Care to Recycle? Of course you do. Not only is it the law in most places but why would you want to throw things away? It’s more common thinking now but not too long ago, litter was about more than just excess plastics.
Being a wee bit older is good thing when it comes to perspective. When I was growing up, there was a strong concern about pollution and the environment. Anyone remember this commercial?
It wasn’t uncommon for people to literally throw the trash out the window without giving it a second thought. You’d find extinguished cigarette butts on the floor of the grocery store. And the consumer packaging only lent itself to the problem.
So campaigns were started. GIVE A HOOT! DON’T POLLUTE! Give me a virtual high five if you remember Woodsy the Owl. Sure, we started picking up our trash but the landfills became swollen and engorged.
Side note: I spearheaded an Adopt-A-Highway program for my employer about 20 years ago. If you ever want to truly understand how much littering still happens, pick a two mile stretch of road and see what you find. The quantity (and even what you find) is startling.
Maybe we were living healthier because everything came in glass and aluminum (TV dinners, anyone?) but we threw it all away. It kills me to think of what we threw away back then. Things that are so easily recycled that it’s now become habit.
Even the habit took a while. My first foray into recycling was when I moved to an apartment complex in Raleigh. In the parking lot of each building, you could find a recycling center: one bin for newspapers, one for aluminum, and one each for brown, green, and clear glass. It was a novelty. It was fun! But it still wasn’t mainstream. It took effort and not everyone was willing to do that.
Fast forward to today, it’s amazing how recycling has become an instinctive part of our lives. We have a rolling recycling bin that is always packed to the top even with our garbage bin is not. We have single stream recycling which means we can pretty much throw everything in one bin and it all gets sorted out somewhere. We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?
I’m convinced that the most compelling way to create a habit is to simply make it easy. Remove any barriers. Like, give everyone a giant trashcan and let them throw it all together and wheel it out to the curb every week. That’s it. That’s easy, right?
But there’s still a piece of the recycling puzzle that’s missing and it’s someplace you might have never expected… THE BATHROOM. That’s where Care to Recycle comes in.
If you already recycle anything that you can from your bathroom, then allow me to give you props. Because as eco-friendly as I am, I don’t recycle in my bathroom. And I’m not alone.
Research conducted with the Shelton Group* revealed that:
- While almost 70% of Americans say they consistently recycle, only 1 in 5 say they consistently recycle items they use in the bathroom.
- Nearly 40% of Americans say they never recycle in the bathroom.
- 20% of Americans say they didn’t know bathroom products were recyclable.
*2013 American Recycling Behaviors survey conducted by Shelton Group on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies.
You know what’s even worse? I worked for Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies and became fully aware of these stats two years ago as part of their CARE TO RECYCLE® program! Yes, I’m hanging my head in shame. And the reason I didn’t recycle is because I didn’t have a recycling bin upstairs and I’m wasn’t really sure where I’d put it if I had one.
Yes, that’s a lame excuse. Because the local home improvement store (with an orange sign) has blue plastic trashcan-sized recycling bins for $5.00. So I finally bought one and now, when we empty the upstairs trash every week, we’ll also empty our recycling bin. Simple, easy, no excuses.
Now the real question is: what can you recycle?
- Most plastic containers like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, baby powder, mouthwash, saline solution, deodorant, etc.
- Paperboard items like boxes, cartons, cardboard backing, and even those toilet paper rolls.
Bonus? It will keep your bathroom trashcans from filling up as much! For more assistance on what you can (and can’t) recycle from your bathroom, check out the Recyclebank-endorsed list on Johnson & Johnson’s Care to Recycle site.
This post was brought to you by Care To Recycle® and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own and I hope you enjoy them.