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Recycling Starts at Home – In the Kitchen!

Updated on March 12, 2011

Do you think that one person's actions can't make a lot of impact when it comes to saving the environment? While it's understandable for people to question how much impact one person can have, it's a fact that each of us can have a huge positive impact on the world that we live in by becoming careful to avoid throwing away household items that can be recycled.

What's in a Kitchen?

Looking at the recyclable items that go through a typical kitchen makes it easy to see how small changes can make a big difference in environmental protection.

Aluminum Cans – If anyone in your household drinks soft drinks, you have aluminum cans going through your kitchen. Instead of allowing these cans to end up clogging landfills for years to come, set aside a bin for them and take them to your local recycling center periodically.

Cardboard Food Containers – If your family eats any types of packaged foods, there's a good chance that a large number of cardboard food containers go through your kitchen on a regular basis. Don't throw away cereal boxes, cracker containers, the cardboard containers used for cases of canned or bottled beverages, or other similar containers. All types of cardboard food containers are recyclable, but too many people simply throw them away.

Grocery Bags – If you're not taking your own reusable bags when you go to the supermarket, you're probably bringing several plastic grocery bags home every time you go food shopping. Save these bags either for re-use at the supermarket or for recycling. Many supermarkets collect used bags for recycling, and most recycling centers have special containers to collect these types of bags. If your grocery store uses paper rather than plastic, place the paper bags in your newspaper recycling bin.

Milk Cartons – Plastic milk cartons that end up in landfills can pose a significant environmental problem. Instead of tossing your empty mild cartons into the trash can each type your family polishes off a bottle, save the containers for recycling.

Plastic Beverage Containers – If you or other members of your family drink juice, sports drinks, or other bottled beverages, there's a good chance that your garbage can ends up holding plastic containers that really should be recycled. Instead of tossing these bottles, set up a recycling bin to collect them so you can drop them off at your community's recycling center.

Steel Cans – Do you eat canned vegetables, soup, fruit, or other items? The steel cans shouldn't simply be tossed in the trash. Instead, rinse them thoroughly; then set aside in a bin for recycling.

Ready to Make a Difference

This list of common recyclables found in most kitchens only scratches the surface of the recyclable items that are present in most households. You can make a difference! Start with practicing responsible recycling in the kitchen; then move on to determining what other small changes you can make to reduce the environmental impact of your home and lifestyle.


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    9 years ago

    Im feeling somewhat convicted after reading this hub. I need to do a better job with recycling. Thanks for keeping us up to par on whats needed with kitchen trash, in order to help make a better environment for ourselves.

    All of the above trash you mentioned is likey 75 percent of what I throw out from the kitchen.

    Deadlines are one thing, but this is far more important for right now. I will order a recycle bin today.


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