Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Recycling with Ease, Efficiency, Effectiveness

This goes out to my lady friends Susan and Pare with whom I was chatting about the logistics of recycling the other day at ACAC. Pare is where I was two years ago with recycling: piles, piles everywhere in sight. Our garage was being overtaken! My husband threatened to throw it all out - it was driving him crazy.

And then my mother, the organized Betty Lou that she is, bought us these great stacking bins (they are plastic, but I believe the best alternative, available at organizeeverything.com). They are a total space saver and they stack beautifully clear to the ceiling if you want. And they stack nicely for us County residents who have to drive in our recycling each week. They are so easy to transport, I use them at all my son's home swim meets and at this year's MSWalk.

The best feature is the Betty sticker for decoration on the back.

The next hurdle for me was getting all the recyclables out to the garage. This sounds ridiculous but it's true. Understand I recycle everything. (regular recyclables and then I collect things that need fixing including clothes, clothes for donation, mis-matched socks, other items for donation, books for swapping with friends, wine corks for making cork boards and card holders. And the list goes on.) So I would literally be making a hundred visits to the garage per day if I didn't have a system in place.

In order to create sustainability (something that you personally can keep doing), I believe you must create ease. It really has to be easy for you. What do you have to do to make it easy?

Train your family, strategically place a basket, put recycling on your calendar. Whatever that is for you. Then the efficiency and effectiveness will fall into place.

To make it easy for us, we have a straw basket that we use to collect all recyclables on the kitchen counter and then (theoretically) at the end of the day (or two) we can it out there to sort.

Hope this helps!


Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

Convenience is key, as everything else will fall into place after that.

We keep most of our recycling just outside our kitchen door. In addition, we have a paper bin at our desk.

It helps that we're in the city, so our recycling is picked up weekly, but we still need to flatten boxes, squoosh milk jugs, etc. in order to put as much into our bins as possible.

BWB said...

Good point!