It’s easy enough to recycle in the kitchen or the office, where recycling bins are prevalent and you’re already in the habit of blue-binning cans, bottles, papers and other well-known recyclables.
But if recycling in the bathroom is new to you, how can you get into the habit of making sure that the many bathroom recyclables make it into the recycling bin rather than the trash? These tips should get you well on the way to having a greener bathroom:
- Place a recycling bin in the bathroom. Sometimes, the fact that the recycling bin is all the way in the kitchen or garage is enough of a deterrent for even the most conscientious person to recycle in the bathroom. After all, we’re often in a hurry to get ready for school or work, so it’s much easier to pitch that empty shampoo bottle in the waste-basket. Placing a designated container for recyclables in the bathroom removes the hurdle, making it so much easier to recycle. If you don’t have room for a second container, collecting recyclables in a plastic bag under the sink is a convenient way to avoid the temptation to toss.
- Seek out recyclable options. Take a look at the packaging on the toiletries you purchase. Next time you head to your local drugstore, look for products in packaging that is either recyclable, or made from all or partly-recycled material (it will probably be noted on the packaging). Once you find products you like, with packaging that’s recyclable, keep restocking with those specific products so that you won’t have to keep checking if they’re recyclable.
- Get other family members in the loop. Make sure everyone in the house is on board with your bathroom recycling initiative. Encourage your spouse, children, or roommates to get in the habit of throwing empty toilet paper tubes, bottles and other recyclable items in the recycling bin rather than the trash. If they’re not sure if something is recyclable, suggest they just leave the empty container on the bathroom counter so you can check on its recyclability later.
- Create mental reminders. Put a subtle reminder — like a leaf or a green triangle — on the outside or lid of your bathroom waste-basket. When you see it, it’ll jog your memory to be mindful of whether a piece of trash is recyclable or not. Along the same lines, draw a big green triangle or letter “R” on bottles and other containers that are recyclable. This lets everyone know that when it’s time to dispose of them, they should go in the recycling bin rather than the trash. You might also post a note on or near your curbside recycling bin as a reminder to get the bathroom recyclables on curbside pick-up day.