics can and should be recycled but they require special care. Bring these items to a local electronic store, or contact the manufacturer to get prepaid recycling envelopes to send these items back to the proper shipping destination. There may be a recycling program at your child's school that awards them points for recycling.
- Do: Use environmentally-friendly curtains and window blinds to reduce heating and cooling costs. Effective shades trap warm air in and keep cold air out.
- Do: Take advantage of paperless options available to you. Get monthly bills emailed to you, make payments online, and read digital versions of periodical newspaper publications. Again, this will reduce the overall amount you have to recycle which is even better than receiving this material and then recycling it.
- Do: Recycle old newspapers and magazines. Its easy to chuck paper materials in the garbage container when youre done, but its just as easy to put them in a separate recycling container.
- Do: Think outside the box when it comes to recycling. As Good Housekeeping suggests, recycling is all about giving an existing product new life, so apply that to when ever you throw something out. Instead of putting an old TV on your curb for garbage day, see if any friends want it. Or, sell it online and make some quick cash.
- Do: Reduce waste by using reusable shopping bags. Enlist your children to help you by giving them each a colored bag they're responsible for. When they go shopping with you, make sure they bring their bag to help you carry home purchased items.
- Dont: Don't worry about separating lids from jars, caps from bottles or labels from containers. Recycling centers naturally take care of all of these tasks for you.
- Don't: Recycle Styrofoam. Its dangerous and isn't a good idea. Throw it out with your regular garbage.
- Dont: Throw out toys that can easily be recycled. Toys made entirely of plastic can be recycled the same way as any other plastic item. If a toy has any metals or electronics, they may not be recycled, but perhaps they can be donated or given to a friend.
- Don't: Let water go to waste when you could reuse it. After washing dishes or laundry, use the leftover water to wash your car or water plants. Get your kids involved by making it their job to watch for ways to save water.
- Dont: Don't recycle pizza boxes unless theyre completely clean. According to HeartWork Organizing, any leftover cheese or sauce in the box can completely contaminate anything else in the same recycling load.
- Dont: Use disposable water bottles on a daily basis. Instead, buy one BPA-free aluminum or plastic water bottle and use it for months. You'll save money and help the environment at the same time.