Bathroom Recycling: One Family’s Tips

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Families, like the Michigan-based Egberts, who apply the reduce/reuse/recycle mantra in the bathroom are few and far between. That fact was revealed in a study from the Shelton Group, a sustainability-focused advertising and marketing group, that showed more than 80 percent of consumers rarely (if ever) recycle products and packaging from the bathroom.

“I want to be mindful of what I’m adding to the landfills that will still be here when my son gets older,” says Kate Egbert, 26, wife, mom and avid DIYer.

Kate and her family are among a small (but hopefully growing!) percentage of consumers looking to green up their bathroom waste. The Shelton Group reported that recycling in the bathroom is simply not top of mind for many people — 22 percent of respondents admitted to never thinking about recycling in the bathroom and 20 percent were unaware products in the bathroom can even be recycled.

Here are the Egberts’ tips for keeping sustainability top of mind in the smallest room in the house:

1. Make It Fun
Once the Egberts’ baby, Cooper, gets older, Kate plans to teach him about reuse through hands-on activities. “I am excited to use simple things like toilet paper rolls and empty plastic bottles for all sorts of fun and entertaining projects,” she says. “A quick look on Pinterest shows dozens of crafts that will be fun for both of us.”

2. Use Less, Save More
Aside from getting crafty with her garbage, Kate also works to generate less of it in the first place. “I try to recycle what I can, but also purchase products in a way that will add less waste, such as bigger bottles,” she says.

She also makes it a point to conserve her bathroom water usage by filling the bathtub with only a couple of inches of water during Cooper’s baths.

3. Take Inventory of Everything That Can Be Recycled
Look around your bathroom to see what can be recycled. When you buy new products — in the Egberts’ case, baby shampoo bottles and baby powder containers — look for the recycling symbol and number to see if your local recycler accepts them. Try to buy products that come in packaging that can be recycled.

4. Remember Why Sustainability Matters
Even though Kate and her husband Miles have always cared for the environment, it’s taken on a new priority now. “It’s important to use our resources and land wisely because they are limited,” Kate says. “Now I have to care for someone who’s going to inherit it!” When you think about why conserving our resources is crucial, it makes it that much easier to consider sustainability in every aspect of your life.

Want to learn more about bathroom recycling? Visit caretorecycle.com.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock

Editor’s Note: Earth911 partners with many industries, manufacturers and organizations to support its Recycling Directory, the largest in the nation, which is provided to consumers at no cost. Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies is one of these partners.

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