Recycling is a habit that benefits us all, especially our planet. And while most Americans want to make a habit of recycling, habits can be difficult to form. Where do we begin? That’s easy. We start at home. And one of the simplest and most impactful ways you can do this is to create your own at-home recycling center.
Start with the basics. That would be paper and cardboard – one of the most recycled materials in the U.S. By recycling, you are keeping it out of landfills so it can be used again to make new products—and that is something to feel good about.
Create a recycling center
It turns out that when we use multiple bins, we’re more likely to create a recycling habit than when we only use one. And what’s better than using something you already have? Those recyclable cardboard boxes your online orders come in are the perfect building blocks for your at home recycling center.
Place a cardboard box next to trash cans in each room. A small box in the bathroom for toiletry packaging or toilet paper tubes. Add a bin by your desk for office papers and one in the playroom for construction paper art. You can’t have too many. When each bin is filled, take them to your central recycling center in your kitchen. The best part is you can put the cardboard box full of recyclables right on the curb for pickup!
Involve everyone in the household, including your kids and have some fun, like decorating each recycling bin with images of what materials go in them. For example, have your little ones create a cardboard mailbox to collect junk mail, magazines and letters to be recycled.
Location, location, location.
Where you put the bins matters. Your bin should be readily accessible in the places where you usually dispose of trash. While the garage is common, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and at the heart of recycling. People with a bin in their kitchen were 10% more likely to have a recycling habit than those with a bin in the garage.
To help making recycling second nature, reinforce the message by posting what is and is not recyclable in areas everyone is sure to see. Not just at your recycling center but also in a prominent position such as the refrigerator.
Branch out and share the love
Expand your new recycling habit to include others. Join a curbside pickup program. If your neighborhood does not have one, consider reaching out to your local municipality. Using this service increased recycling habits by about 24% over having to haul recyclables to a drop off facility. It is a great way to connect with neighbors and connect with the earth.
When you choose paper and paper packaging that is made from a naturally abundant resource, you are making a healthy choice for the planet and yourself that you can feel good about. Remember, it’s a win with a full recycling bin!