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Really assess your garbage, look at everything that you are throwing away and find out if you can recycle it.  That's the best recycling tip I’ve ever gotten. When you stop and really look you find that there is so much more you can recycle that you don't.

Most everything you buy at the store these days comes in some type of packaging, and usually a lot of it. Look at each part of the packaging and ask, can I recycle this?

A lot of the time you think about recycling big things, like the newspaper, magazines, or cardboard boxes. Sometimes though the small things get forgotten. A single sheet of paper sometimes just gets thrown into the trash without a second thought. Every single one of those pages adds up. Every failed print job, every old note, and every grocery list adds up, and over years that ends up being a lot of paper.

Look at the things you usually throw into the trash that might not actually be garbage. If you’re throwing out an old appliance that still works, donate it instead of trashing it, if it doesn’t work take it to the dump to be scrapped and recycled. If you have wood; don’t throw it in the garbage, look for someone with a wood burning stove, save it for a campfire, or compost it. If you have yard debris and no yard debris bin; mulch it, or take it to the dump to be recycled as mulch.

Consider everything you are going to throw into your trash can and ask yourself, “Is there some way I can recycle this?” It is surprising how often the answer to that question is yes.

Some items come packaged in big plastic containers with a cardboard insert. Instead of just throwing out the whole package take the time to separate the packaging into its individual components and recycle what you can. Only throw out what can’t be recycled.

Deliberately assessing what you throw away does take more time, and sorting your trash and recycling properly does take more work. In the end though it is better for our environment, and the world we will be leaving to our children. Hopefully that makes it worthwhile for us all.

For another recycling tip check out Put a Paper Recycling Bin in Your House.

If you have any other thoughts or tips please leave them in the comments below.