While some nay-sayers claim recycling doesn’t really do much, we all know that’s not true.  Even if it does take a good amount of energy to recycle materials, at least those materials aren’t going into a landfill somewhere.  recycling-signMany people, however, only recycle their newspapers and plastics.  There are many other things that can be recycled.  Here are some ways you can increase your recycling efforts.

1.    Recycle your plastic bags.  Many grocery stores have recycling boxes located at the front of the store for used shopping bags.  You can also use these small bags as trashcan liners.

2.    Rather than recycling catalogs, unwanted magazines, and junk mail, do your best to contact the sender and cancel the subscription or have your address removed from their mailing list.  Recycling is great, but never using the materials is even better (and getting less junk mail is always good).

3.    Don’t forget that many electronics stores will accept cell phones and ink cartridges for recycling.  Many places will also take old computers, monitors, and printers.  If they’re in good working condition, you may even get a bit of a discount off a new product.

4.    Know what you can recycle and what you can’t.  If you know of materials that your local recycling center does not take, try to avoid those materials.  Likewise, know how to recycle or dispose of hazardous wastes.  Compact fluorescence light bulbs, for examples, should not simply be thrown in the trash with other garbage.

5.    Instead of buying plastic containers, reuse butter tubs and other plastic food containers that include lids.  Most can be recycled, too, so once a container gets worn, toss it in with the recyclables.

6.    Create a compost heap as a way of recycling your organic waste.

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