The green living movement is sweeping the nation. As more and more people educate themselves on the dangers of climate change, they try to change their lifestyle to help save the earth. Residential and office recycling might not seem like changing small things can help, but every little bit helps in some way.

From only using reusable straws to buying an electric car, there are so many ways to reduce your footprint on the planet.  The more people who make an effort to reduce their waste the better. Any time someone decides to try a little harder to produce less waste is a win for the planet.

A great place to change the way you affect the planet is by recycling. Reusing some of the waste that would otherwise end up in the ocean or a landfill is a great way to help. Here are just a few of the ways you can know if something you throw away could be recycled.

1. Look at the Numbers

On every single plastic item that you purchase there should be a number. You have probably noticed them and you might even know what they mean. It is important to look at the number on every single plastic item before you throw it away.

Different areas take different numbers of plastic so check which numbers your recycling center accepts. Plastics with a one or a two should always be recycled. Those are the numbers most often found on bottles and containers. 

For plastics with threes, sevens, or sixes on them you should usually throw them away. Double-check with your recycling center first, but it is a safe bet those plastics are not recyclable. Those numbers are usually found of styrofoam, labels, and plastics that contain chemicals.

The numbers four and five are the ones that you need to pay the most attention to. Those numbers are accepted by some recycling centers and not accepted by others. Making sure you know which number plastics your recycling center accepts and recycling those is a great way to help reduce the amount of waste you put into the world.

2. Shop Smart

Look at everything you are planning to purchase. If you check what you are buying at the store for a recycling symbol to make sure you can recycle it after you use it that is great. If you are trying to buy items that are already in recycled containers that is even better.

Continuing the cycle of reusing that material is a good way to prevent more waste from being created. The more that you buy recycled and recyclable items the more you help out with eliminating waste. There is usually a recyclable alternative to the things you buy so make an effort to find those items.

Buying recycled items also makes companies take notice. It might not seem like a thing as small as purchasing recyclable and recycled items will make a company pay attention, but if enough people change how they shop it will work. If companies notice the public wants recyclable items they will produce them. 

3. Can it Decompose

Food is recyclable. The actual word is compostable, but it is the same concept. Composting might seem like a big step that only people who are really committed to saving the planet can do, but it is actually very easy. 

Organic matter lets off the most methane emissions, and landfills are full of organic matter. Don’t throw away something that you could compost at your own home. It is not hard to do and it can lower the methane emissions that are hurting our planet.

Some cities have curbside pick up for compost. For those who do not have that option, do it yourself composting is very simple. All you need is a bin, you can store it inside or outside, that is big enough to keep up with the amount of food waste your family produces. 

If you are composting at home you should probably stick to plant-based composting to avoid animals or rotting smell. Eggshells, bad vegetables, fruit peels, and coffee grounds are just some of the things you could be composting instead of throwing away. If you have a facility that accepts compost you could also give them your meat and dairy waste to prevent that from going to a landfill.

4. Double-Check

There are things that are recyclable that you have never even considered. Doing a quick search before you throw something away is not going to take enough time out of your day to really inconvenience you. It can also really lower the footprint you leave on the world.

Everything from your computer to your favorite shirt can be recycled in some fashion. There is no need to throw something away if it could still be used or fixed. Making sure you give the things you no longer need to someone who needs it or can use it is a form of recycling.

Resale shops are a great place to recycle your old items, and to buy recycled items. Just about everything you own can serve a better use than sitting in a landfill. Even cell phones and printer cartridges can be reused.

Your dresser may be falling apart, but its pieces can make something new. You may not need that paint or oil but someone else does. Giving things you do not need to someone else is probably one of the most effective and charitable forms of recycling there is. Also, it’s a tax break.

Remember

Every person can make a change in the world by changing how they treat the things they throw away. Choosing to check the things you do not need anymore before you throw them out can be enough to help reduce the waste going into the world. Even a small step for you can change how you affect the earth.

Checking every piece of paper, plastic, and glass before you throw them away will reduce the number of things going into a landfill. Making sure you know what your county accepts as recycling and never throwing those items into your garbage is a small step, but a good one. It does not take any extra effort to put plastic and cardboard in a different container than the one you use for garbage. 

Everything can be recycled. From your morning coffee grounds to your cell phone. Throwing things out that someone else could put to use is wasteful and just causes more things to end up in the ocean that do not belong there. 

Recycle whatever you can. It is a simple thing that will make you feel better about the effect you have on the planet and will help the earth to be a little healthier.