[THE] Tips For Creating a Recycling System in Your Home

*Sponsored by Nature Valley 

We love creating systems that promote healthier habits and simplify daily routines. In fact, we’ve discovered over the years that even the smallest changes can have a huge impact – which is extremely rewarding! 

Now, let’s talk about recycling. We know how important it is to recycle, but many people still find themselves tossing plastic wrappers and water bottles in the trash can without even realizing they are doing it. 

If this sounds like you, don’t worry – we’ve been guilty of this, too! That’s why creating an at-home recycling system is so important. The more intuitive it is, the more successful you and your entire family will be at following it. 

From how to sort your items to the bins you should choose, here are our must-have tips to make your recycling routine functional…and even fun! 

1. Separate by Category: 

Recycling should be sorted into two categories: Store Drop-Off and Curbside. To save time and avoid confusion, designate separate bins for each and make sure to label. 

Store Drop-Off: Over 90% of Americans are within 10 miles of a store drop-off location, which is so convenient! (Find yours here!) Eligible items feature a Store Drop-Off How2Recycle icon on their packaging, such as shopping bags, food storage bags, produce bags, product overwrap, and as of recently, Nature Valley Crunchy bar Wrappers.

Both of our families love these granola bars – and we’re thrilled how the Crunchy bar wrappers are now Store Drop-Off recyclable – a first of its kind! 

Curbside: At-home recycling that is collected by a municipal service, and includes items broader than plastics such as cardboard, paper, glass, etc.

2. Choose Closed Containers: 

Even though recycling doesn’t contain food that will spoil, it’s still important to keep these items covered and contained. We suggest choosing bins with easy-open lids since they will be accessed frequently. It also helps to look for storage with handles since you’ll be transporting them back and forth. 

If you are short on space, consider containers that can be mounted to the wall and removed when necessary.

3. Dedicate a Space: 

Whether it’s your garage, laundry room, or mudroom, the space needs to be accessible without being completely visible. Start by thinking about your daily routine. Do you tend to grab a bottle of water and a Crunchy bar to have on-the-go? Setting up a recycling system near an exit or entrance point will be the most convenient for you, and also provide a visible reminder when it’s time to make a drop off. 

4. Keep a Trash Can Nearby: 

This one is pretty obvious! Keep a trash can nearby for things that can’t be recycled or food waste that will make the bins messy

Find your nearest store drop-off location here! 

xo, clea + joanna

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  1. Love this soooooo much! I’m trying to find a system that works because I do take my plastics to target! I have thought about right at the door and keeping trash and curbside in my kitchen. My kitchen is small. Or maybe in my utility closet. But I still can’t decide. Any chance you can give some container recommendations? Which ones are in the top photo?

  2. I got a simple set of plastic drawers on wheels that I put at the side of my kitchen cabinets. Like these:
    The top drawer is for mixed hard plastic, glass and metals for curbside pickup. The middle drawer is now for plastic wraps, bags, and other things that I can drop off at the store for recycling. And the bottom drawer is for paper which I simply put into its own paper bag and include in my curbside recycling bin. I empty the bins 1-2 times per week into the large bin in my garage, which is much more convenient than going into the garage every time I want to recycle something!

  3. Hello! I think your pantry looks great! I liked that your containers are clear. That way if you want to change things a little it’s easier to just paint the walls or your shelves.

    Cleaning must be easy if you can move and store things in & out quickly!

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