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The Most Important Materials to Recycle


We all want our children to have a brighter future. Because of this, being green has moved beyond just being a fad, and has turning into a movement that is critical for all of us. While we may not destroy our planet in our lifetimes, we do have the potential to stop important resources from being depleted for later generations. It’s for this reason that recycling is such an important activity. However, you don’t have to turn your whole life upside down in order to be more eco-conscious. Instead, you need to prioritize your actions to make sure that you can eliminate the most problems through the least effort.


In that spirit, here are some of the most important materials to recycle, today...


Aluminum

One of the most important things that is likely around your home to recycle is an aluminum can. If you look in your garbage can (or hopefully your recycling bin), you’re likely to find at least one beverage that was distributed in an aluminum can. Aluminum cans take a lot of energy to produce, especially when they are new. On the other hand, using recycled aluminum cans takes considerably less energy (95% less, to be exact). The energy that it takes to create a brand new aluminum can is roughly the same amount of energy to run a computer for several hours. This is especially shocking when you think of how many of these cans end up in landfills.


PET plastic

PET plastic is the least biodegradable plastic that is frequently used on the market, today. It’s the least biodegradable by a longshot, too, as it simply never degrades, naturally. The most common place that we see PET plastic is on plastic bottles. To tell if your plastic bottle is PET plastic, check the label in the molded plastic to see if it says “1”. Also, consider the fact that nearly 25 billion PET plastic bottles of water alone are bought in America, every single year. Recycled PET plastic bottles also take considerably less energy to make, at about 70%.

Paper

Over 30% of all waste in the United States is produced because of paper. It is the single most used material in the United States, even with how much everything has moved to digital in recent years. Because of this fact, take the pains to recycle as much paper as you can, because every sheet adds up to a lot of garbage. If we would recycle even half as much paper as we throw away, we could greatly reduce the amount of garbage going into each landfill. On top of that, recycling just one ton of paper is enough to save 17 trees, in addition to thousands of gallons of water.


Cardboard

Cardboard, particularly corrugate cardboard, is another gigantic amount of the waste that we go through every year. Indeed, cardboard makes up about 15% of all municipal waste in the United States every single year. Most of the responsibility for recycling cardboard falls on businesses, since over 90% of all cardboard is used for the purpose of commercial entities, rather than residential ones. That’s why it can be so important to set up a recycling initiative in your office, as well as your home.

Steel

Did you know that not all cans are made of aluminum? That’s right, a good portion are actually made of steel. Luckily, steel is actually a material that we aren’t completely terrible at recycling. In fact, we are able to recycle over 80 million tons of steel every year in North America, alone. The energy that is saved from the amount of steel that we recycle is enough to power nearly 20 million single-family households for an entire year.


HDPE plastic

Plastic is obviously one of the worst things to throw into a landfill, due to how horrible all plastic is at biodegrading. HDPE plastic is no exception to this. HDPE plastic is typically used for larger plastic bottles that need to be more dense, specifically for cleaning chemicals (and even for gallons of milk). You can tell if something is HDPE plastic by looking at the number on the bottom of a plastic jug.

Let's continue to be eco-conscious and recycle as best as we can.

Annmarie John
38 Comments
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38 comments:

  1. Definitely try our best to recycle all of the above as much as possible and thanks for the friendly reminder here today why this is so very important to keep doing, too.

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  2. The US is in desperate need of a better recycling program. I love this post, thanks for raising awareness and being an advocate for our home! This is definitely good information to know

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  3. Wow, steel. I'm not sure I've ever thought about that! Paper is a must in this house. Des is a paper monster. He makes paper creations all day long.

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  4. We recycle as much as we can. Our town only picks up every 2 weeks and the bin fills up after one, so that makes it hard to recycle everything.

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  5. It's important to take note of these materials. It's not​ that difficult to switch to a more eco-friendly lifestyle these days especially since we have more options on how to live an eco-friendly life. Guides and products are everywhere.

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  6. This is great information. We recycle every single thing that we can, no matter how big or small it is.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this. I must admit that although I recycle, it's always been a bit of a mystery to me.

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  8. Great post and so important to bring to light recycling. We try to recycle all plastic, metal, paper and plastic bags.

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  9. I really wished that we lived in a city/town/community that took recycling more seriously. They supposedly go through the bags of garbage at the incinerator, but I'm not so sure I believe that. The only recycling that we can do easily here is taking our stuff into Target since they have bins for that.

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  10. What amazing information! I always get confused about what's recyclable and what's not. So this is incredible helpful! Thanks.

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  11. I recycle as much as I can. We actually sell our aluminum to a metal recycling plant!

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  12. This is great. We definitely have to do our part. I'm going to start checking for the "1" on all of my plastic products.

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  13. This is a fantastic article! We recycle I my building, and it is so important for everyone to start to support Mother Earth this way!

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  14. I need to get better into recycling and get into the habit of it like when I was younger. We recycled all the time!

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  15. We recycle all of these materials. We have a service that picks ours up twice a month. It makes it easier to recycle.

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  16. Recycling is so important.I am glad you are sharing this, as the word needs to be respread.

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  17. Segregating sounds challenging at first but when you're used to it, it's definitely a great way to help out. It's important for me to teach my kids about saving the environment because they'll be the ones left to live here when I'm gone. And it would be nice to see them take care of their "home". This was really informative!

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  18. Such a good post and a great reminder that we should be very conscious of recycling. I must admit I do a pretty bad job of it some times so I'd love to be better!

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  19. I am pretty good with recycling, I am trying to get better with electronics recycling, I think like most homes we have an electronics graveyard of stuff that needs to be 'wiped clean' and then recycled, it's just finding the time to do it that has been the issue. I love those bins, what a unique shape!

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

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  20. I'm big on recycling though sometimes it can be a challenge, especially when my local waste management keeps changing what they will take and what the won't.

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  21. I think it is always a good thing to keep recycling in mind.
    It is so good for the environment.

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  22. we recycle alot in our home as well. I think its really important to teach the kids the importance of it as well

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  23. We recycle everything! Our recycle bin is always overflowing for pickup each week. I do save all cans for my mom to take to the recycle plant so she can get a few dollars for turning them back in. Win, Win right there!

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  24. Recycling is a huge part of our lives here. It can be a bit of a hassle but it has such a positive impact on the environment!

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  25. We do our best to recycle all our stuff. We recycle glass, cans, paper, plastic and cardboard.

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  26. Recycling is so important and we have always done our best to do so properly! It's becoming part of science in school as well - even when I was in high school my freshman year had a chapter all about recycling and the appropriate classifications. Super important to know!

    Best,
    Rebecca

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  27. This is a great reminder of what to recycle. Thank you for sharing!! My boyfriend is bad about remembering... I'm always digging his stuff out of the trash.

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  28. I couldn't agree more these are all things you must recycle! We do and are sure to explain to our kids why and how important it is! - Jeanine

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  29. I didn't know that about PET plastic. This is some amazing info!

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  30. I love teaching my children about recycling. Some of this I didn't know and am grateful you shared!

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  31. I love when people take time to use their platform for great causes like this. Taking care of our environment is so important!

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  32. It is definitely so important to recycle. I have taught my kids that since they were little.

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  33. Thank you for raising awareness about recycling. This should be done in every household. That's just a little thing we can do to save the environment.

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  34. We love to recycle at our house and it's actually my oldest son's job to sort and take out the recycling each night. I had no idea about the importance of recycling paper!

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  35. It is super important to teach our kids at an early age to recycle. It will make a difference later.

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  36. I love this post so much! I feel like recycling certainly is moving to a much more talked about topic but still isn't where it should be. We live in Arizona but travel to Southern California very often. The differences between coastal states and where we are is drastic. There is absolutely no push here to use reusable bags here but there you get charged for plastic bags. It's just a very different culture and attitude towards damaging products to the environment. Thanks for sharing how we can all help make a positive difference.

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  37. Recycling is the least we can do to save our environment. A truck comes by once a week to collect recyclable materials. Other ways is to repurpose some of the plastic milk bottles. We use them to grow small delicate flowering plants. In our area, your are charged for use of plastic bags. This encourages people to use their own grocery bags instead.

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  38. Good reminder. We only have one earth, and we all need to do a better job of taking care of it. I've been teaching these tips to the boys as well, kids need to know and do it early!

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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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