We all know how important it is to recycle. The 3 R’s—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (Waste Hierarchy)—are integral to the concept that we as individuals can make a very real and tangible impact on the volume of trash piling up in our landfills and burning in incinerators. Most of us learned all about the 3 R’s in elementary school.
The first two of the 3 R’s are fairly self-explanatory.
Reduce— Reduce the amount of waste you throw away by:
- Using reusable items instead of single-use items (i.e. cloth grocery bags, reusable water bottles, cloth towels and napkins, buying items with less “throw away” packaging, etc.)
- Using less water on a daily basis. Water is a limited resource on this planet; and whether you live in California or Connecticut, it should be valued as such. Take quicker showers, only run the dishwasher/clothes washer with full loads, and be mindful of your family’s water usage.
Reuse— Instead of throwing everything you’re finished with in the trash, consider your options to reuse these items.
- Plastic bottles (of ALL kinds) can be reused about a million different ways.
- Glass containers are a DIY-ers best friend.
- Compost your family’s food waste to reuse it in your garden. Composting is easy, rewarding, and serves as a great hands-on learning experience for children.
- Consider donating household item and clothes to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, homeless shelters, and crisis centers. It may no longer be a useful item for you, but it can help someone else get back on his or her feet.
And then we come to Recycling.
Why don’t more people recycle?
For some, it’s simply a matter of changing routines (which is by far the biggest hurdle in starting the recycling habit). If you’re accustomed to throwing something in the trash without much thought, it can be difficult to stop and think first. But it’s not impossible! It takes time to make a new activity a habit, but persistence is key, so keep at it. We owe the Earth that much, as the very least!
There are free and easy ways to get your recyclables into the right hands. You can always pay to use a recycling service, but if you’re more of a do-it-yourselfer, here are some great options:
- Indiana Recycling Coalition (EcoPoint): This website lets you search by materials to be recycled or your location so you can find exactly where you can recycle your items.
- Hamilton County Household Hazardous Waste Center: Drop-off area offers recycling containers for all Hamilton County residents to deposit recyclables. The Recycling Area is open 7 days a week, from 8am-8pm.
1717 Pleasant St, Suite 200
Noblesville, IN 46060
Make recycling a habit in your home. Together, as a community of caring individuals, we can truly make a huge difference in the health and future of our beautiful blue and green Earth. Happy Earth Day!
Here’s a fantastic infographic from Fast Haul (2013):