Remember that time we shared with you a few no-no’s for the recycling bin? One of those problematic plastic polluters that bears repeating is anything that is smaller than two inches. Let us consider this for a moment. How many folks do you imagine opened a carton of milk and tossed that little sealing tab in the trash? Maybe our hypothetical human is Earth loving and so rinsed that itty bitty piece of plastic and tossed it into their recycling. Most likely, it is still going to end up in a landfill or worse, the ocean.

Ever drop an earring on the dance floor? Small things are easy to lose. Your milk tab may fall out of your trash bag on the way to your bin, on the way from the bin to the trash truck, on the way from the trash truck to the transfer station. Even if it makes it to the landfill, it’s small enough and light enough to sift through and around and follow some rain runoff to a creek to a river. On a trek to a recycling facility the same scenario could play out OR it could end up clogging up the machinery and causing a whole batch of recycling to be incinerated.

Consider making a small stuff station in your kitchen or laundry room. I keep two quart mason jars in my kitchen. One catches small plastic things and the other catches small metal things. Here is the plastic I captured this month:

Now what you ask? I make it bigger. I put it in some other container that is destined for the trash...perhaps a takeout container in non-recyclable black plastic? Suddenly my little plastic troublemakers are big enough to make it to their forever home in the landfill. Sad? Yes. But not AS sad as letting them unchecked into the water system. 

Same same for metal - the most recyclable of all things. You know all the metal tops on jars you (gasp) didn’t repurpose and put in the recycling bin? All your beer caps? The aluminum toothpaste tube that you selflessly cut and cleaned? Aluminum foil that miraculously has no food residue on it? All these things can be recycled but are probably too small and will be lost. 

Make them bigger! Tins are my favorite way to send metal to the recycling facility. Cookie tins get saved for this purpose and they are the absolute best because they’re allll metal. I usually have a ton of these on hand as my mum loves those shortbread cookies that you can only get during the holidays. Her stash of tins will keep me recycling through the year but you get my drift. Putting small things into bigger things reduces the chance that they’ll get lost in the shuffle and do more damage.

Obviously these are only suggestions and you'l need to check with your local recycling center to see if mixed metals will be recycled at your facility! We would also love to hear your ideas regarding baby steps to help our Mother Earth - comment below!
And remember that every little change we make toward a more sustainable planet is a step in the right direction. Buying less plastic and consuming less overall is the goal but every little thing helps and reminds me that we can make a difference. One little thing at a time.

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