Summer Recycling Rundown

The summer squeeze is upon us. Despite every effort to avoid having plans, my summer inevitably gets crammed with picnics, parties, and play dates. With crazy schedules and kids scurrying underfoot, thinking about waste is usually the last thing I want to do. However, reducing waste doesn’t have to mean more work. Try a few of my methods to keep your summer lean and green!

  1. Grab a set of reusable plates, cups, bowls and utensils to set aside for picnics and potlucks. Choose a plastic set from a big box store. Better yet, check out a resale shop for a vintage version, preferably mustard yellow so it will stand out. Keep the set stashed aside so that it’s always ready when you’re walking out the door. Stick everything in the dishwasher when you get home for easy clean up!
  2. Be that guy (or girl) that walks around collecting the recyclables at an event. Better yet, pack up your potluck supplies in a small bin that can double as a recycling bin when you get there. Everyone remembers to bring their favorite beverage, but very few will think about the disposal options available at your venue.
  3. Do you compost at home? Maybe offer to schlep a few banana peels or watermelon rinds back to your pile. Better yet, drop off food scraps at one of WLSSD’s area food waste drop sites!
  4. Hosting a big event? Don’t worry, WLSSD can help! Whether you’re having a backyard barbeque or a wedding for 500, you can go waste free. At my wedding, I coordinated with the caterer ahead of time to make sure everything was served family style. We also used compostable cups, plates, and utensils. I came up with a few cute signs to let people know how to separate their food scraps from their recyclables, and away we went. Contact WLSSD to help plan to be waste-free at your next event!
  5. Can’t make compostable serveware work at your next big event, try a reusable option. Find a low cost, reusable cup. Set out markers and have folks decorate them for a fun give away option. This works great for kiddos too!

Make sure your summer fun doesn’t get littered with plastic cups and (gasp) trash cans piled with recyclables. Here’s to a sparkling clean summer of fun!

By AJ Axtell, Environmental Program Coordinator

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