When it comes to recycling, most millennials would rather chuck their stuff in the garbage can than take it to a recycling unit.
An online survey, in which majority of the respondents were between the ages of 18 and 34, revealed almost indifferent attitude toward the impact the Gen Y brigade can make on in-home recycling programs. 3 out of 4 persons polled said they don’t recycle paper and metal cans, while two-thirds said they trash their old electronics devices when they get new ones. The only silver lining: more than half of those polled said they would rather donate old clothes to charity than discard them.
Here’s more on what people said about recycling different items around the home.
Donating clothes trumps throwing them away
Giving away old clothes to charity is what 53 percent of the respondents said they would do. Textile waste formed 5.2 percent of total municipal waste in 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports. Items of clothing you don’t wear any longer can be given to charity organizations like Salvation Army and Goodwill or stores like H&M who take back used clothing. Or how about selling off your old, wearable clothes online? Mashable have compiled a list of websites which buy secondhand clothing and resell them.
What do I do with stacks of old newspaper?
Only 25 per cent of people said they were committed to recycling used paper and old newspapers in their homes. According to the EPA paper recycling facts, recycling one ton of paper saves enough energy to power a home for six months. That’s how valuable recycling paper can be! Eartheasy gives a guide on how to recycle paper and cardboard. Feeling creative? You can even go one step ahead and make your own recycled paper in a few simple steps given by Earth911. Next time you bin sheets of paper, think of how much energy can be conserved by recycling.
Used metal cans – are they any good?
Sipping a favorite cola from a can and trashing it later is what most people said they did. Over 70 percent of respondents said they did not recycle metal cans, leading to an increasing pile-up of metal waste in landfills. Not only are metal cans recyclable, but they can earn you money, says Earth911 which gives you the basics of recycling metal for money. Also you can sell used aluminum cans and other metallic items to companies such as SIMS Metal Management which pay good money for scrap metal. Find a recycling facility near you and get paid! Sims is located in several cities across the United States from Redwood City, CA to Richmond, VA.
Look, I got a new phone. Let’s dump the old one!
Most of the respondents – 68 percent to be exact – said they dumped their old gadgets when they switched to new ones. Junking old devices instead of recycling them was found to be the case in another survey by electronics shopping and review site Retrevo who also found that many young people did not pay much attention to energy ratings while buying a gadget. To make it easier to recycle your old gadgets, an eCycling Leadership Initiative has been taken by the electronics industry. Also, innovation in the way electronics are recycled is making it possible to make electronics recycling centers more accessible to you, reports Forbes.
How can I get my family to recycle?
Only 38 percent of respondents said they passed on their recycling knowledge to their families. Getting your family involved in recycling can be a fun activity you can all do together. The blog DoSomething.org suggests you create a recycling center in your home and teach your family to use it- get separate bins to put in items to recycle. Even offer to take these bins to a local recycling unit.
Recycling doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s a great way of giving back to the community and helping make our planet greener. If you can’t find a local recycling program, why not start your own with the help of friends and family? The EPA lists out the process you need to follow to start your own recycling program, even if it’s just around your neighborhood.
Even a small step can make a difference – your planet needs you!