Breaking Old Habits
As you are reading this website, you have probably decided it is time to find out more about recycling and reuse and get serious about your decision to help yourself and the environment.
In principle you may be sincere about your decision.
But old habits die hard.
Now that you have all this great information about recycling and reuse, you have to DO SOMETHING WITH THE KNOWLEDGE.
If you do not use this new knowledge, you will NOT save money; you will NOT help the environment.
So, how do you stay on the straight and narrow?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Print a copy of your community's recycling policies complete with a list of the items you may recycle, how to package them and when the pick-up dates are scheduled.
- Place this list in a central location like the family bulletin board in the kitchen or den, so it is within easy reach.
- Put reminders on your electronic calendar for the dates your recycling pick-up is due, so you don't forget.
- Print a few copies of the recycling symbol and post them around the house to remind - so you will stay conscious of recycling and reuse.
- Talk to your friends, family and co-workers about recycling and reuse and tell them what you have learned.
Nothing solidifies learning and knowledge like passing it on to others!
Pass It On: Keep Your Family, Co-Workers, Friends, and Children On Track
We hope that all of your good work and discussions about what you have learned will keep your neighbors, friends, co-workers and adult family members on track.
If not, do not hesitate to remind them when you see them throwing away something that can be recycled or reused.
Let's say you see a friend tossing a rechargeable battery in the trash at work.
Dig it out of the trash and show them the RECYCLE circle on the battery and the 800 number associated with that circle (1-800-822-8837), and explain that they can recycle the item.
You don't have to be obnoxious or turn into a 'know it all' but you can tell them nicely!
Perhaps they didn't know – and if they DID NOT KNOW, then you have done them a favor by telling them.
Share this site with your child's teacher and encourage them to start a recycling, reuse project in class:http://www.cancentral.com/recycling.cfm
Set up recycling bins at home and remind your children and adult family members to throw recyclable items into these bins.
Encourage your children to take the recycling to the curb on the day that it is to be picked up.
This is a great way to get them in mind set of recycling and teach them you are serious.
A friend recently told us how she addressed conservation, reuse and recycling with her children to get them to take it seriously.
- First she offered her children a dime for every can, bottle or item they recycled and a quarter for every item for which they could find another use, instead of throwing it into the garbage can.
- She also took them to the grocery store and had them feed the bottle and can recycling machine and retrieve their reward (a slip they could take the cash register for real money to spend on the movies, or a snack or meal out at a favorite restaurant).
- She told them it was a limited time offer, and it would only last 3 months. For three months, the family made some loose change and they were happy.
- At the end of three months, the kids could still collect and exchange bottles and cans at the grocery store and keep the money, but she asked that they deposit that money into a bank account, thereby teaching them fiscal responsibility at the same time!
- After the three month, limited time offer, she continued to encourage her family to recycle, but by then, it had become a habit and they didn't need to be reminded very often.
We think this is a great idea! Why don't YOU try it with your kids?
If you have young children, you can encourage them to visit the great websites listed below.
On these sites, they will find games, simple explanations about recycling, and why it is important, and more information that will help them understand recycling and reuse, and make it fun at the same time!
Trombone's Clean Up the Park Game
Recycle the World
The Quest of the RingLeaders
PlanetPals Games and Coloring Projects
We'd like you to take a quiz (take more than one if you are so inclined) to try out your new knowledge.
Pass your knowledge on to your…
- best friend
- Work Out Buddy
- Team Mates
…then ask THEM to pick an appropriate quiz and see what THEY have learned!
Children – Grades 4-7
Children's Recycling Quiz
Recycling Games and Puzzles
Ollie's Recycle Quiz
Earth Day and Recycling Quiz
Adults and Children – Grades 8-12
Edie's Recycling Quiz – Get the High Score!
How did you do?
If you need more practice and information, review this website and talk to your recycling center and town hall about what you can do to help
We have come to the end of this journey, but for you, we hope this is only the beginning of new things to come.
If we are going to save money, reduce the use of natural and manufactured resources and protect the environment for ourselves and our children, we must WORK HARD TO CHANGE THINGS!
It is easy to be complacent. Most of the time, when you throw away garbage, no one is watching what you throw into your garbage can.
Your sanitation crew certainly doesn't have the time or the inclination to go rifling through your garbage bags and cans to be sure you don't throw away harmful, toxic or hazardous items.
Nor will they take those old clothes out of the bottom of the bag and drive them to Goodwill.
But YOU CAN…and YOU SHOULD!
Yes, you can make some money (or save some money) by recycling or returning certain items.
Yes, you can save some money by buying products made from recycled materials.
But no one can force you to do these things. Compliance is voluntary. So, for now, it is up to you.
Conserve - REDUCE what you use!
Turn off lights, TV and other things that use electricity when you are not the room
Buy motion sensors so that the lights go off and on accordingly when someone is in the room and when someone leaves the room
Don't cook more food than you will use – don't take more food at the buffet than you can eat!
Plan your car trips to stop at all the places in a certain area and run your errands – don't run out here and there without thinking about where you are going and how much gas you are using.
REUSE instead of discarding
Stop and think.
There may be another way to use the same item
You can donate the item so that someone else can use it, if you can't think of another way to use the item.
Did you know that more than 25% of the clothing donated to the Salvation Army and Goodwill still has tags attached from the original purchase?
RECYCLE what you CAN and SHOULD recycle
Don't be lazy. It doesn't take all that much effort to establish recycling bins at home and take the sorted recycling out to the curb once or twice a week.
Recycle at work and at school, as well. If your employer or school does not have a program, ask them to start a program.
- REDUCE first
- REUSE if you can't reduce
- RECYCLE if you can't REUSE
When you recycle, you keep materials out of the landfill – either because they are hazardous, dangerous or toxic, or because they can be made into new products
When you reuse, you eliminate the need to dispose of OR recycle the item by finding another use for the item yourself, or donating it or passing it on to someone who can use it for its originally intended use.
It's really very simple.
You have all of the information you need to reduce, reuse and recycle! All you have to do is put your knowledge to work!
While you are at it, pass it on to others. Don't be shy about teaching others about reuse and recycling. Encourage your children and family to use only what they need (whether it is electricity, food or clothing)
Remember, you are doing this for yourself and your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
If you need more incentive, think about the money you will save by buying ONLY what you need, by buying recycled products and by turning recycled products back for refunds, discounts and tax write-offs.
Become a champion of the cause today and make a difference in your home, your community and your world!