The mother of all low hanging fruit actions, starting a recycling program is not as easy as it sounds! And to call it “low hanging fruit” is not to diminish its impact. According to the Indiana Recycling Coalition: Forty-two percent of carbon emissions come from how we procure, produce, deliver and dispose of goods (including food – See: Start a composting system).

If you haven’t started a recycling system, start with simply identifying, over a week or a month, what you are throwing away in your trash. Make a list of what those items are, then compare that list with your local recycling systems. Some municipalities have a “co-mingled” system, wherein all recyclables (with few restrictions) are put into one container and separated out at the plant. Other areas have severe restrictions on what is recycled (glass only, or cardboard only).

Do your research! Then start capturing the recyclable items BEFORE they hit the trash.

You’re not done, of course, but this gets you moving toward mastery. The REAL trick is to REDUCE the “stuff” you are getting in the first place. Less packaging, less plastic means less to have to dispose of. And, if you want to get creative, you can always REPURPOSE your waste into something nifty you can use at your school or home.

We’ll let our local experts, our friends at the Indiana Recycling Coalition, link you to numerous resources:

Indiana Recycling