So, I read Gorgeously Green and it's gotten me interested in being greener. So here are some tips I've culled from GG and other sources. I've been recycling a hell of a lot more and reducing consumption!!
*Check the numbers on all plastics. Did you know that typically plastics with a 1 or a 2 on the bottom (the number in the chasing arrows) are recyclable anywhere, but the others may or may not be? And there are a lot of plastic things that are recyclable that I never thought about, such as Lean Cuisine plastic trays (a 1--rinse them out before putting them in the recycle bin) and yogurt cups (a 5, which I can recycle at work but not at home--also wash them out before contributing to the recycle bin).
*Remove the caps from bottles: Did you also know that you have to remove the cap from the bottle and throw the cap away? The caps melt at a different temperature than the rest of the bottle. (the little plastic ring the cap leaves behind is ok because it is so small). If the bottle has the cap on it, it is likely to be tossed at the recycle plant, because if the bottle is not see-through, the workers don't know what is in it and they will likely throw it away.
*Don't put bags in the recycle bin with bottles and cans: Also, if you (like I used to) throw the recyclables into the dumpster in a plastic bag, there is a chance the entire bag, contents and bag, may be thrown away at the recycle plant. This is because the bags can not be recycled at the same place the bottles are recycled at. Apparently they clog the machinery at the plant. Most grocery stores have a recycle bin for plastic bags at the front of the store. I have yet to find out if any plastic wrapping can be thrown in that bin or only plastic bags.
*Use tote bags at the grocery store: At first I was kind of hesitant about doing this, but there are tons of people at the grocery store using tote bags now. Plus I've found the tote bags are much better for carrying groceries than plastic bags, esp the bags that stand up on their own. It's really made me allergic to plastic grocery bags!! Also, i reuse the flimsy plastic bags that are for bakery rolls and fruit. I just bring them back with me to the store and reuse them too.
*Recycle some or all cardboard: Also, at home, I can't recycle cardboard from cereal boxes or tissue boxes or granola bar boxes (apparently known as paperboard) but I can recycle those types of cardboard at work. Corrugated cardboard can be recycled anywhere, except for pizza boxes (apparently the food stains are a problem). Cardboard for frozen food can not be recycled because of the plastic coating it has.
*recycle more paper: Pretty much any paper that is not wet and not food stained can be recycled. So recycle all of it! Including little paper scraps, junk mail, magazines, newspapers, and even phone books!!
*Reduce consumption: Stop printing so much paper at work. Print double sided. Only buy paper made from recycled materials.
It really does feel good to reduce, reuse, and recycle. It's especially great to consume less. Every bit helps!!