|This logo can be found on many different sorts of products. They have strict standards and consider the entire life cycle, from manufacturing to disposal.|
|Forest products come from sustainably managed forests when you see this logo (there is even FSC-supported maple syrup!).|
|The universal Mobius loop indicates that a product is recyclable or contains recyclable content (or both). When it contains recycled material, you will see a percentage in the center.|
|The Society of The Plastic Industry codes help to identify the type of resins in plastic bottles. They can make sorting and recycling plastic bottles easier for recyclers in Canada, according to the Government of Canada website. Recycling firms have various standards for what they accept and you can visit your recycling depot to find out which plastics they can recycle.|
BatteriesCall2Recycle leads the way for responsible battery disposal. Click here to find a drop off location near you.
ElectronicsCellphones can also be recycled through the Call2Recycle program. The aptly named Electronic Products Recycling Association can help with finding a location to drop off your specific electronic item, like a laptop, in your province.
AluminumWhether it's foils, wraps or trays: 33 per cent of the world’s aluminum is made from recycled material. The rigid trays are acceptable for recycling in most provinces, and it varies when it comes to aluminum foil. If you do recycle the foil, make sure that it is clean.
GlassThis seems intuitive, but glass is still thrown out on the regular, and glass that is thrown away and ends up in landfills will never decompose (!). Every glass counts, as one recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes. Most of us know to bring wine bottles back to the wine store for a monetary incentive, but make sure to pick any glass out of the trash bag. If the glass is broken, see if you can drop it off directly at your recycling plant to protect the sanitation workers.
Light BulbsI used to have a drawer filled with burnt out light bulbs. I would wait until it was full and then recycle them in bulk. Whatever your method, Canada’s LightRecycle couldn’t make it easier to find a collection site near you.
BooksAs a writer and book nerd, something in my soul hurts when I have to part with a book. You can always put a paperback in the blue bin, but a more sustainable solution may be to send them to an organization that distributes books to qualified organizations.
HangersMetal coat hangers are a tricky one. One option is to recycle through a metal recycler, but you can also bring a whole whack of them to your local dry cleaner. Done and done.
Clothing and BeddingTextiles have become easier than ever to recycle, with many programs offering the drop-off of bags and the pick-up of clothing. It is important to be conscious about where your clothing goes, as 85 per cent of the clothing we discard ends up in landfills. Drop your unwanted items in a bin, host a clothing exchange, or do something really wild and repair or re-stitch a well-worn item.
ShoesThere are many places where you can drop off your shoes, but Shoe Bank Canada has many pick-up locations that will distribute shoes, free of charge, to people in need across Canada. There are other categories we haven’t yet covered, and for those, take a few seconds to research where you can place those items rather than mindlessly throwing them out. If we all begin to do this, the world will undoubtedly be a greener place.
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