5 WAYS TO SAVE THE PLANET
Recycling is one of the most talked about topics when it comes to saving the planet. But what can you recycle? Many of us find ourselves wondering… does it really matter?
1. Recycle Your Glass
Un-recycled glass can take up to A MILLION years to decompose. According to the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, “Recyclable glass refers to food and beverage bottles and jars of any color. Glass bottles and jars should be emptied and rinsed. Replace the lid and put in your curbside recycling. You do not need to remove the label.”
Although there are many glass containers that can be recycled, make sure to leave these items OUT of the recycling bin:
- NO glass contaminated with stones, dirt, and food waste
- NO ceramics or heat-resistant glass such as dishware, ovenware (Pyrex), candle jars and decorative items
- NO drinking glasses or mason jars
- NO mirror or window glass
- NO crystal
- NO light bulbs
- NO cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) found in some televisions and computer monitors
2. Recycle Paper and Boxes
The “paper and boxes” category contains the largest amount of things that can be recycled. Over 44 million newspapers printed in the U.S. are thrown away every day, and that’s only one thing on the lengthy list.
Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District Approved Recyclables:
- Newspapers and inserts
- Magazines and catalogs
- Junk mail and envelopes (window envelopes are okay)
- Postcards, greeting cards, coupon packets
- Phone books
- Paper grocery bags
- Cereal and dry food boxes, shoe boxes, toothpaste or OTC medicine boxes
- Paper tubes, tissue boxes (toilet paper, paper towels)
- Office paper, stationery, business cards, any color
- Hard (cover removed) or soft cover books
- Wrapping paper (including the cardboard tube)
- Cardboard (flattened)
- Paper shopping bags
- Clean pizza boxes (free of food and grease)
- Paper egg cartons
3. Recycle Plastic Bottles and Jugs
What can you do? If you HAVE to use plastic bottles, be sure to recycle them! All empty plastic bottles or jugs can be placed in your curbside recycling bin. The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District explains that “bottles and jugs should be emptied and rinsed, replace the cap and put in your curbside recycling.”
Approved plastic bottles and jugs include:
- Water and soda bottles
- Shampoo bottles
- Milk, water and juice jugs
- Laundry detergent jugs
- Bleach bottles
4. Recycle Your Cans
Americans throw away more than $700 million worth of aluminum cans every year. With the same amount of energy it takes to make ONE new can, you can make TWENTY recycled cans!
According to The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, “All metal food and beverage cans such as pop, beer, soup, vegetable, and tuna can be recycled in your community’s recycling program. Cans should be emptied, rinsed, and then recycled.”
Some metal objects should not be put on the curb, but rather a local scrap yard. These items include:
- Scrap metal
- Car parts
- Wire and cord
5. Recycle Cell Phones and Electronics
The average consumer replaces their cell phone every 18 months, that’s over 130 million cell phones that are thrown away each year. In a landfill, the harmful toxins from the cell phone battery can leak into the soil and severely pollute the ground.
Although many electronics like cell phones and computers can be recycled, these things should not be put out with your trash on the curb. There are local e-waste companies and places such as Best Buy and Staples that allow customers to drop off their electronics for a small fee, or you can recycle your unwanted electronics at your city service department throughout the year.
Types of equipment that can be recycled include:
- Keyboards and peripherals
- Tablets and e-readers
- Cell phones
- Video game systems
Let’s Save the Planet Together!
There are so many things we can do in our day-to-day lives that can help the environment in a very big way. Although recycling is a big part of saving the planet, there are many other things we can do!
One of the biggest ways we can make an impact is sharing knowledge with friends and family. Let’s pledge to save this great planet together!