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It's America Recycles Day—here are some *super* easy ways to reuse, recycle and reduce

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Today is officially America Recycles Day, an important occasion to spread awareness about protecting the Earth. You may be wondering, "How can *I* make a positive impact on the environment?" All you need to remember are the three Rs: reuse, recycle and reduce. Here are some simple ways to get started from home!

Upcycling DIYs

If you want to *save* some items and repurpose them, try out upcycling. With this super easy project in the video, you can turn glass jars into fab organizers.

Check out more crafts that show you how to make fun and affordable items from glass containers. If you *really* love the pattern on a cute blouse, but it doesn't fit you quite right, try out fashion upcycling. Here are tons of cool ideas on how to give your clothes a second life and make those old pieces *super* trendy. Some of our fave influencers, like Ashley from Best Dressed (check her Thrift Flip YouTube video), post fashion transformation videos. Whether you want to do vintage shopping (who else loves retro skirts and high waisted vintage jeans?) or upcycle old pieces into artsy creations, these are both creative ways to recycle and up your fashion game. Many celebs support the environment through their fashion choices. Emma Watson wore a dress made out of recycled plastic bottles to the Met Gala and made other steps to protect the environment. If you want to get rid of some items (clothes, furniture, old toys), feel free to donate them to these organizations that will pick items right from your home or ship old shoes to Soles4Souls. Giving a second life to items that you don't need anymore reduces carbon dioxide emission *and* helps others in need.

Reuse

If you and your family love drinking coffee, you probably have some used coffee grounds. Instead of tossing them away (which can release greenhouse gas like methane at a landfill), use your coffee grounds for the garden. Since coffee makes a *great* fertilizer, it can really help your garden be lush and repel harmful insects. Here's some details on how to use coffee grounds as a fertilizer. Another common throw-away food that can be reused is bread. You can either cut the bread into little pieces, place them on a tray to bake in the oven and make croutons (a *great* salad topping) or whip up scrumptious bread pudding. Check this delish bread pudding recipe here.

Recycle consistently

Recycle me this - Recycling Paper
Source: Fix.com Blog

To recycle consistently, start by reading this complete list of things you can and can't recycle (remember not to recycle plastic bags in your regular bin!) Some of the best things to recycle are cardboard, paper, glass jars, and plastic. During the pandemic, you probably are ordering *way* more stuff online than usual, so make sure to save cardboard boxes for recycling. If there's not enough room in your recycling bin, you can call the waste management department of your city to see if you can schedule a special pickup at your house or see if there's cardboard drop-off locations. 

An easy way to remember to recycle is to put a mini trash bin under your desk or at another accessible location. You can also get two recycle bins (one for plastic and one for paper). That way, you can toss in recycling junk mail, old school notes, scrap paper and plastic bottles instead of throwing them in the trash. Here's a mini trash bin from Amazon that you can purchase in a color that matches your room decor. 

How to reduce? 

Although recycling is important, reducing is even better (bonus, it also saves you money). Take reusable shopping bags when you go to the grocery store (or other stores, for that matter!) If you don't already have shopping bags, get these super cute foldable ones from Amazon to put in your backpack, purse or trunk of the car.

Next time you reach for a plastic water bottle, take out this multicolored pastel stainless steel water bottle instead. It will save a *lot* of plastic in the long run. 

Although doing  small acts of kindness for our planet may not *seem* like a lot, it's important that we do our best to protect our environment from air and water pollution. Together, with all our work  added up, we can make a *massive* impact. Let your family and friends know about your efforts and share some recycling, reusing and upcycling tips with them.

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How do *you* plan to help the planet? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag. 

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by Camille Campbell | 11/15/2020
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