The May I (Start to) Recycle

So apparently Recycling Month is April, to coincide with Earth Day and all the excitement around it. For this blog and myself, it’s going to be May though. I decided this yesterday as I unloaded my first Whole Foods bag full of recyclables at the little drop-off area of the store.

It was a big day. And it’s worth documenting. If only there was someone there to snap a photo of the embarrassingly triumphant look on my face as I drop the items in.

I know for a lot of you reading this, it seems ludicrous that I am writing about my first (real) time really recycling, but it’s the truth. You might recall that I recently wrote (on Earth Day, actually!) that I didn’t really grow up with the everyday opportunity to recycle. Well, I wasn’t kidding.

And let me tell you, separating my paper and different plastics into the different bins they were meant for yesterday and walking back to my car with that empty bag was liberating.

Did I already say it was a big day?

Since writing the post about the “basics” of recycling, I began more aware of everything I used up and inspected every package for a recycle symbol with a number (resin identification code) inside it. I swear, you know you’re appreciating the little things in life when you get excited about seeing that the plastic tray your cookies were in has the symbol on it, giving you the OK to recycle it.

So I just set my Whole Foods bag aside and was amazed by how quickly it filled up! I was so thrilled by seeing how much was going in my “to recycle” bag as opposed to my trash bag, you’d think I was getting some Ben Franklins for it or something!

It was just incredible to think how much waste I, one lone person, can stop from going into landfills by recycling. Such a simple way to make an impact. According to the EPA, the average American generates 4.5 pounds of waste a day. It’s not hard to figure out that that will quickly add up.

You may have noticed that I said I did my recycling at Whole Foods. As if the place really needs another reason to be a version of my own personal heaven, yes, you can recycle there. At the location I go to, there are areas right inside the vestibule and also café. Maybe not quite as convenient as curbside, but at least it’s an option for those of us who don’t have many others! And kudos to them for providing that service as well. It is convenient when you are going to shop there anyway, so you can just unload your bag of recyclables before you load back up with groceries.

Now since I set out to become a recycler, my eyes are seeing everything around me in a new way, with new possibilities, and it’s so exciting. And this is why, this month will be the May I Recycle, or at least start.

With my new view on things, I’m seeing that there is so much more to recycling than juice containers and newspapers. So this month, I’m setting out to learn about all of it that comes to mind. If you have anything to offer or something that you’ve been wondering about, let me know!


39 Comments Add yours

  1. Kudos to you for a great blog and excellent start to your recycling. I’m lucky to have had curbside pickup for many years, even though I live in a very rural area. I also compost food waste. Here’s some info you might find handy for not only recycling other things you don’t need or want anymore, but also as a possible “shopping” source: — just search for the nearest community in your state that has a group.

    The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,784 groups with 7,142,100 members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and thus keeping good stuff out of landfills. Membership is free, and everything posted must be FREE, legal and appropriate for all ages.

    1. jdgutc says:

      I have heard of this site before but have never checked it out. Thanks for the link. It looks like a great resource and fun too! And thanks for reading my blog. 🙂

  2. jenclinton says:

    i just wrote about how, when it comes to the environment, one person can make all the difference in the world. BRAVO!

    1. jdgutc says:

      Thanks for reading! I love your blog & will be linking to it. Excited to read more!

  3. itsmygalaxy says:

    I would just like to share something amazing that my school has recently implemented: streamline recycling. Basically, instead of having to sort our papers from our plastics from our glasswares, we can now dump everything into one bin and it will all get sorted out and recycled. After learning about others who do not have access to such opportunities to recycle, I am very appreciative and will work doubly hard to reduce waste!

  4. melanirae says:

    Yeah! Glad to see you are so into doing it. Living in Sweden you learn to embrace it. We have 9 different bins we have to separate our trash into. It’s second nature to me now.

  5. Diah says:

    I have a plan to recycle as many things in my house as I can, but until now it is still a plan (shame on me!). It’ll be good if there is recycle center nearby. It’s not available just yet. So… as I’m planning to move out to another place, I have no choice but to recycle as fast as I can, or just simply throw the rubbish away.

  6. niceartlife says:

    Great post and info, I’m also trying to recycle as much as possible and seperate types of waste. It’s incredible how much plastic we trow away daily and how much paper and carton. Hopefully as much as possible people will do this too and the world can be a cleaner place. Great blog!

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  8. dlfields says:

    Welcome to the world of recycling. City leaders in our area recently ok’d recycling bins for people within the city limits. You should have heard the complaints; they made recycling sound like the most complicated, time consuming thing they’ve ever done.
    We’ve been recycling for years; I take four or five bags to the recycling center every couple of weeks. Items that the recycling center doesn’t take we (egg cartons) we take to our daughter’s school to use in art class.
    Aside note: Have you heard about Target’s program to reduce plastic bags? If you bring in reusable bags for your purchases, you get five cents off for each bag. Kudos to Target!

  9. Breland Kent says:

    What a great blog! Thank you for sharing your thoughts 😉

    1. Silly Stuff says:

      Come on Breland you say the same on every blog you visit. This blog host just has to check any of the other new postings on the wordpress home page today and you will be found. Check out some one made a comment like mine on the toothbrush publicity blog.
      Put some thought other than hoping people will visit you blog. Its all above giving real value.
      Somewhere inside you can offer something more.

  10. pen2sword says:

    Best wishes to you and your recycling venture! Sounds like me at the grocery store the first time I used no plastic bags. (I exclaimed to half the store “Woo! It all fit! It all fit!” because I was seriously doubting all our groceries would fit in our reusable bags.)
    I wish I could recycle, but my city sucks and charges you money for it (and it still goes to the landfill– my dad followed the recycling truck once). Sigh…

    1. Jess says:

      wow, that is terrible, what city are you from?

  11. Jacquelyn,
    Congratulations! Every person like you makes a difference.
    Worth noting when I used to live in Canada my family and I shopped at Whole Foods. Like you we recycle and we worked on cutting down on packaged items.
    Perhaps this idea may help: One way we used to cut down on having items to recycle is to buy grains like rice and flour in bulk. Perhaps your store has this option? If so it is worth checking out.
    Now we live in the south of France and I have yet to find very good sources of bulk organic foods.
    Best of Success in all you do.

  12. Rohit says:

    I am happy for you to see that you are happy doing what you just started.

    In India, and a lot of other countries in Asia and Africa, recycling is a way of life. It really pisses us off when the world try to teach us of the global warming, environment etc. If you come to India, even to this day, a lot of grocery you buy will be packed in newspaper. People dont just throw plastic, but collect it and later sell it which will be eventually recycled. Old clothes, glass, any plastic or metal are valued by people who recycle.

    A small example – US produces twice the no. of fruits India produces but cuts 7 times the no. of trees to pack the fruits. This is just one example. There are several instances which can pin down the west.

    I hope a lot of people in your country follow what you do.

  13. frigster says:

    i see i am a little different than you guys, i actually steal recyclables around town, and then throw them in a dumpster. that to me is liberating, oh the good times that are had is absolutely enlightening, not to mention the laughs that are shared between me and my friends, just picturing people taking time out of their busy lives, just to have me swoop by, and ruin everything they were trying to accomplish.

  14. danakennedy says:

    Great post! I’m putting a link to this blog on my site at . Good luck with your recycling plan – we really can save the planet one person at a time!

    Dana Kennedy

  15. I have a thing for recycling as well, though I live in a house with 4 other people I seem to be doing it for all of us. As they say “every little helps”

  16. lilabyrd says:

    Congrats! I love it when I see someone having a good time feeling good about helping the environment. I found myself in a rather intense posting with a person who could not see the value of one person doing any good unless that person “went all the way” and I tried to explain that it can start with one person doing one thing and big changes will follow for the whole world and everything helps! Wish I had a camera and could have taken your photo for you….now just enjoy the good feelings and keep up the great work! :} …. Lila

  17. Anwar Khan says:

    Jhad is very importent for muslim , espacialy in these days, because the enemey of Islam attack on Muslim countries, all over the world..We can’t agnoor Jahad in this satuation of the World, from one side the Chirstications attack on Muslim World, on the other side World Zionist, World Anarchist, Jewish, World Jewish Congrees, Israeli’s inculded,.. ( Fremasionery, Lion Club, Mossad, Rotary Club, Jaycees, Watch Tawor, Awake, & so many others .. ) , attacked on the Muslim Brothers hood. The Oil campanies like Seven Sisters, or Six Sisters are also busy to attack on Islamic World from hundreds years ago, espacialy 60 to 80 years back, actualy this was begun more then 300 years. This was started from early 1705 to 2001. The 2001 is ENDING of this dirty games. Thay are duging their ” GRAVE YARD ” in ISLAMIC WORLD now a days.This is the time, when they are going to their ” ENDS “. ” INSHALLAH. “.The 11/9 was a big fault from American , Israel’s, UK, Pentagone, CIA, FBI, MOSSAD, JEWISH, MI5, MI6, ISI, IB, FIU, FIA, SEPCIAL BRANCH, ( more then 30 small other agencies. ). India, RAW, KGB, USSR, Black Waters, Worl Jewsih Congrees, World Zionist, World Anarchist, Oil company, Puppet Al- Qaeda, Taliban, OSAMA, BUSH, BUSH Fathers, ( just now OBAMA, ) Tony Bailer, and so many ” OTHERS “, envolived in this” CENTURY FAULT. “. They gaine noting from this 11/9 dirtry game, they lost every think in this game, it was not END of this game. They are ” TOTALLY FAILED ” in this war project. The result of this failed projects are as ” WORLD ECONOMIC WAR CIRSIS. “, US Economic cirsis, Europ Economic Cirsis, Israel’s war with Hezbullah, Israel’s war with Hammas, US Army are failed in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, Yemen etc etc….This was gift from Jewish & Bush to American, & all over the world.. The ” 11/9 IS GIFT FROM GOD TO MUSLIM NATION. “.They are awaking in this Modren age. The are knowing the Price of OIL & GAS, ITS MUST BE 200 EUROO, not 40 or 50 dallor. The time will be Chang, its not in their hands. They are lose politics, in these days Britain is in Politicl Cirsis & Economical Cirsrs. The Parties lost their Confident, the queen gon with the wind. The Poor London can’t do any thing. GOD IS SO GREAT, Britisher are not so great, They are failed in IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, & PAKISTAN BADLLY. The 2011 is coming soon.its their ENDING YEAR. THANKS GOD

  18. Zach Ellerbrook says:

    Congratulations on starting recycling Jacquelyn! It’s one of those hard habit to start/hard habit to break things.

    Our family keeps two tubs that we got from Target, and every Sunday we take them to the city recycling place on the way to church. We didn’t take the recycling once or twice before, and it made the drive really weird, like we forgot something.

    Great job on getting in the habit of recycling, and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    Always Enjoy Life,

  19. Way to go! My organic food waste goes in the compost heap, and most everything else gets recycled. The regular trash sees very little anymore. In addition to recycling, it also helps to choose products that have less packaging, or to reuse the packaging as some other purpose. Even better, don’t buy it at all unless it is important. Reduce, reuse, and recycle.

  20. Claire says:

    Cheers –both for being selected for top press and for starting to recycle. I am lucky to live in an area where there is curbside and we do not have to sort.

    Still, I had a shock when I did the No Impact Experiment and one of the days was to measure our trash/recycling and try to reduce both. I’m pondering composing, but living in an apartment and not having a garden…not sure.

    1. Jess says:

      I haven’t tried it yet but as I am moving to an apartment soon and I love to compost I have been looking at indoor composting options. There are loads of different systems that are small and supposedly don’t smell at all. I’ll be trying at least one of them out come september!

  21. Prateek says:

    A good start indeed. In my country we have special people called ‘Kabaddiwalas’, who buy paper, plastic, metal and all other scrap from you at a fixed rate/kg and they then make it into stuff. Paper is usually converted into paper bags. Clothes into bags. Plastic bottles are washed, cleaned and reused, so are glass bottles. The scrap metal is also reused. And they make a profit from refreshing the scrap. In short it is a win-win situation for everyone.

  22. Andrew says:

    Kudos on starting recycling. I have been at it for many years now. My no means am I better (if it was thought of in that way), just stating, as it is good for everyone to recycle, and raise awareness.

    I think the positives much outweigh the negatives for recycling, especially all the plastic and trash that finds its way into our oceans/ecosystem.

    As a wannabe (I say wannabe as I have much to improve on) environmentalist, recycling has led to many other things, such as buying products that are good to the environment (ie. all natural shampoo), and companies that are good to the environment and have good environmental programs in place.

    Anyway, kudos again, and I hope your recycling journey leads to great places and things (whatever that means… it just came to mind, but I mean it in a good way!)!

  23. team canada says:

    If everyone can care more about the environment at the beginning,we must be living in a better home now.

  24. majid says:


  25. Recycling is a great way to contribute to the clean up of the Earth. Also, I need to start shopping at Whole Foods. People have nothing but magnificent things to say about it!

  26. I’m so glad you started recycling and found it enjoyable! It’s amazing how much you’ll find you can recycle, and it just leaves you wondering about how, if in our society, everyone took part in this we could really make a difference in saving our planet!

  27. Dennis says:

    Great work! Recycling is so important. I recycle EVERYTHING I can, and always donate items I have but don’t want anymore to Salvation Army/Goodwill. Keep up the good work!

  28. april says:

    great post. I am glad I’m not the only one who gets excited about recycling.

  29. GraceKay says:

    Great post. I wish I could get my family to recycle, but they can’t be bothered and we have curbside pickup!

  30. Songbird says:

    Good for you! I routinely (every week) sort out and recycle all plastics, paper products, glass and tins… when you get into the habit of it- you vannot NOT do it- you start to feel guilty otherwise…lol!

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