Eco Tip of the Week: Recycling Basics for the Home

There is no such thing as “away” when we throw anything away. It must go somewhere.

Are you one of those who truly does care about preserving our environment, yet habitually fails to recycle properly? It's okay, you don’t have to fess up to us! It can be as simple as this. Making a change that becomes a habit that you hardly notice anymore. Remember this: if you use it, you also accept the responsibility of properly disposing of it.


1. Baby Steps, My Friend, Baby Steps.

Give yourself permission to start small! Once you make the decision to recycle, do not feel as though you have to jump in 100 percent. While passion is a wonderful thing, placing too much pressure on yourself to go green can result in stress and frustration during the learning process. By taking baby steps, you are more likely to integrate recycling into your lifestyle permanently.

(Images from Ikea via Pinterest)

2. Reduce and Reuse is Key, Baby!

Okay, it may not seem like part of recycling but reducing the amount of materials you use play a huge role! Reusing items instead of tossing them can assist in your recycling endeavours. Limiting the amount of objects needing to be thrown in your bins helps you stay on top of the situation.

3. Dude, Let's Recycle Properly!

Unfortunately, recycling guidelines are not uniform across recycling facilities. Google recycling in your country or town to better understand their guidelines, and always keep an eye out for information about how to better recycle!

It is easy to overlook items that can be recycled or to get confused as to which goes where. You should check with your service provider for specifics on your particular program, but here are basic guidelines.

  • Paper and Cardboard:

    Paper of all sorts is acceptable! Remember to avoid waxy papers, stickers or anything laminated. Stapes in paper are accepted but please remove rubber bands or plastic wraps. Cardboard can be recycled as long as it is not saturated with food and grease, as is common with pizza boxes. 

  • Plastic:

    Plastic does not break down in landfills, and since it can be recycled to make many diverse products, put your effort in recycling plastic waste as much as you can! Let's educate ourselves in the types of plastic that have the best reusable and/or recyclable options.

  • Aluminum:

    In general, all aluminum cans are accepted for recycling. If you are tight on space, you can crush the cans.

  • Glass:

    Most glass containers can be recycled just avoid breaking them. If glass shatters, it can’t be recycled!

4. Rinse and Repeat!

Always (and we mean always!) rinse out any items and containers prior to placing them into your recycling bin. This will avoid contaminating the whole lot with food and other residue. On top of that, you don't want your recycle bin smelling or attracting pests do you?

5. Don't Forget Old Appliances & Tech Products

With the massive amounts of technology in the world today, the landfills are brimming with defunct computer systems, cellular phones, televisions, printers, and more. Each of these can be recycled as well, or at least safely disposed of. Instead of ditching your obsolete tech toys into the trash can, call your local electronics store to see whether they provide a recycling option.


6. Recycle Water

Before you let your used water swirl down the drain, find ways to recycle it in and around your home. You can go as simple as pouring the water from cooking pasta directly into a flower bed, or you can make changes to your plumbing to allow you to utilise grey water.


7. Recycle Food! We know you've hear of Composting!

Composting, or recycling food, is the superstar of reducing your waste. One of the first steps towards a trash-free lifestyle is to begin collecting compost at home and finding a way to properly dispose of our favourite stanky pal. 


Take the time to understand how to integrate recycling into your lifestyle and use these recycling tips to get a solid handle on the practice, ensuring that being green becomes a lifelong habit.