29 July 2008

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle: Participate in the cycle

At the children's museum here in Eugene, there is a display about recycling. Included in the display is a short video where clay characters teach kids about the cycle of recycling. While watching it with Owen the other day, I learned something new myself.

If we want to truly participate in the cycle of recycling, we have to do more than just clean out our cans, sort our cardboard products, and remove lids from water bottles to throw in the recycle bin. I feel lucky that where I live, a commingled recycling bin pickup makes it easy for me to recycle. You may live in an area where this is more difficult.

However, the cycle doesn't begin and end with us buying new things to throw in the recycle bin. The cycle is complete only when we choose to buy things that are made from those items we recycled. Often this requires us to make a small change in our budget, as these things are often a bit more expensive. But if you live in an area where recycling is difficult or impossible, this is another way to participate in the cycle.

Here are a few ideas:

Next time, when buying paper for your printer, buy recycled. Paper is definitely one material that can be recycled back into itself.

This one might be the easiest of all. Because aluminum is a material that can be recycled back into itself hundreds of times, you can safely assume that the soda cans you buy are made of recycled aluminum. That's good for us, since we consume a lot of soda at our house.

Again, because foil is made of aluminum, it is an obvious choice for buying recycled. This one might be a bit more difficult to find, but there are many stores that carry it these days.

Do you know of other products you can buy that are made from recycled materials?


Lizzy said...

I don't know of other items that are recycled into the same thing, but I love your posts about this kind of stuff. You always make me want to try harder to go green.

Tara said...

Seriously you are awesome Kristine! I need to be better. I do recycle quite a bit but not as much as I could/should! You should be proud to know that I bought a bag that I take grocery shopping now instead of using a bunch of plastic bags. I'm trying!

Lima Bean said...

Tara, that is awesome! I'm having a giveaway in a couple of days for some reusable bags--make sure you enter!

Lady Holiday said...

My sister bought some cards that said they were made in India out of recycled socks.