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Recycling 101

By The Staff at Fabulously40

These days, going green and trying to reduce our individual carbon footprint is more important than ever.  Global warming is an imminent threat and if we expect to keep this earth inhabitable for the future generations, we need to get our rears in gear and at the minimum go back to basics: conserve and recycle.  Recycling especially has been successfully growing since the mid-1980s, but not to the extent that it could be.  

Part of the problem seems to be that people just don't know which products to recycle and which to trash or compost.  So here's a review to hopefully steer you back on track to recycle.

Paper: Do recycle envelopes, paperback books, catalogues, cartons (with any plastic or cellophane removed), writing pads, brochures, loose-leaf paper, cereal boxes, and newspapers, clean paper plates.  Do not recycle photographs, or anything that contained food or any kind of organic material (e.g. pizza box etc.). Anything soiled in food grease can be composted or thrown away, but not recycled.  

Bottles, Cans and Plastics: The simplest way to tell which plastics to recycle is to check the number in the recycle triangle stamped on the bottom of the item.  If the number is a 1 or a 2, it can be recycled.  Most plastic drink bottles can be taken to your local grocery stores to be turned in for a small monetary compensation, or recycled like any other item.  Foil, aluminum soda cans and food cans (soups, vegetables etc.).  Yogurt canisters and tin foil can also be recycled.

If you're feeling extra green, here are some tips for composting correctly.
Biodegradable materials: Stale bread, egg shells, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, fruit and vegetable scraps, nutshells, hedge trimmings, leaves, grass clippings, weeds, dead flowers, twigs, saw dust, straw. You can also throw in biodegradable paper products like used paper towels, paper coffee cups, paper milk cartons, take out containers (with metal parts removed), egg cartons, etc.  These items will help get some nutrition into your garden with natural fertilizers.  Things not to compost include cigarette butts, ash, and anything no biodegradable or recyclable.  

Some other things to consider when thinking of recycling: it's not limited to food and hair product containers.  According to Constance White, eBay Style Director, over the past 3 years, purchasing previously owned hand bags as opposed to new ones has had the same effect as planting over 2 million trees in the fight against global warming.  Additionally, recycling, handbags, shoes, books and jewelry can greatly help reduce the over-consumption and over-production that this nation is so addicted to.  Buying a used designer handbag or exchanging one of your own for a "new" one not only gets you a new bag to tote around, but means the cycle of perpetuated spending is halted or at least derailed from its normal track of only buying new goods.

So let's recap: Do recycle bottles, cans, paper products, and most plastics.  Compost your yard trimmings, old vegetables and bread products, and also the biodegradable containers used to hold said food items.  Seek out second-hand designer boutiques and recycle your family's old clothing.  You don't need to drive a hybrid to help the planet, just do what you can to be clean, stay green and recycle!

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