Recycling Using Everyday Materials

I come from a pretty simple and traditionally middle class home. Being in small town Illinois for 18 years of my life made me subject to some mostly average and “normal” trends and ways of doing things. I’d say the majority of things I’ve experienced and learned actually came after I graduated high school, simply because there was an extreme lack of diversity in my home town.

For example, we never used to really “go out” simply because there weren’t many options to travel to. We also didn’t eat at many ethnically diverse restaurants or even attempt cooking different dishes from different cultures because we lived small and simply. That is, my parents chose to do what they always knew and what was easy.

So, it probably comes as no surprise that we never used to recycle, either. This is something that has affected my way of life since moving out. I find myself always wanting to try to recycle but never committing to the act.

And up until now, I never thought it would be worth it. But now that I know the benefits and impacts recycling has on the earth, it’s absolutely imperative that I begin now.

The problem I always had was thinking I have to have dedicated recycling boxes to each material. In addition, where I grew up, there were no recycling drop off points nearby. I would have had to drive at least 40 minutes to the nearest dropoff location (yes, I’m serious).

Those two problems are nonfactors for me now. We have a recycling drop off point that’s a two or three minute drive away, which is an incredible boon for our want to begin.

As for the containers, well, we’ve thought about ordering cute plastic containers online, but since that will have to wait for a few weeks, we’re going with cardboard.

I’m sure you’re like me in that you have a few cheap moving boxes laying around the house not being used whatsoever. This is the perfect place to start, especially since the boxes are free and taking up space anyway. You may as well get some use out of them, because that’s what we’re doing. Our cheap moving boxes are big enough to retain plastic for about a week and glass for three to four weeks. And all paper will fit for a good month before needing to be recycled (unless cardboard is shoved in there).

These things simply take a will to start them. Once you’ve begun, you can be proud of yourself for accomplishing the hardest part. From there, everything gets easier.

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