Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Making the decision to recycle

Recycling seems to be the buzzword these days and with good reason. The thought of all this stuff ending up in the landfill when it could be reused or recycled has really been eating at me lately. Many of my daily habits or routines involve the consumption of items which could easily be recycled. Take for example my morning coffee-iced coffee usually comes in a clear plastic cup with a lid and if you look close you will notice a triangle with a number inside of it, in this case the cup is # 5 and the lid is #6. It turns out that the town of Ipswich (where I live) accepts both of these items so I have learned to gather up all my cups and toss them in the recycling instead of the trash. It’s a good start, but ultimately I would like to learn a better way to reduce my use of these cups. It might be as easy as not buying the coffee and making my own but maybe I could bring in my own reusable plastic cup or mug. The latter option seems more feasible since I don’t like making iced coffee. I found that Cumberland Farms now has $.99 iced coffee and it’s not too bad, certainly good enough to keep me from spending $2.50 at Dunkin Donuts. The good thing about Cumbies is that it’s self-serve so I can bring in my used cup and reuse it. Dunkin’s would probably object to this for health reasons. I am simply suggesting that maybe we could all take a closer look at some of the most commonly un-recycled items and see if there is something we can do about it.

I have a 5 step system that I recommend to my clients (and friends/family) to start recycling at home which I will address in a future blog but the first step is to admit that there is a problem with the current system. If you are currently doing nothing to address the lack of recycling in your household then that would be a great place to start. Without admitting there is a problem it is unlikely you will be able to effectively address the problem. Many towns are starting to make recycling mandatory which is great for many reasons but unless you have a good system in place it can be a huge inconvenience. I have even heard of some municipalities who have fines if you don’t recycle. Some trash pick-up companies won’t even take your trash if they see any items in the trash which can be recycled. It is hard to enforce but if the trash trucks refuse to empty your trash then what choice do you have? Every family will have to come up with a system that works for THEM which may be different that their neighbors. I can testify that in the end it is pretty easy to implement a system which works well for you. If you are having trouble getting started then I would be happy to do a consultation either by phone or at your home. Please take that first step by admitting that there is more we can do and do some research because there are so many resources available online.


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