Protect our environment with these Recycling Tips

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Recycling is an easy way to protect our environment and ensure the well being of our community for generations to come. However, the success of recycling depends on the active participation of us all. By participating, people will be reducing the amount of trash that is disposed in the landfill, encouraging the reuse of materials made from recycled products, and continuing the recycling circle. We all learned how to reduce, reuse, and recycle back in elementary school, but sometimes it’s good to go back over the basics.

We’ve heard it so often and from such a young age that it might seem like “reduce, reuse, recycle” should go without saying. Most of us have only really heard the last third of the phrase, and they’re ranked in order of importance, but there are several steps we should consider before recycling. Reducing the amount that we consume, and shifting our consumption to well-designed products and services, is the first step. Finding constructive uses for “waste” materials is next. If it’s broken, fix it don’t replace it! If you can, return it to the producer (especially electronics). Or better yet – don’t buy any packaged goods! Tossing it in the blue bin should be last.

Read up on the recycling rules for San Diego and make sure you don’t send anything in that can’t be processed. Each city has its own specifics, so try to follow our guidelines as best you can. If you don’t know the rules, you can look them up here. The basics: jars, glass, plastic bottles, plastic food containers and cups, cartons, Styrofoam packaging, cardboard, and aluminum foil can all be recycled. But please DON’T include any plastic bags, batteries, bulbs, textiles, or electronic waste in your recycling bin!

In addition to buying recycled goods, keep a keen eye out for recyclable goods. Whenever you purchase something packaged, think about how you can reuse the packaging, return it to a shipping store for reuse, or try to otherwise recycle it.

Lots of charities welcome your donations. Groups like Freecycle and Recycler’s Exchange exist to help you get rid of useful objects that you just don’t want to make use of. If you’re in a Craigslist city, make use of the “free stuff” section. Give away clothes that don’t fit, the boxes you used in your last house move, or scented soaps that don’t appeal to your sensibilities. Make it a rule in your house that nothing usable goes in the trash until you’ve given the community a fair shot at it.

For more information about recycling programs and specific product recycling, click here. We hope you’ll do your part to protect our environment!

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at [email protected].

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