Creating a Recycling Routine for Your Home

Welcome back to reality... that's right, the day after Labor Day. Back to work, schedules, errands, and to-do lists. But today I am super excited to get something checked off my to-do list that is MUCH over do: a recycling system for my house.

For as long as can I remember, growing up we recycled. I can remember the big basket that we would put newspapers, plastic containers and glass in and fill to the brim. I was one of those weird kids that really enjoyed certain house chores. Like seriously. I asked for chores. Sorting and bagging up the recycling to take to the nearby collection center was one of my self-appointed tasks. When I saw it was getting close to the top I was really good at reminding my mom we needed to take it to the center. I am actually really thankful that this was something I learned to appreciate at a young age. 

Side note: Looking back now I can see many things that I thought were unintentional parenting tactics, but now see how intentional my parents were being. They seemed so normal and natural. They didn't have long lectures or conversations about all the reasons why we did certain things, they just led by example and created patterns for us to follow. It was strategic and thoughtful leadership on my parents' part. Way to go mom and dad! 

Here are 7 benefits of recycling according to the EPA:
1. Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators.
2. Conserves natural resources such as timber, water and minerals.
3. Increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials.
4. Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials.
5. Saves energy.
6. Supports American manufacturing and conserves valuable resources.
7. Helps create jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States.

Whatever your main motivation for recycling, the key is to have a system or routine for doing it. Which is where I have been failing for some time now. Ever since my sister and I moved into the house we now live in we have many times talked back and forth about needing to get a recycling system. It seems simple, I know, but I wanted to put it somewhere out of the way while still having easy access to them. For example, if I had to walk out to the garage every time to put something in a recycling bin I may be less likely to recycle everything I could. I also wanted something that would be easy to take to the collection center. I didn't really want to have to sort through one bigger bin and separate everything out. So to recap, I wanted something out of sight, easy to access, already sorted, and easy to carry bins. I know, I know, call me high maintenance.

This challenge gave me the push to FINALLY figure something out. So where else would I go but Home Goods! The only bad thing about Home Goods is finding too many good options. But I came up with this:


3 bins. One for plastic, one for glass, and one with a trash liner for aluminum to make sure nothing leaks in the basket. Let's be honest, I wanted them to be cute too. So I got two matching and then one coordinating one so it wasn't too matchy-matchy. (Go ahead, roll your eyes.) I also got these because they have handles that will make it so easy to just grab and go when it's time to take them to the collection center. And under the bottom shelf in the pantry, easy to access but out of sight. Perfect! 

It looks simple, and well, it really is. And that's the best way to find a routine for recycling, simple. Simplicity and convenience is essential when figuring out a recycling routine, because it may work well for you this week, but if it doesn't continue to work and flow for you and your family, it will eventually be more of a hassle than you care to deal with. And then you are back at square one.

Tell me, do you have a recycling routine in your home? What does recycling look like for you?



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