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I Love Recycling…I Hate Bottle Caps

April 5, 2010

I have recycled since a young age. After my parents bought their house in the late 1980’s, they installed a “recycling center” in the kitchen that holds four large garbage cans. These garbage cans helped our family get into the basics of recycling starting out with soda cans, tin cans and plastic containers. It has since evolved into recycling batteries, cardboard, magazines and junk mail, newspaper and wood. It did help having the towns recycle center three miles away though.

I love recycling; knowing I am doing something good for the environment makes me feel good about myself. With Earth Day right around the corner, everyone is trying to think of conscience ways to get their kids involved and thinking about how to help also. Recycling is the easiest way to get them engaged. With little tweaks in your household your kids could be on their way to do-gooding right along with you. Don’t recycle your mail or paper? Open a paper sack and have your kids throw the Sunday Toys-R-Us section in it when they are done perusing. Getting your children included in change can only help the world, right?

I love separating everything into designated bins, bags or boxes. Seeing everything piled up after a week of cooking, cleaning and just plain rummaging around, getting it all out of the house and into a place where it will be used for something else is cool. The coolest thing ever to get organized for your recycling are already coded bags. My sister-in-law got the Gaiam Folding Recycle Bags that are color coded and have three designs on the front so you know what goes in each. It is so simple to have these bags next to the trash can and toss in your washed out salad bottle or glass of frappuccino coffee. They are also water proof so you can wipe out any yucky excess when needed.

I also love that I “recycle” most everything. You probably don’t think about what you donate to charities as recycling but it is. It is out of your house, going to another place to be used as something else. Do you take your old coats to shelters in the fall or old furniture to Goodwill? Yep, you are recycling. There are so many charities out there, that everything you always look at and want to replace can go to someone less fortunate or someone who doesn’t have the money to replace their own with higher-end items. Hey, go ahead and replace your blah kitchen faucet with an eco-friendly low flow one, and donate your blah one to Habitat for Humanity-they will make it not blah.

Earth Facts:

  • One person uses one 100-foot-tall Douglas fir-tree in paper and wood per year
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, or a TV for 2 hours
  • Americans throw away enough aluminum every month to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet
  • States with bottle deposit laws have 35-40% less litter by volume
  • The junk mail Americans receive in one day could produce enough energy to heat 250,000 homes
  • $1 out of every $11 Americans spend for food goes for packaging

I hate bottle caps. Why is it that bottle caps, any bottle cap, are not recyclable? Why are they made with a different type of plastic as to not be able to be melted down as easily as any other plastic? So what if they are made up of a harder plastic and might need more heat to be melted down or the chipper takes longer to break-down the caps into small pieces. We are meant to be recycling all plastics that have the three arrows, so why can’t we.

I hate that it all boils down to your community municipality for why we can’t recycle bottle caps. Because bottle caps are made for a different type of plastic than normal bottles, community recycle centers don’t want to pay to recycle something that most people have been conditioned to toss is the trash anyway. Why shouldn’t bottle caps have its own recycling type area? Caps are probably the most used and tossed piece of plastic after the plastic water bottle.

Thankfully Aveda has stepped up to take your non-recyclable plastic caps off your hands and out of the wildlife and oceans. Aveda takes the caps that are marked with the number 5, they are made from rigid polypropylene plastic. Want to know the exact type of lids taken? Here you go: caps that twist on with a threaded neck such as caps on shampoo, water, soda, milk and other beverage bottles, flip top caps on tubes and food product bottles (such as ketchup and mayonnaise), laundry detergents and some jar lids such as peanut butter. Excluded from collection are pharmaceutical lids and non rigid lids such as yogurt lids, tub lids (margarine, cottage cheese), and screw on lids that are not rigid.

Donation Sites:

Goodwill Industries: Household donations help Goodwill “enhances the dignity and quality of life of individuals, families and communities by eliminating barriers to opportunity and helping people in need reach their fullest potential through the power of work”

Habitat for Humanity: “Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with God and people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which every person can experience God’s love and can live and grow into all that God intends”

The Humane Society: The Coats for Cubs program, “which collects fur items and distributes them to wildlife rehabilitators nationwide. The furs are then cut to size and used to warm and comfort juvenile and injured wildlife”

Nike Reuse A Shoe: “After you toss your trashed trainers, that’s when they really get destroyed – by being shredded, along with our manufacturing scrap, into Nike Grind – a raw material that can be used everywhere from your local running track to the soles of your sneaks and the zipper on your hoodie”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Linda permalink
    April 5, 2010 5:30 pm

    I love to recycle too and am really glad to hear how to recycle those bottle caps. I’m going to add this to my list of recycled materials. Thanks for the info!

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