Days 365+96 Uber recycling earthApril 22 is Earth Day. This reminds me of the importance of decreasing our carbon footprint by the familiar formula: reduce, reuse, recycle. Many families, including us:

Typical recycling:

  • Put paper, cans, glass, plastic bottles, anything with a triangle (Δ), into our city’s curbside recycling service
  • Compost vegetables and yard waste
  • Take reusable cloth bags to the grocery and other stores
  • Take hazardous waste to the once a year collection point
  • Pre-cycle by reducing the packaging that comes into our home

Go the extra mile:

bags eligible for terracycling

bags eligible for terracycling

  • Drive a hybrid car and walk/bike when possible
  • Terracycle stuff
  • Pick up recyclables when walking
  • Take metal, electronics, plastic bags, etc. to appropriate collection places
  • More often than not try to repair and reuse items and decrease our energy consumption.
  • We exchange newspapers with our neighbor.

BUT… I recently discovered my husband doing what I’d call “Ǚber Recycling.”

Days 365+96 Uber recycling OJ can1. It started with a simple orange juice concentrate can. I usually just put the white plastic top strip and metal lid in recycling. But then I discovered that my husband carefully separates the cardboard like container to release the bottom lid also. The film lined cardboard goes in the garbage. The top AND bottom lids go into recycling

2. Later I noticed Jim fiddling with an old teapot since he had just received a new one for his birthday. He wanted to recycle the metal but that meant removing the plastic parts. It took a bit of effort. Was it worth it? If you figure the cost of his time, I don’t know, but it certainly qualified as an Ǚber Recycling effort.
Days 365+96 Uber recycling kettle-2   Days 365+96 Uber recycling kettle1Days 365+96 Uber recycling kettle-1

Days 365+96 Uber recycling sheets3. Not to be outdone, I decided I would Ǚber Recycle something. Even though it was a cold winter day, I decided to hang our sheets out to dry. I usually hang sheets in the Spring, Summer, and Fall – but never in Winter. I wasn’t sure if the sheets would dry or harden? Of course in prehistoric times (like 75 years ago when electric dryers were not common) or in cultures where line drying is common even today, this would not be remarkable. It did take a little longer, but I’m here to tell you that it worked.

Two Questions to think about:
1. Sometimes we have to balance the trouble it takes to recycle vs available time. Have you ever pondered whether it was worth recycling a given object?
2. Do you have any creative recycling tricks or hints you’ve learned? Please share.