If you want to be more environmentally conscious, then the best and easiest place to start is recycling. However, recycling isn't exactly as simple as you might imagine. To help you become more green, here are a couple of things to remember when recycling:
Making Changes Before Deciding to Recycle
It is important to remember that recycling is only one component of a very important mindset: reduce, reuse, recycle. In other words, you should only consider recycling after you have exhausted your other options.
First of all, you should reduce your consumption. The mass of trash created every year per capita in the United States is rapidly rising and source reduction of waste is the most efficient way to drastically lower your impact on the environment.
Secondly, you should reuse at every opportunity. By reusing old products instead of buying new ones or by purchasing goods made from recycled materials, millions of tons of raw materials can be conserved. In textiles alone, almost 15% of clothing and footwear was reprocessed in 2013, which amounts to over a million tons of raw material.
If you live by the three R's, then you will already be living a much more environmentally conscious lifestyle.
What can you recycle?
Most people think that you should recycle metal, plastic, cardboard, glass, and paper products in your recycling bin. However, this is only partially true. In many cases, you shouldn't blindly recycle, even if the product is made of those materials.
For instance, consider electronics. Although electronics are mostly composed of metals and plastics, they should be disposed of at specialized electronic waste disposal sites, not in your recycling bin. Similarly, if your metal product contains dangerous chemicals (such as batteries), then you don't want to throw them into any old recycling bin. Instead, you should look for a specialized disposal site.
If the product was used to contain food, then you will want to diligently clean as much of the food off as possible. If the food cannot be removed, then it might be a better idea to throw the product away rather than to recycle it. If you have a pizza box that is stained with grease, then you shouldn't recycle it. The grease can compromise the integrity of the cardboard.
As far as paper products go, you don't want to recycle tissues, napkins, or paper towels. Additionally, you don't want to recycle any tissues that were used to blow your nose or that are otherwise contaminated with bodily fluids.
For more tips about recycling, contact a company like City Waste Services Of New York, Inc.