Earth Day 2018

Earth Day is Sunday April 22, 2018. Although reduce, reuse and recycle is constantly on the minds of most of our readers; this is a day to possibly dig even deeper into individual habits that may affect the stability of this beautiful earth.

Here are some ways to recycle common kitchen waste products that pile up quickly, yet are not generally acceptable in community curbside waste programs. Recycling programs are constantly evolving and readjusting so it is often a search to find out what goes where, but the earth is worth effort.

Earth Day 2018

Food Related Items to Recycle & Reuse

Everyone can get involved with Earth Day, but why limit it to just one day? Eating can generate a lot of potential trash, we’ve talked about that again and again, and even suggested recycling foods to help the situation. This time we’re talking about all the waste that comes from the acts of preparing food and what can be done with the non-edibles involved in this process.

Brita filters can be saved until you have at least 5 pounds and then they can be shipped back to Brita for recycling. Request a free shipping label to mail them back.

Water filters that should be replaced every six months in most refrigerators are not recyclable in curbside bins. Whirlpool has introduced a program to recycle them, it costs to get the recycling envelope, but they give you about the same amount as discount on your next purchase. Request a kit to be mailed to you here.

Yogurt containers and other #5 plastics are not generally accepted at curbsides. Preserve Products makes toothbrushes and other things from yogurt containers and other #5 recyclables. There are recycling bins located at most Whole Foods markets, along with other nationwide locations documented on their website.

Wine corks can be reused for some clever art projects, like wall art as pictured above (click the picture to purchase a desired letter). To let someone else deal with used corks, find a drop-off location here so they can be turned into things like corkboards.

Take out food containers can be made of many different materials. If made of cardboard, they can be recycled at the curb. The ones pictured above are biodegradable and can be placed into a compost bin. Plastic ones can be reused, but they are not safe for long term food storage. Consider using plastic ones as containers to organize a junk drawer. Least desirable of all are styrofoam ones which must be tossed into the trash and hang forever in a landfill.

Glass bakeware (such as Pyrex) is generally either coated, too thick or otherwise not suitable for recycling centers. Donate unneeded pieces and then trash those that are broken.

recycle glass jar

Glass jars don’t need to be washed before recycling anymore, that’s a waste of water. Simply use a rubber scrapper to remove the last bits of food from the jar before it hits the curbside bin. Same goes for plastic jars. Also, tin cans do not need the labels removed before recycling.

Greasy pizza boxes can actually contaminate things at the recycling plant so should not be recycled with regular cardboard. Consider using a compost bin for these boxes (unless it was lined and somehow remained grease free, then it can recycle).

Plastic grocery bags, although known to be bad for the environment, are still being used regularly in many places. In 2016, 380 billion plastic bags were estimated to be used each year – which requires 12 million barrels of oil to produce according to the EPA. [1]

Paper is thrown away in staggering amounts each year too. Most of us now recycle all paper products, but there is more that can be done. Don’t print emails, they can be easily referenced online. Cancel catalogs that come in the mail @, they’re all available online too. Exchange magazines and paperbacks with your neighbors, or donate them to a doctors office.

reusable bag

Reusable grocery bags help to diminish both plastic and paper waste, but most are bulky and often get left behind unless careful planning is done before shopping. Bags that are strong yet lightweight and can withstand washing are the best option. Ones that can be rolled up and placed into tiny bags that can hook onto a backpack or stow into a purse, without even causing a bulge, are even better. Keep an eye out at trade shows and fairs as companies often give away these little gems for advertising purposes. Those into both beauty and purpose will find it all on the website.

recycle cup
Coffee pods actually add up so fast in landfills with the popularity of the little machines that we previously devoted a post to just coffee pod recycling.

Old sneakers, no matter how worn, can be turned into playgrounds and other new products. If your athletic shoes are beat from running too many times around the kitchen and to the grocery, then retire them to a Nike or Converse store for recycling. Use the find a location button at to locate the nearest store.

Earth Day 2018

Each person creates about 4 pounds of trash each day, of this about 75% is actually recyclable. If you didn’t find what you’re looking to recycle in the above list, don’t give up. Since all things are not taken in all places, you can find out where to recycle almost anything @

Another way to recycle is to find new uses for old tools, or donate them instead of tossing.

Earth day celebrations will take place all over the country, check your local websites for more information.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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