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Simplified Recycling: Ideas for Busy Young Families

When you have a baby or toddler (or both!), you are bound to find yourself on the go most of the time. When life is so busy, sometimes it seems like a real drag to keep recycling those pickle jars, plastic bags, cans and other items. Here are some tips to help you get organized so that you can recycle your trash without spending the whole day doing it.

If you have curbside recycling pick-up services, count yourself fortunate. Many communities still do not offer this service, so people who wish to recycle not only have to know where to take their items, they have to make a special trip on a regular basis. If you’re in such a community, maybe you could write letters to the editor or contact your local authorities to alert them to the need for curb-side recycling pick-up.

Whether or not you have curbside pick-up, organization ideas that work in other parts of the home will also help with getting your recycling challenges under control. For instance, you will want to have your sorting bins in the most convenient area, which means it will need to be close to where you are working when you are cooking or whatever. If you have a handy trash can for the non-recyclables, but the recycle bins are downstairs in the basement or out in the garage, it will require more motivation on your part to take those items where they need to go instead of just tossing them in the trash.

“Do it now” is another good slogan for all aspects of an organized life. If you procrastinate about taking your cans and bottles to the recycling bin, you will wind up with your counters cluttered. Then when you get around to going through it all, you’ll have a big job on your hands. Rinse that item and take it to its bin just as soon as you are through with it.

If you are remodeling the kitchen or utility room, consider having a built in area for keeping recycling bins. Just make sure they are easy to access so that you can remove them and clean around them easily when you need to.

Finally, don’t forget the importance of reducing the recyclables before you even bring them into the house. Get yourself off junk mailing lists. Buy bulk beans and grains and see if your health food store will let your bring in your own containers for them. They can weigh the container before you fill it and then again after you fill it, eliminating even the plastic bags you usually go home with. Think before buying plastic junk. Do you already have something you can use instead? Look for foods and toiletries that come in simple packaging that doesn’t include numerous needless boxes and wrappers.

With a little organization and care, you can keep up with recycling even when the kids are small. And just think what a good example you will be for them!

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