Easy Recycling in a City that Throws Everything Away
There are still many places that have not gotten hip to recycling programs yet. No recycling bins encouraged in personal homes, no program that widely distributes and picks up these mixed goods.
There are, however, many recycling centers and drop-offs for the public. If you haven’t heard or seen of one in your area, give a quick google search of “recycle drop off locations” The sites may benefit a local school or organization. The one I use here in Nashville benefits a high school.
I know, I know, the last thing you want to do is save all your recycling, sort it, AND drive to a separate location. However, we are in a CRISIS here people, marine life die everyday because Karen would rather toss her Fiji water straight in the land fill than drive it to a drop off center.
Its me. I am Karen, or I was Karen. Now, I have found some great products and practices that make the process waaaayyyy easier, more fun, and low key kinda cute.
Saving and Sorting
I found these really great bags on Amazon that are designated for each type of recyclable. They are reusable, water resistant, and attach with velcro for uniform tidiness. I just pop them over my shoulder and put them in my backseat. Instead of lugging around large piles or bins, these are easy to take with me on my way out and drop-off by myself no extra muscle required.
I also wanted to start reducing my food waste, which is difficult and widely not supported on a public scale. The numbers at which we waste food in America is BONKERS, something like 133 BILLION pounds of food waste per year. (2010, fda.gov)
I always thought you would have to introduce yourself to the sandal & sock wearing neighbor with a big backyard, or a community garden club to reach the compost people. However, I found a public recycling drop off that also accepts compost! There may be one near you too! My city also has a compost specific distributor and collector, however it is $35 a month. I’m all for it, because composting is a science and they do all the work for you, however I’m Ballin’ on a Budget here. So I am forming my lazy mermaid’s guide to composting.
Currently, I just use a Full Circle Composting Sack, available through Grove Collaborative. I have it on my counter and we collect our food waste there, sometimes popping it in the freezer overnight. When it is full you can seal it and just drop the whole bag into the compost bin! There are tons of composting bins and bags becoming available. There are even ones with style for all you peeps like me that makes being aesthetic a priority. Here is one available on amazon that would look mighty fine sitting on a kitchen counter. It is currently on my home wishlist:
I do all this from a 600 sq ft apartment on the 5th floor. My thought is that if I can do this from a small space in a city that resorts to throwing things away, I have no excuse. The practices can be adapted to many different living spaces and situations. There are many people out there who want to do what they can for the ocean and the environment. There are programs, organizations, and communities trying to make it easier and more accessible. All it takes is a quick google search, message on community board, newsletter, or word of mouth to fins them. If you are seeking ways to reduce your waste, they will find you! I of course run into some frustrations or road blocks along the way. We tried composting our first Full Circle bag the week after a snowstorm. The site was closed due to weather. We drove to another location, no compost but took many forms of recycling. All you can do is all you can do. If recycling or composting just isn’t doable for you at the moment. It is okay. Try your best and make small changes as you are able.
What small changes are you making? I would love to see! Tag me on social media @feliciawithfins
I am a professional mermaid and underwater model. If you want to know a bit more about me, check out the rest of my website. I also have other posts regarding easy ways to reduce single use plastic and overall waste.
*some links in the post are affiliate links, they come at no extra cost to you and help me out a little bit*