This is a guest post from Tom Szaky, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of TerraCycle, which provides free waste collection, and then turns that waste into sustainable products.
Nearly halfway through January, I’m still sorting out my resolutions. How about you?
I wanted to come up with resolutions that are practical and viable, and will support not only TerraCycle, but my own habits and lifestyle in general. What can I do that melds TerraCycle, my house, and a recycling mission overall? Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
1. Compost better, and compost more.
It’s hard to keep an effective compost bin going when I’m traveling and don’t eat at home much. But in order to be able to maximize composting and really use it to make a difference, I need to step it up.
Compostable packaging, which is beginning to become all the rage, is actually difficult to compost if a compost pile isn’t well managed and maintained. I want to be able to compost the compostable, and that will take my dedication.
Don’t have the time or the room to compost on your own? Check out this guide on local sites that will do it for you: Earth 911’s Recycling Center search (you can search “compost”) or Findacomposter.com.
2. Strive to purchase products that I know for sure come in recyclable packaging.
According to a Packaging Digest article in October 2011, 75% of Americans feel better about their environmental efforts when they recycle. This habit becomes incredibly easy and effective when buying things that are definitely recyclable through municipal recycling or programs like TerraCycle or Recyclebank.
Sounds simple, I know, but really look through your kitchen and I think you’d be surprised how many products come in non-recyclable packaging, I was.
3. Find more ways to reuse things in my own home.
If I get take out, or I have extra packaging lying around, I can probably find a use for it around my house. It’s time for me to get more creative myself, in my own home, instead of just leaving it to the design team at TerraCycle!
4. Support other recycling groups, such as the Carton Council, that are also working to make things more recyclable.
We already do this a lot at TerraCycle, but I think we can do it even more, and I can do it more on a personal level as well. The Carton Council is a great example – they’re working to make sure carton recycling is available across the country, not just in certain municipalities.
There are two ways I can resolve to accomplish this: fiscal donations, and/or word of mouth marketing (a personal favorite of TerraCycle!).
Do you guys have any other suggestions for me? What are your recycling resolutions in 2012?