Recycling: A Hard Habit to Break

Recycling is a hard habit to break. Once you get into the habit of not throwing your waste into the garbage, recycling becomes automatic. Pretty soon you’ll find it almost physically impossible to throw a recyclable item into any receptacle other than your recycling bin. But how do you get to the stage of not having to constantly remind yourself that what’s just left your hands for the garbage should’ve made its way to the recycling pile.

Make it Easy for You and Your Family

In order to become a committed recycler you need to make it easy for yourself, and other members of your family. Remember that it’s best to lead by example, so show your children that it’s really not that difficult. One simple step you can take is to ensure that the recycling bin is located very close to the garbage bin: if someone (including you) has to walk an extra two or three steps to recycle something as opposed to throwing it in the garbage, then, if they’re novice recyclers, they won’t do it. Or they will until the novelty of recycling has worn off; then they will resume throwing all waste in the garbage. 

Post up a list of what’s recyclable and what’s not as a reminder for when you come to throw out waste. Position this close to the garbage and recycling bins. This will stop you automatically throwing waste into the garbage and act as a prompt to ask yourself whether you’re throwing something into the garbage that’s recyclable. You can also tape a sign with the question, “Is it recyclable?” on to the garbage bin to work in a similar way for you and your family members. Likewise, if you’re recycling your food waste to make compost, then set out a bowl on the kitchen counter top which you can empty into the composter once a week.

One of the most common complaints about recycling is that it takes effort, but this doesn’t have to be the case. A little organization is all it takes to make recycling as simple as ordinary waste disposal.

Revel in the Rewards

While the debate on why, or even if, our planet is being affected by climate change rages, remember that recycling is a good practice to adopt: period. Most of what we throw away is made from materials that are slowly running out or can’t be replaced at the rate we’re consuming them. It’s difficult to see the tangible benefits of recycling materials such as paper and plastic, but where food waste is concerned there’s a huge, clear benefit from what’s produced right there at the bottom of your garden. Encourage your children to take an interest in what’s going on in your composter: see if you can spot any earthworms burrowing about in there, or explain what’s happening to the potato peelings you threw in last week. This is a great way to teach the next generation about the importance of reducing their impact on the environment and to encourage them to adopt practices such as recycling, reusing, and reducing. And knowing that you’re teaching your children to become responsible citizens is in itself one huge reward.

Keep it Simple

Don’t try to run before you can walk. Where the whole green movement is concerned, some people feel that unless they can make a huge contribution – i.e. install solar panels in their home – then it’s not worth bothering with. They fail to see that it’s not the size of the contribution they’re making that’s important, but rather that they are actually doing something to help preserve the planet. The recycling habit is not only difficult to break, it’s also one that very easily and quickly escalates. If you start off recycling paper and cardboard, you’ll probably find that pretty soon you’ll be taking your reusable bags to the grocery store to use to transport your goods home. And this could then very well lead to your deciding to walk to the shopping mall when you next need to run the odd errand.

The word “habit” is usually associated with negative connotations. However, there are some good habits, one of which is recycling. And as with all habits, it’s a practice that needs only to be started slowly and with small steps to become a habit you find almost impossible to break – a habit that comes without all the usual guilt that is! 

MSA Quality, Inc

New York’s best rubbish removal service.

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