A few months ago I started to notice how much trash I was throwing away.
Every few days I'd make a trip out to the Dumpster. I knew then I was throwing too much away.
I've started changing my habits the past couple of weeks. I can't say that I've completely transformed into a environmental, green-loving person, but I'm making my best attempt at doing so.
I've started placing a few boxes I use for recycling underneath my kitchen table. One houses my plastics I recycle and another houses paper.
The pop cans currently are drying out from a recent cleaning, but I suppose there's another box in the future that will house those.
I'm amazed how often and how much I recycle now. Old newspapers now go into the recycle box instead of the Dumpster.
Not to mention the mountain of papers I accumulate, including bills that get shredded, work papers that get taken home and an endless supply of loose notebook paper I use for notes and lists.
Those boxes are getting full, and this week I'm planning my first trip to take my items to one of the city's recycling trailers.
The city of Garden City has various recycling spots across town for numerous items. On its Web site, garden-city.org, the city outlined which items are and aren't acceptable at the recycling center and trailers.
The list of acceptable items include:
Office paper, including paper with staples and paper clips
Light colored and pastel colored paper
Shredded office paper
Newspapers and magazines
Non glossy corrugated cardboardSome plastics, including plastics that have the numbers 1 or 2. Plastics have a number in a triangle, indicating the item's number.
Items that the city does not accept in its recycling center include glass, dark or neon colored paper, envelopes with adhesives, non-corrugated cardboard, such as cereal boxes or glossy boxes, tin foil, plastic bags, food wrapping, and anything that is dirty or unprepared.
Also, a few other places in town accept plastic grocery bags. Community Day Care, 505 College Drive, accepts plastic bags and Emmaus House, 802 N. Fifth St., accepts plastic and paper bags.
Community Day Care also accepts any kind of plastic container and Emmaus House accepts plastic containers with lids.
Since I decided to recycle I've also started to donate more of my items that I don't use. Old decorations and household items do not benefit me when they're sitting in a box in my closet, I've finally realized.
Every few weeks I get a few boxes, place them on the floor in my apartment, and weed out the things I need and don't need in my life. I then donate the boxes of items to either Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
I have boxes in my living room now waiting to be donated.
Before, clothes that I didn't like or didn't wear anymore were just thrown away. Now, they are sitting at a thrift shop and will hopefully benefit somebody who otherwise might not be able to afford clothing.
The concept of being friendly to the environment isn't new, but I guess that some of us take some convincing first. I didn't just jump on the bandwagon cold-turkey, either. After being around environment-loving co-workers and a family that recently started to recycle, I suppose it was just a matter of time before the green bug hit me.
Has it hit you yet?
Staff writer Monica Springer can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.