Why compost? The waste we create is either deposited into a landfill, releasing a bunch of methane into the air, or in some cities, burned for energy. Composting is a great way to support a circular, naturally-occurring process that doesn’t produce more waste or unnecessary carbon emissions.
- Research your local composting options: does your city have commercial composting? If so, do they do curbside pick-up? If not, look into local farms that might compost pick-up for a fee, or look into backyard composting!
- Purchase a counter-top compost bin, or keep a compost-ready bag (available for purchase at any grocery store!) or a container in your freezer.
What can I compost?
This will depend on your method of composting, so do your research! Generally acceptable items include:
- veggie/meat scraps
- fruit scraps
- plant material (no yard waste)
- paper (no receipts), paper towels without grease
- pizza boxes and cardboard boxes
- certified compostable items or PLA plastic (commercial compost only)
Recycling is elemental to ensuring that the things we don’t consume erode our relationship with the world we live in!
A few good rules of thumb:
- Always wash items before placing in recycling. Too much food residue can contaminate a whole batch of recyclables.
- Aluminum, glass, and paper products are the easiest to recycle and recreate into new materials.
- Plastics numbered 1, 2, 4 and 5 are easiest to recycle. Thinner plastics like snack bags and food wraps are often not recyclable and are best put in the garbage.
- Sometimes, brands that use plastic packaging will partner with TerraCycle for free recycling programs. This can be done through mail-in or drop-off options.
- Loose plastic bags contaminate batches and should not be recycled individually. They can literally be a cog in the machine. (Note: some cities will allow you to collect all your plastic bags into one plastic bag and recycle your “bag of bags”.)
- PLA Plastic is actually plant-based and should not be recycled, rather composted.
- Research your local recycling facility! Specific rules and recommendations range by city and are definitely worth checking.