Recycling at home, it can be confusing. Join Valerie Barber as she discovers as a housewife just exactly how much can be recycled.

So, one way Will and I want to help better the environment is recycling. We were already recycling bottles and cans in the kitchen but we always forget to recycle in the bathroom. So we made it a point to recycle more in both places and others around the house.

A Little Side Story

Will likes to grab a soda or energy drink (I know… I don’t want to hear it) before we leave the house to go shopping. It never used to bother me that he would throw away the can at the store before we walked in. However, now it bothers me when stores do not have a recycling can for things like this. I mean it is summer and it is hot here in Florida so people will be drinking things like juice, water, sodas and more. Also, for the record, I’ve gotten Will to drink healthier energy drinks. Yes, they do exist and there is a lot on the internet for healthy energy drinks made without caffeine and stuff we can’t even pronounce. That is a story for another day.


Keeping a recycling sign handy heelps taKe out the stress of what to recycle. Back to the Point

So here is a small list of what I/we did to improve recycling in our home:

  1. Put a recycling trash can in the bathroom. We had it in the kitchen but it never got used. We generally use designated countertop space for the kitchen.
  2. Printed out on pretty paper and in pretty colors what we can and cannot recycle in our area on a weekly basis. Then, I taped it on the wall above the designated counter area. And can you believe my husband actually READ it?!?! (His comment after reading it was, “We recycle most all of this already”)
  3. Use reusable grocery bags. This isn’t really recycling except that we aren’t using plastic bags, which are bad and cannot be recycled in our area (boo!) If I forget them I will go back home and get mine too.
  4. We use plastic grocery bags as trash bags. I’ve never bought trash bags… ever. I know this is counterproductive to #3 but my parents use a lot of plastic still and still buy trash bags. They actually have so many plastic grocery bags saved up that when I do need them, I just ask them for more instead of going to the grocery store. They do also use reusable grocery bags but generally their groceries need plastic as well. By asking them for plastic bags, that means I’m not putting more in as they would have done it anyway.

Things to Recycle - Kitchen (please remember to rinse)

  • milk cartons/containers
  • glass bottles
  • plastic bottles
  • metal cans
  • meal boxes (just the box, not the packages inside generally)
  • cola and beer boxes
  • empty paper towel rolls

Save somee steps and don't forget! Put a recycling can in the bathroom. Things to Recycle - Bathroom (please remember to rinse)

  • shampoo/conditioner bottles
  • hand soap bottles
  • empty toilet paper rolls
  • tissue boxes
  • lotion bottles
  • perfume bottles
  • bandaid boxes
  • pill bottles
  • mouthwash bottles
  • make-up compacts
  • toothpaste boxes

Other Recyclables

  • magazines and mail
  • newspapers (not the plastic wrapping around the paper)

Possible Recyclable Items

Not every area takes these so you want to check with your local recycling division first before throwing these in your bin. Also, you may check if your area offers a monthly recycle program for items such as these:

  • batteries
  • toothpaste tubes
  • toothbrushes
  • plastic bags and wrappers

Also, our community is starting to do more electronics and battery recycling programs as well. Unfortunately, I can never remember when it is to get the word out. I have found that by being a member of local Facebook groups, I am more aware of what is going on in and around the community for everything from family events to recycling programs and more. It’s really kinda cool.

One way I have learned a lot about recycling and get rewarded for it is with Recyclebank. So sign up for it. There’s lots of tips, tricks, rewards and information there. There is a lot more that can probably be recycled in some areas that can’t be in others so be sure you check with your waste management and recycling divisions before taking my word for it.