Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Love the Planet? Recycle.

It's very easy to get caught up sometimes in the "big picture" behind the environment and global warming. It's easy say, to blame people who drive gas guzzlers and live in McMansions (even though there are only two people in the family), or to blame the huge corporations that spew toxic chemicals into the air and water near them. The people who don't recycle. The organizations which make junky products that break and end up in the trash sooner than later.

But blaming never gets one very far.

Instead, let's focus on what we can do--each and every one of us. I've compiled a teeny list below, taken from a recent article in Real Simple magazine. For a comprehensive list, follow this link. The articles are called "How to Recycle Anything", and are written by Natalie Ermann Russell. She did a great job on them and offers a huge array of recycling tidbits.

  • Sneakers: Nike offers a "Reuse a Shoe" program where they make courts for kids to play on. If shoes are still in good condition, consider donating to your local thrift shop.
  • Packing peanuts: With the holiday season upon us, we'll more than likely end up with some boxes filled with the puffy peanuts. These can be brought to UPS or Mail Boxes, Etc. stores for re-use.
  • Recreational equipment: Bring to Play it Again Sports, drop off at a local thrift shop, or offer it up on Craigslist or Freecycle.
And lastly, think about pre-cycling. Pre-cycling is trying to buy things with the absolute lowest amount of waste possible. Think bulk food bins at the grocery store, going without plastic carrier bags that we all get far too many of, and trying to buy things in their most natural, plastic free form.

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