It’s National Recycling Week! Can I recycle this? How? Find out here.

^^^ CHECK OUT THE LINK ABOVE TO FIND OUT WHERE TO RECYCLE ANYTHING! ^^^

Scroll down to this section and click on ‘disposal locations’

Recycling is important. I’ll say it again for the people in the back- “RECYCLING IS IMPORTANT!” Truly, recycling should be our last resort at this point, as we are running out of space to store it here in the U.S. as the industry stands today. We used to send most of our recycling to China, but they cut us off last year. Now, in order to create own circular economy, we MUST recycle what is produced here. By putting what we’ve already made back into production (recycling), we reduce the need to produce and use brand new materials! This significantly reduces the carbon footprint of that single-use item from both angles!

Refuse, reduce, reuse… then recycle what you can’t.

The more we recycle what single-use plastic we do use = the more recycled plastic products will be able to buy in the future.

SOME WATER FOR THOUGHT…

See what I did there 😉 Anyway… In America, we use 2.5 million plastic bottles each hour. That’s insane. And almost always avoidable. Get a stainless steel water bottle and take it everywhere with you. To work. To school. To parties. To bars. Even the movies. I’ve never been stopped. Haha.

Let’s face it, we can all do better. But we also need plastic for certain things. No one is perfect so don’t beat yourself up. For example, I wear contact lenses. I can’t see as well in my glasses, and my active lifestyle makes glasses impractical a lot of the time. There is no single-use plastic free alternative to my contact lens and cleaning solution packaging, for sterile reasons.

THE UNUSUAL SUSPECTS

PRETTY FACE = UNSIGHTLY AND FORGOTTEN TRASH SOURCE

Make-up is something I have been thinking about lately. No, it’s not something we need, but it’s something a lot of people enjoy and use regularly. I look at my collection at home and think “Am I just going to pretend that’s not part of the problem?” The options for easily accessible, sustainable make-up products are limited. And can I recycle my make-up containers somewhere, somehow??? FIND OUT HERE!

When possible, shop local! Google “handmade cosmetics _______” and insert your city name. Or check out sustainable, small-business cosmetic options at this link – www.etsy.com.

For those that aren’t ready to make the switch to homemade items, I just learned about these options today and I’M STOKED!

SEPHORA – The $10 Z-Palette has refillable makeup pans that pair with brands like TarteSmashboxMary Kay, and Sephora!

TERRACYCLE accepts mailed-in cosmetic containers and packaging from hair care, bath/body products, and makeup containers. And you don’t even have to clean them out! Woah.

ORIGINS – Origins stores accept any brand’s cosmetics packaging and containers to recycle. Check out your local store.

M.A.C. – Return six M.A.C. product containers to get a free lipstick!

Information on make-up recycling from: https://www.bustle.com/articles/152113-how-to-recycle-old-makeup-if-you-have-empty-compacts-stacked-up-on-your-vanity

IN ADDITION TO MAKE-UP, OUR OTHER FAVORITE HACK TO AVOID LOOKING LIKE ZOMBIES EVERY DAY IS ALSO A TOUGH PROBLEM…

MORNING PICK-ME-UP = MOUNTAINS OF TRASH

Seriously. TerraCycle takes almost everything. Those K-Cups you love but your hippie, tree-hugging niece* hates and won’t stop guilt-tripping you about? YOU CAN RECYCLE THEM!

If they have a recycle symbol, clean pods can be recycled anywhere that accepts #5 plastics. If they don’t check out TerraCycle to send them in.

*P.S.- That hippie niece is me. Two of my aunts love these damn things, and one of them is an environmental engineer for Keurig. They’re both lovely human beings who love their coffee almost as much as they love me…

TerraCycle can be pricey to do alone, but check out your local Staples for boxes, ask your company to get some in the office, or work on a neighborhood/school initiative to share the costs.

THE USUAL SUSPECTS

In the Houston area, and many major cities, general recycling has gotten sooooo much easier. You just throw all recyclables into the same container, right? Well, yes and no. The link at the top of this blog post is an amazing resource to find out where and what to recycle in your area. It’s also a great resource for ALL the ways we can protect our watersheds all over the nation. I’ll give you some quick tips right here though.

EXAMPLE OF MAJOR CITY RECYCLABLES

1. CLEAN OUT YOUR CONTAINERS!

2. CHECK LOCAL CENTER PREFERENCES FOR BOTTLE CAPS/LIDS (SEPARATE OR ATTACHED)

Utilize the embedded link in this post to find the Earth911 search. Type in “bottle caps” and your zip code.

In Galveston, you can re-attach them after you rinse the bottle

In Houston, remove them and leave them in the bin on their own

3. DO NOT RECYCLE PLASTIC BAGS/WRAPPERS/FILM WITH OTHER PLASTICS

Collect plastic grocery bags, produce bags, wrappers, film, etc together and bring them in a plastic grocery bag to your local grocery store, Target, or Wal-Mart and look for the bag recycling receptacle. These items jam up recycling center conveyor belts when mixed in with hard plastics.

When in doubt, e-mail or call your local recycling center!

I’ve done it and received responses every time. And now I have info to share with people in my community. Make yourself a resource to friends and family. Let them think of you as the Eco Warrior you are!

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