How to Recycle Anything (The Sustainable Way)

We know, we know! We should be reducing, reusing, and recycling at all times, but it’s just so time-consuming. Looking up plastic codes, sorting through sticky bottles (ick), and finding postage to send recyclables to the right place can be a serious pain in the neck. But going the extra mile is important — in 2010, the average American generated more than 1,500 pounds of waste over the course of the year (and only 551 pounds of that amount was recycled or composted). Over seven billionpounds of PVC plastic are chucked every year, while only one percent of that amount is recycled. Whether you’re an Earth Mama or a proud SUV owner, the truth is we’re throwing away too much stuff. And while ditching the clutter might make us happier, tossing it all into a landfill doesn’t make the planet smile.
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Make every day Earth Day with these tips to recycle, upcycle, or donate any trash-bound item.
Plates, bowls, pots and pans, and utensils: Most recycling programs do not accept china or ceramic plates and bowls. The most sustainable way to get rid of old crockery is to simply donate it.
Most bathroom bottles (shampoo, body wash, hair gel, face wash, etc.) are marked with resin code 2 or 4, which makes them pretty darn recyclable.
Reduce the number of light bulbs in the trash by switching to an energy-saving LED or CFL bulb.
That Literary Classics Collection is nothing but paper and maybe a cardboard cover, so technically it’s good to go in the paper recycling bin.
Recycling metal clothes hangers is pretty simple — just return them to the dry cleaner.
The physical therapist (and the salesperson at the local sneaker store) recommends replacing kicks every few hundred miles to avoid injury, but they’re hardly reduced to flapping sole-less wonders by that point.

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