Special Recycling Day

Earth Day Edition

It seems fitting that on Earth Day you should give the planet a present. But what do you give the planet that has everything? If you're struggling to come up with something, I have a few suggestions:

1. Take a shorter shower or skip your shower altogether! (If you've already showered by the time you read this, you could substitute "only flush the toilet selectively today" or "don't let the water run when you wash the dishes/brush your teeth.")

Here's our latest state drought map, after all, including the thirteen more river basins Governor Inslee has declared in drought conditions. Snowpack is at 20% of normal.

2. Consider installing one of these:

Look at these happy gentlemen from the King Cty website!

Not being the handy, installing type myself, I wish one of these rain barrels would magically appear outside our house, ready to go. But the County has an FAQ and tips for you more motivated types.

3. If you're under the gun timewise, consider the belated Earth Day gift. Bellevue's 2015 Spring Special Recycling Day is Saturday, May 2, from 9am-3pm in the Bellevue Presbyterian Church parking lot. What do they take, that you can't recycle curbside? Here are just some of the biggies:

Block styrofoam
Packing peanuts

And new this year...

Rigid plastics!!!

I'm pretty excited about the rigid plastics, since, like most Americans, I have a few of those $5 resin chairs in various states of usability cluttering up the backyard. Not to mention plastic buckets that used to contain something. There's only so many plastic buckets you can have around the house.

And you know, of course(?) that curbside recycling already can take household batteries now! The most recent flyer I've received says to place regular and rechargeable batteries in a separate, clear sealed bag and put it on top of the recycling bin for pickup. Strangely, King County has not updated its website to reflect this change.

Same goes for those fluorescent tubes and bulbs that I hate and refuse to buy any longer: wrap them in newspaper and secure with tape. Mark them "Fluorescent bulbs" and put them on top or beside your bin. (Bartell's will also recycle CFLs.)

4. And then there's always the "Reuse" option, for you serial re-gifters. I re-use freezer bags until they look cruddy or won't seal. I've re-used the thicker plastic bags found in cereal boxes for when I need a sturdier cover for things outside like the umbrella stand. I re-use plastic grocery bags to collect smaller recyclable plastic bags or to line the compost bin (but not to throw in the yard waste, of course). I reuse glass peanut butter jars to hold beans in the pantry or to refrigerate homemade yogurt. I reuse plastic trays and bowls and containers people have left after potlucks and such to serve my own potluck offerings or to send food home with others later--that way it doesn't matter if you ever get it back. And when the things aren't on condition to be re-used again, they can be recycled curbside or brought to the Special Recycling Day!

So no excuses, this year. Give our awesome planet a present and have a happy Earth Day.