Friday, August 26, 2011

Quick tip: How to make sure everything you can recycle is recycled.

Our apartment is 46m2. For those of you who think in feet, that's 495.13 feet2. (Apparently... that sounds like a big number to me.) But the point is, the apartment is small. In this space, we have a kitchen garbage, a kitchen bio-waste, an 'office-looking' garbage can in the living room, a garbage in the bathroom and some recycling for paper, cans and bottles, which we keep in the hall closet.

It takes about 3 seconds to get to any of these from where ever you'd be standing, yet I still notice that we throw bits of paper in the living room garbage, and tissues in the bathroom garbage. I know from experience, this only gets worse when you live in a house and are too lazy to go all the way downstairs to properly dispose of paper, tissues, etc.

The solution?
Have recycling and composting options readily available throughout the house.

In the bathroom:
- you can add a folded newspaper to use for composting, or a biodegradable bag (newspapers are better but we only rarely get them)
- Write a little note in the garbage bin (not the bio one) that bio waste doesn't go in there. I did this mostly to remind myself but also for guests!
In the living room:
- we use our garbage for plastic packaging or other non-recyclable waste, cut-up credit cards, etc.

Although it's an easy change, I find it so worthwhile to see every tiny piece of paper or tissue being diverted from the landfill. Especially since it's much easier to make recycled paper than it is to make it from pulp.

Last note: Here's a video and the same step-by-step instructions in a PDF from the City of Ottawa on how to fold a newspaper to use for composting! I was also really impressed with this video for a different shape. I haven't tried them yet (have to get newspaper from somewhere) but I wanna hear about your experiences if you do!

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