In today’s world, recycling can be much more of an involved process than simply separating glass from plastic and paper and dropping your bins out on the curb for pick-up. As it turns out, many cities in the Pacific Northwest are especially attentive to recycling and green practices, so you don’t have to over think it too much. This is certainly true in Spokane, WA which has well-defined parameters for what you can and cannot recycle as well as how you should prepare your materials before pick-up. Here are five easy tips to help you go green in your new place without having to think too hard about it or disrupt your daily schedule.
Make a List of What You Can/Cannot Recycle and Post it on Your Fridge.
Here is Spokane’s list of recyclable materials and how to prepare them. Break it down to the essential things you need to remember, whether it’s less words or adding colorful pictures. If you have kids, this can be an art project!
Have Your Own Recycling “System” Set Up Around Your Kitchen’s Trash Bin.
It can still be easy to forget that many things we throw away are in fact recyclable. Have some small recycling bags or bins set up around your kitchen trash. As you get used to it, you will no longer have to refer to the list you made. Try purchasing a recycling container set of different colors or sizes or you can simply use bags that are recyclable themselves and made of the same material as the things you put in them.
Treat Your To-Go Meal and Drink Containers as If They Were Your Own Dishes.
When you order to-go or delivery meals at the end of a long day, it’s easy to just chow down and throw away the containers when you’re done. But many of these containers and utensils are recyclable once they are clean. Give them a quick rinse in the sink as if they were going in the dishwasher and drop them into the appropriate bag/bin around your trash container. If they are plastic containers/utensils, you can put them in the dishwasher with your real dining and cookware and turn them into reusables.
To Lazy to Recycle, Think of Incentives.
The simple truth is, recycling makes less trash for you. Less trash means that you are taking out your waste less often and you can extend the time in between your trips to your building’s trash dump or the curb simply by introducing recycling into your routine. This is a good incentive to keep in mind. Another, more tangible one is to treat yourself to that latte from your favorite place around the corner after you drop your trash and recyclables on the way to work in the morning.
Save Some Trips—Find Your Nearest Recycling Center.
If you still find yourself procrastinating on taking your recyclables out, plan ahead for bigger loads and make a once-weekly or once-monthly trip to a local recycling center. Earthworks is one such place. They will also pay your for certain materials, putting cash in your pocket.