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RecyclingOne of my pledges for 2013 is to create a smaller footprint in our lives. To that end, we have been recycling all things that we can. I find that we have cut back in the amount of garbage we generate. We are saving more recycling and taking it to our town recycling center about twice a week. The town has changed their program to include all recycling streams together making it easier to recycle more. Below, I have listed steps that make it easier to recycle and create a smaller footprint in your house.

  1. Recycle all things you can
    1. Anything that doesn’t rot, recycle, including all electronics, clothes, wood, metal, etc
    2. Anything with chemicals, dispose of properly at your local dump on the designated day.
    3. Anything that rots, make a compost pile that can be used in the garden for your vegetables
  2. Separate all recycling into different piles
    1. Make sure everyone recycles
    2. Cans, paper, bottles, cartons, bags, plastic, foam, wrapping, etc
    3. Provide containers for recycling
  3. Use things at least twice
    1. Plastic bags to shop more than once
    2. Plastic bags used for recycling
    3. Paper towels to clean kitchen floor
    4. Old tee shirts/towels used for cleaning rags
    5. Try not to use paper products
  4. Donate books read to the local library or appropriate organization
    1. Donate to local library
    2. Give books to friends and family
    3. Start your own book depository that everyone can use
  5. Drive your car for at least 100K miles
    1. Change oil every 3-5K miles
    2. Get a tune-up when it’s due
    3. Inflate the tires properly
    4. Check all fluids periodically
  6. Grow what you can eat
    1. Backyard garden vegetables that help with your budget
    2. Buy locally only what you do not grow
    3. Buy at store only stuff you can’t grow
    4. Buy stuff that is from recycled materials
  7. Only buy things that you use
    1. Just enough clothes to wear
    2. Appliances that you use, donate anything not used
    3. Recycle anything not used in the last 6 months
  8. Spring clean at least every six months
    1. Donate clothes to a nonprofit that puts the donations to good use (Goodwill, Purple Heart, etc.)
    2. Donate furniture to Goodwill or other nonprofit
    3. Donate good appliances to Goodwill or other nonprofit
    4. Donate old cars to nonprofit that accepts donations such as Purple Heart
    5. Donate computers, phones electronics to nonprofit that accepts  donations such as Purple Heart
  9. Have everyone at home recycle by separating old stuff into piles
    1. Good clothes to donations
    2. Books to donations
    3. Recycling to center
    4. Old stuff to dump
  10. Start a drive for recycling in your town, if one is not in service yet.
    1. Town can get money from saving space in garbage facilities
    2. Money from selling recycling
    3. Good PR for town

Finally, check you achievements for the current year, plan for the new year and start all over again. Every little bit helps the earth and preserves the planet for our children and future generations.

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