Was that a challenge or what! I had decided 7 years ago, the year my husband and I bought our first home together, that it was time we get on board the recycling train. I grew up in a household that recycled EVERYTHING so it was a simple transition for me, but I knew it was going to be a struggle for my husband. “I’ll do it as long as it’s easy and doesn’t require any extra effort on my part,” those were my husband’s exact words. I’m not sure it’s an “effort-free” task, but it’s one he’s learned to do with only a minimal amount of complaining. We’ve got a pretty good system in place, so I’m sure that helps, but every once in awhile I’ll find a glass jar in the trash that he didn’t want to clean and just laugh. That’s his way of saying “honey, there’s no way I’m spending 5 minutes cleaning out that jar of jelly, sorry.”

As I mentioned, I grew up recycling everything. From plastic to paper, clear glass to colored glass, we separated it all. And because we didn’t have town pick-up, there was a weekly trip made to the town dump to get rid of all the trash and recyclables my family of 6 had collected that week. My parents got me involved at a very young age, and in looking back, I’m glad they did. Did I like it at the time? Absolutely not. But I definitely credit my parents for getting me and my family involved.

Not only is recycling important, but it’s also easy; and I learned just how easy the hard way. When we first started recycling I would separate everything into its own bin. About a year later I learned that the truck actually throws it all into one area anyway and then sorts it all back at the plant. Ugh. So today everything goes into 1 large bin, except for cardboard and paper, those have their own bins. It’s amazing to me how few trash bags we actually have at the end of the week, especially by recycling paper. I’m not sure my husband knows this, but my goal each week is to have only 1 full trash bag! We’ve done it several times, especially on weeks we don’t have a bag full of dirty diapers – I know, I know…cloth diapers would be nice, but so not in our cards at the moment.

Do you recycle? If so, do you have any tips on how to make it easier or fun for the whole family?

Dr. Greene’s Easy Tips to Reduce, Reuse and RecycleEarth911 – Find a Recycling Center Near You