Recycling is an important aspect of modern life. In previous decades, the decision to recycle may have been more of an eco-friendly, personal choice. Now, it’s a necessity. In 2015, the U.S. produced 262.4 metric tons of waste. Half of that wound up in a landfill.

The environment is in trouble, and we need to take whatever steps we can to ensure that we do not contribute to the pollution wreaking havoc in our oceans and communities. While you might not know the first thing about recycling beyond separating paper, plastic and glass, there are some easy ways to up your game and begin living a more environmentally conscious life.

Follow the R, R & R Rule

The three R’s stand for “reduce, reuse and recycle,” and this principle can help you massively cut back on your waste. Before you recycle, it’s important to look at how much you use and find any ways to reduce that amount.

Recycling is a multistep process that shouldn’t just start with trash. Instead, find ways to repurpose things you own and stop using things that have eco-friendly alternatives such as plastic water bottles and straws.

Buy Recycled Products

You don’t have to shop exclusively at a thrift store to be eco-friendly. Research recycled products and support eco-friendly companies that are striving to create a more sustainable, less wasteful world. Some of the biggest names to check out include Green Toy’s, Allbirds and Terracycle.

You’ll be amazed at how everyday waste products like plastic, cardboard and cotton can be transformed.

Get Creative

Think outside of the box when it comes to recycling. You don’t have to stick to just plastic wrappers and glass bottles. Your wine corks are 100-percent biodegradable, and you can even recycle crayons, cell phones and batteries.

Talk to local vendors as well and ask about any recycling programs or initiatives they have like greywater recycling systems. Consider making donations as well. Vet clinics and animal shelters can always benefit from old bowls, towels and bed sheets.

Find a Way to Make Recycling Work for You

When you become more environmentally friendly, it’s important to adjust your own lifestyle in a way that feels natural and easy. If you make recycling feel like too much of a moral obligation or chore, you’re likely to slack later on.

Finding a cause you’re passionate about can be excellent motivation. Research our environment and find organizations that are committed to making the world a cleaner, better place.

Together, we can all help reduce waste and improve the planet for everyone.

Author's Bio: 

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves to write for business, health, home, and women’s interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.