Recycle What You Can
Grab everything that has usable life left and put it to the side. Put everything you plan to take home with you in one bin and everything that is still usable but that you don't particularly want in another bin or box. This could be leftover centerpieces, glass bowls, candles, candle holders, baskets, and photo frames. Make sure you grab any memorabilia you wish to hold on to, such as the guest book, toasting goblets, your bouquets, and even your aisle runner and table centerpiece. Put it all in your to-keep box.
In 1950 glass beer and soda bottles were refilled around ten to thirty times each. Coke bottles averaged about fifty refillings per bottle. By 1991 less than 9 percent of America's bottles were refillable. Yet throughout Europe and South America, and even in Canada, refilling glass beverage bottles is still quite common. Refilling saves more energy and money than recycling and it reduces waste.
All other materials that are left sitting around or piled up should be put into proper recycling containers or garbage bins. Check to make sure you know what can be recycled in your area. For example, some paper recyclers will accept newspapers and magazines while others only accept office-type paper and junk mail. Check with the local program administrators to find out how recyclables should be separated. Some recycling facilities take everything commingled and do the sorting at the facility either by hand or through complex machine-operated sorting systems.
What can recycled plastic be turned into besides more plasticcontainers?
Plastic bottles can be “spun” into fleece fabric (EcoSpun) and carpet fibers along with many other new and innovative materials. Just thirty-six recycled bottles can create one square yard of carpet.
After the wedding and honeymoon, go through your wedding-related items and determine what you are going to keep and what can be given or thrown away. You may have newspaper clippings of wedding-related articles, stacks of bridal magazines, fliers, posters, streamers, paper decorations, leftover invitations, favor cards, place cards, and seating charts. Save some things to put in memory books and scrapbooks and send the rest to the recyclers.
Here are some recycling basics:
Newspapers should be separated into their own container. Remove glossy inserts, ads, and magazines and put them in another bin.
Magazines, colored paper, envelopes, printed fliers, invitations, note cards, table tent cards, seating charts, programs, menus, computer paper, maps, and posters can go into one bin, but do not include cardboard, laminated paper, waxy coated papers, stickers, rubber bands, or plastic wrap.
Do not put paper plates, food-covered napkins, food wrappers, or anything with food residue into the paper recycling bin.
Corrugated cardboard gets separated into its own pile.
Some centers accept plastics mixed together, but others ask that they be separated by type. Plastics should have a number on the bottom, so you'll know how to separate them and whether they are recyclable in your area.
Most temporary plastic food containers such as those in TV and microwavable dinners are not recyclable.
Polystyrene cups, food trays, and egg cartons do not biodegrade, but many centers are starting to recycle them. Keep them in their own bin.
Glass is divided by color — clear, brown, and green.
Mirrors and light bulbs should not be placed with regular glass products.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs can be recycled at IKEA stores if you have one in your area.
Aluminum cans, foils, and foil packaging are highly recyclable. Food cans should be rinsed and have labels removed.
If you have any paint cans, they need to be kept separate from other aluminum cans and the labels need to be left on them.
If you have copper, bronze, or brass to recycle, keep them separate from the aluminum.
If you have electronic materials to dispose of, do it properly. Consider donating to various organizations or learn the proper way to dispose of e-waste in your local area.
To find a recycling center near you, call 1-800-CLEANUP.
If you have to haul everything to the local recycling center, enlist a responsible source to take everything there so you can go on and enjoy your honeymoon. Find an eco-minded friend or relative to take care of this for you so that you know it will be done by someone who appreciates the need to be green.
Paper can take up as much as 50 percent of landfill space, which is a real waste because most paper can be recycled. For every ton of paper that is recycled, you can save seventeen forty-foot Douglas fir trees.