Given the proliferation of empty cereal boxes on the kitchen table lately, I am forced to conclude that there must be a misconception surrounding the recycling of these boxes. Allow me to put this misconception to rest: it is not true, that to recycle a cereal box, you need only deposit said box within view of the recycling container. Recycling cardboard food boxes does take slightly more effort than you may be used to, but I promise it’s not hard.
Shall we begin?
- Remove any remaining contents of the box (such as the liner, or any errant Cheerios) and discard them.
- If there is a Box Top for Education on the box, please remove it. Now before I lose you here at this step, it is perfectly valid to tear the box top off of the box with your bare hands. I do not expect you to exert yourself and procure a pair of scissors all the way on the other side of the kitchen. That would be madness.
- Open up the bottom end of the box.
- You should be able to see all the way through the box now, with both the top and bottom ends open. Isn’t that neat? (Feeling playful? Feel free to pause here and pretend the box is a pair of binoculars.)
- Flatten the box.
- Repeat all of the previous steps for every box on the table.
Place the pile of flattened boxes into the recycling container, and you are done! Hooray! I knew you could do it!
Bonus points: run down to the family room, look around for more empty boxes that haven’t yet made the journey to the kitchen, and recycle them using the steps you just learned.
Isn’t recycling swell?
Similar to the cereal-boxes-on-the-kitchen-table problem, we also have a bottles-and-cans-next-to-the-sink issue.
This, too, has a simple solution: discard the contents by pouring them down the sink, throw away the cap (in our town, caps are not recycled – a fact you should remember from 2nd Grade Environmental Day), and place the bottle in the recycling bin. That is how you deal with a bottle.
Cans are even easier, as you can eliminate the step with the cap.
In conclusion, while carrying your food and drink containers from the place where you consumed them back to the kitchen is a marvelous start to the recycling process, it is only a start. Boxes, bottles, and cans, need YOU to put them in the bin.
This has been a (painfully obvious) public service announcement. Love, Mom.