I’ve got my doubts about recycling. I used to be a huge advocate for it, and even judged people who didn’t bother to recycle until I learned much of what gets sent to the recycling center ends up in the landfill anyways. That’s why I’m on a quest to make the recycling system useful and practical. What can we do with all those plastic bottles and cardboard boxes? Nevertheless, until I can come up with a better recycling system, I will continue to separate my bottles, cans, and paper from the rest of the trash.
Kathryn makes a great point in her blog when she says the point is to recycle less, not more. By reducing our waste and shopping smarter, we can eliminate the need to send so much to the recycling center. She refers to this as pre-cycling. Using non-disposable products and reducing the amount of packaging we use can help us eliminate the need to recycle altogether. This is why reducing is more important than recycling. We can reduce our dependence on excess packaging by buying bulk grocery items, buying products that don’t use packaging like shampoo bars and zero-waste laundry detergent, and by making our own snacks and lunches instead of having to buy pre-made ones.
The recycling system is flawed, but I believe we can fix that. All of that waste can be converted into other useful products. The concept of upcycling has only recently become a trend, and I believe we can develop it into something much more practical and useful. In the meantime, I’ll keep sending my recyclables to the center with the hopes that at least some of it gets repurposed. Here’s hoping I can one day get my own recycling program off the ground. Until then, here’s a friendly guide on how to recycle properly. Good luck!