Today is November 15

Published 10:10 am Monday, November 15, 2021

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America Recycles Day

Recycling will play a vital role in the future of the planet. As climate change continues to threaten the long-term health of the planet, the necessity to recycle and reuse only becomes more paramount.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, decomposing garbage, such as that which finds its way into landfills, generates methane. Methane is considerably more effective at trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere than carbon dioxide and contributes heavily to climate change. By recycling items rather than discarding them, people can play an active and effective role at combatting climate change. In addition, recycling helps cut back on the release of harmful greenhouse gases that are produced during the manufacturing process.

Community recycling programs have been around for decades in many communities, and these programs are only as effective as the people who recycle. Learning how to treat common recyclables before depositing them into designated recycling bins can help people ensure their efforts are having the impact they intended.

· Rinse jars, bottles and cans. Items that are not rinsed before they’re placed in recycling cans run the risk of contaminating everything within. While each community program is different, recycling bins deemed contaminated may be redirected to landfills. Residential Waste Systems, a Connecticut-based trash and recycling removal firm, recommends rinsing all jars, bottles and cans that contain visible residue before depositing them in the recycling bin.

· Learn which items can be recycled. Contact your local recycling firm for a list of items that can and cannot be recycled. Many people unknowingly deposit items that cannot be recycled into their recycling bins, potentially contaminating their bins and rendering them more likely to end up in a landfill than a recycling center. By contacting your recycling center in advance, you can reduce the risk that all your hard recycling work will be for naught.

· Inspect paper products. If various paper products are accepted by your local recycling center, you must still inspect them before placing them in your recycling bin. For example, a pizza box may be recyclable, but likely isn’t if it’s covered in grease. Inspect each potentially recyclable paper product to make sure there’s nothing present that might lead to it being designated as contaminated.

Recycling is a simple step many people can take to promote the long-term health of the planet.


Party with less waste

With music playing, beverages flowing and delicious food available, it’s no wonder parties are highly anticipated events. Eco-conscious hosts often wonder how to strike a balance between convenience and keeping waste to a minimum.

Reusable products, such as hand towels, ceramic dishes, glasses, and silverware, are convenient for everyday life or when just a few people are coming over. But throw 20 or more guests into the equation and it is easy to understand why disposable products are so attractive.

Food waste also is a concern when hosting. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more food reaches landfills than any other type of municipal solid waste. In fact, the Food Waste Reduction Alliance estimates that as much as 40 percent of the food that is grown, processed and transported in the United States will never be consumed.

Thankfully, there are ways to minimize waste when hosting a party.

· Clearly distinguish recycling pails from trash pails so that items that can be recycled will be collected and handled appropriately.

· Choose disposable products wisely, opting for items that have been made from recycled materials. Have guests mark their names on cups and plates so they can be reused throughout the day instead of discarded after each helping.

· Keep track of how much food and drink guests consume so that you can accurately plan for the right amount to satisfy the crowd at future parties.

· Choose in-season foods from local vendors to reduce your carbon footprint.

· Offer keepsakes or edible treats instead of goodie bags. At kids’ parties, a decorate-your-own cookie or cupcake is popular and less wasteful than a plastic bag full of trinkets.

· Serve beverages from larger containers rather than single-serve cans or bottles. Keep a pitcher of filtered water on tables instead of bottled water.

· Promptly wrap up leftovers so they can be turned into a meal for another day without the risk of spoilage.

· Serve desserts that can be held in one’s hand, such as cupcakes in an ice cream cone. This way no cake plates will be necessary.

With a little ingenuity, it is possible to cut down on party waste and still have a good time