Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Recycling Even When It’s Inconvenient

By Chris Bernstein

Reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s a phrase almost everyone has heard before, but does everyone truly take the time to think about its meaning and actually do what the last word is saying to do? Recycling isn’t always convenient, there’s no denying that. There isn’t always a recycling bin around and when there is, they’re sometimes confusing to understand what kinds of waste can truly be recycled. Here are three scenarios to help you when you’re faced with an inconvenient decision of whether to recycle or not.

1) That one water bottle really does add up

So, you’re out for a walk in your neighborhood and you brought with you a plastic water bottle. First off, reconsider doing that on your next walk. Bring a reusable water bottle that you can refill instead. (They’re pretty cheap on Amazon.) You finish the water bottle and you’re sick of carrying it around with you, but there are no recycling bins around – only a trash bin a few feet ahead. Don’t think to yourself “it’s only one water bottle, so what if I throw it away?” Instead, think about how many times someone has been in the same position as you and have thought the same thing. The best thing you can do is hold onto the bottle until you get home where you can properly recycle it. 

2) It’s not really empty

You’ve bought a cup of coffee at school and you’re taking the last few sips. You have class in a few minutes and you’re about to throw away the cup in a nearby recycling bin. However, what you may not know is that by recycling that cup of coffee, the cup with a small amount of liquid left inside, you could be preventing an entire bin full of recyclables from being properly disposed of. Instead of simply saying “oh well, I guess there’s nothing I can do about it”, go over to the nearest bathroom or water fountain and quickly rinse out your cup. It may seem weird and a waste of time, but by doing this you’ll be saving an entire bin worth of recyclables from being thrown out. This isn’t something that many people don’t know about but can really go a long way in helping reduce waste. 

3) No, that’s not actually recyclable

Everyone’s faced this problem at some point or another; “do I throw out this take-out container or can I recycle it?” Luckily, there’s an easy solution to this so that you’ll never have to wonder again. The best thing you can do is educate yourself on the best practices regarding recycling. If you’re unsure if object A or B is able to be recycled, simply look it up online. There’s lots of information right at your finger tips that can tell you so much about one thing. Instead of questioning it in your head and simply throwing it away, take a minute to find out if you should be throwing that object away or not. By taking a few minutes to learn about what materials can be recycled, you’ll help cut back on waste and know you’re helping the environment.

These three simple tips may seem a bit too simple, but it’s important to know that these small actions go a long way towards helping the environment. As mentioned in tip number two, educating yourself is the best course of action to making recycling part of your everyday life. By understanding a bit more about the recycling process, you’ll think twice about tossing that water bottle in the trash can.

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