You missed it?
Or you forgot to take notes?
TTM has had lots of requests for notes from this event, so here you have it.
The event was filled with loads of information and was loads of fun. Master recycler Resa Thomason set the pace with a timed, hands-on recycling quiz and kept things going with an animated Q&A and tons of information.
So, here’s your “cheat sheet”:
1) When in doubt, throw it out. Don’t risk contaminating the recycling stream.
2) REDUCE, reuse, recycle. Recycling rocks, but reducing and reusing are even better! SO: REDUCE your use of resources FIRST, then REUSE what you can SECOND and FINALLY if you can’t do either of the first two, then RECYCLE if possible.
RECYCLING PARTICULAR ITEMS
- Film plastic (clean, stretchy dry cleaning bags, plastic bags, etc.): bins at grocery stores
- Plastics 1-7: curbside bins
- Paper: curbside bin
- Any compostable/biodegradable plastic/cutlery/take-out containers: landfill (in Media, compostable cutlery, plates and cups are composted by Chris Pieretti of My Kitchen Harvest)
- Cereal/cracker bag liners: landfill
- Vases, Pyrex, drinking glasses: landfill
- Non-paper coffee bags, cat food bags: landfill (or put cat litter in and dispose)
- Aseptic containers (soymilk, rice milk, Trader Joes tomato soup): landfill in Delaware Co. (they are recyclable in other areas of the US)
E-WASTE AND HAZ WASTE EVENT
PLASTIC BAG BAN
Even after an LCA (life cycle analysis), plastic bag bans are beneficial. If you cannot actually write the ban into legislation, you can get local businesses to sign a pledge not to use them. Then give them a sticker or some sort of recognition to place in their window (“Green Media” or “I Banned the Bag” or some such). Also promote those businesses in literature around town and frequent them as customers. Tell the managers you appreciate it. Make sure you ask volunteers to go to businesses still using plastic bags and ask them to stop. Deal with managers, not cashiers/waiters.
POLYSTYRENE/STYROFOAM TAKE-OUT CONTAINERS
This is a plastic that leaches dangerous chemicals upon contact with fats. I would recommend the same strategy as above.
YOUR LOCAL RECYCLING INFORMATION
Don’t see your town on our list? Just Google them and check it out.
Short movie: The Story of Stuff
Earth 911 – good site for sustainable ideas
What’s your carbon footprint (there are many calculators online. If you don’t like this one, Google “what’s my carbon footprint?”)
Fantastic site where you can buy/send plastics to be recycled (certain plastics, not all)
- Plant a tree
- Stop buying stuff: fix things, borrow things, purchase items used (Craig’s List, Goodwill, consignment stores)
- Buy locally and support your CSA
- Buy only recycled paper products
- Get rid of your clunker car and purchase an electric or hybrid car
- Reduce your consumption of red meat
- Compost or try a worm bin
- Use only rechargeable batteries (these have improved greatly over the past few years)
- Use durables (real dishes, mugs and silverware) instead of disposables
I don’t know about you, but I’d really like to be able to recycle more materials. Too much stuff just CAN’T be recycled and ends up in landfills. Now that you know the whole story about recycling, please take a good look at the Sustainable Actions above. Please pledge to start making them part of your everyday routine – you’ll make a big difference to our environment!
The most important thing is to think about everything you buy – is it recyclable? Is its packaging recyclable? If not, is it something you can use for a long time (think decades!) or will you be able to reuse it as something else? If the answer is still no, could you buy something else more sustainable instead? Heck, maybe you don’t really NEED it anyway! Or maybe you could buy it used. And if something you really need isn’t recyclable or if its packaging isn’t, consider writing the manufacturer about using recyclable materials.
Whenever you throw something in the trash, think about where it’s going and whether you could reuse it in some way. If you can’t reuse it, could someone else? If yes, offer it on TTM’s Swap Group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/192977907477583/) or donate to Goodwill or other charitable reseller. And if you must buy it again in the future, be sure to replace it with something more durable or using better materials.
Finally, please spread the word to your family, friends and neighbors! Give them the link to this article so that they can join in and help too. Thanks!