It is almost that time of year when all of the big holidays quickly stumble upon us, but I wanted to throw another one at you that is not nearly as popular, but still has a huge purpose. This holiday is America Recycles Day on November 15. I realize that we celebrate or observe something almost everyday, from National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day to National Raisin Bran Cereal Day (which by the way are also celebrated on November 15th), but I feel like this is a pretty important one, because don’t we all want a cleaner and healthier Earth? Luckily, it doesn’t take days of preparing to acknowledge this national day, just a little awareness and conscientious effort. Therefore, I have rounded up a few simple ideas that will leave you with a smaller footprint.10 ways to celebrate America Recycles Day:
- Visit online America Recycles Day: If you are like me, you might be unsure about what items can be put in the recycle bin and where to go to recycle the rest. Go to this website and all you do is type in your zip code at the top right corner and select the item you are looking to recycle on the left and it will direct you to the nearest location to do so.
- Opt out from receiving the Yellow Pages: Visit yellowpagesoptout.com and it will walk you through the process. I promise it doesn’t take that long.
- Reusable lunch/snack bags: Now that my oldest daughter started Kindergarten and I pack her lunch almost every day, I am going through plastic sandwich bags like crazy. I start to cringe when I think about where they will end up once they are thrown away, which has motivated me to get some reusable snack bags.
- At-home water service/system: We invested in the Sparkletts Water Delivery through Costco this summer and I couldn’t be happier about the decision. Not only are we eliminating all the plastic bottles we used to go through, but we are also drinking more water and it tastes so much better.
- Bring a reusable shopping bag: This is a tough one for me because I am so forgetful; I am lucky if I remember my wallet when I get to the store sometimes. I have gotten good at keeping my Trader Joe’s shopping bags in the car since that is where I have been doing most of my grocery shopping these days. Another bonus is many stores reward you for bringing in your own bag so look into what your favorite stores offer.
- Save your recyclables for craft supplies and kid’s activities: The possibilities here are endless and hopefully will keep your little ones entertained for a while. If you are in need of inspiration, I say head over to Pinterest for this one.
- Make your own family miniature golf course with recyclables: I recently took an online class about all the fun activities you can create for kids just by using boxes, paper towel rolls, food containers, etc. and this idea was by far one of my favorites. I am looking forward to trying this one at home with my crew.
- Make your Halloween costume out of recyclables: My neighbor’s daughter made one of the coolest DIY costumes I have ever seen, a cup of Easy Mac and Cheese. It basically consisted of yellow painted toilet paper rolls and a fork she made out of cardboard and painted silver. I love creative, homemade costumes and this one has yet to be beaten in my book.
- Refill your ink cartridges: Once again, I go to Costco for this service, but I looked online and other stores offer this as well. It will also probably save you money!
- Learn about TerraCycle: I just recently discovered this amazing website that offers a variety of free recycling programs that are funded by conscientious companies for items that are difficult to recycle. After learning that most of the apple sauce pouches were not recyclable and filling up our oceans, I felt really bad about buying them for my kids, but it is one of the few fruits (and sometimes veggies) that I can get my girls to eat, especially my little one. Now I don’t have to feel so guilty.
There are many ways you can help take care of our environment and most are small changes that are easy to make. Once you make the commitment you won’t even realize you are doing so but our planet will.