Friday, April 18, 2014

Extending the Reach of Your Recycling

Don't Let the Greening Stop in the Kitchen

Recyclable materials are all over the house; make sure your recycling bins are, too!


Cheap recycling bin

While it would seem that we've finally developed a successful system allowing us to optimize our recycling in the kitchen, that trend doesn't always carry through to the rest of the house. After noticing a fair amount of recyclables being thrown into the bathroom trash cans, I decided that we needed to facilitate a system for the bathrooms, too.

We've taken some other green steps in the bathroom, but for a while, I took for granted how much "bathroom stuff" is actually recyclable (e.g., shampoo and soap bottles, boxes from soaps and lotions, toilet paper rolls, tissue boxes). Since I've certainly been guilty of it myself in the past, I can only assume that there are a lot of other people who choose to just throw those types items in the trash, simply because it's convenient.

Modeling a system after the "convenience factor" we implemented in the kitchen, I decided to try to put into effect something similar (and super simple) in the bathrooms, too.

recycling bin for kids

$1 DIY Cutest Little Recycling Bin {Tutorial}

I didn't want to spend a lot of money, so I went to the dollar store and grabbed a few small, black trash bins. I wanted there to be a clear delineation between trash and recycling (not to mention the fact that I'll capitalize on any opportunity to DIY something), so I decided to add a little character to the bins. ☺ I used my new Silhouette cutting machine (which I still haven't quite gotten the hang of, but I made it work) to cut out the recycling icon, then I applied it to the can. Here are the details:

eco-friendly ideas for the bathroom

  • Small trash can from the dollar store. 
  • Paper cut-out of Recycling icon
  • Modge Podge


  • Cut out Recycling icon: If you're using a Silhouette, choose your paper (I used scrapbook paper), feed it into your machine, and cut! You'll notice I used 3 different patterns on one of the bins; I did that but cutting the symbol out 3 different times. If you're not using a cutting machine, trace the shape into your paper and cut it out carefully.
  • Apply the shape onto your bin using Modge Podge. If you used the Silhouette, use transfer paper to move the shape from your mat to the bin. If you don't have transfer paper, just try to line it up as best you can. I also made another version by simply securing the recycling symbol with clear packing tape (I would just recommend springing for a nice brand to eliminate the amount of bubbles that pop up).

stylish recycling bins

And that's it! Place one in each of your bathrooms so no one has any excuse not to recycle in there!

This post is part of the Spring Greening Month Series. Find out why I'm hosting this event, and see more Spring Greening Month posts here.

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  1. That is really cute! These are such a good idea because bathroom recyclables often don't make it into the right place unless there's a bin actually in that room!

    1. Thanks, Shannon! That's exactly what was happening here!

  2. These are so cute! I definitely need to put on in my bathroom.

    1. Thanks, Sasha! So glad I did--makes it much easier now! No more awkward carrying of armfuls of bottles and boxes down the stairs!

  3. I actually love this.. a lot! Such a cute idea. We do not have an actual recycling bin, well, it is a huge green container that the city provides us (takes too much space, so i just use a box!) ha. I will have to try this, and I am always seeing cute small trash bins like this at resell shops. :)

    'm trying to get more into thrifting and resell places, so I am super happy I found your blog through madeinaday's blog hop :)


  4. I think that buying used things is a great way to protect the environment as well as your wallet. Of course, if you can't sell your old electronics, then you can give it to a place like. AG Electronics Recycling so that you can take care of it, but try to sell. Perhaps this thing still works and can benefit to someone. Perhaps you could sell this thing in parts, because very often it will be even better There are many options. Decide for yourself and take care of the planet!

  5. Recycling is not just a matter of recovering recyclable material; it’s a total economic system. Few people realize that their local curbside collection program is only the beginning of a recycling loop. At present, the cost of collecting and processing recyclable materials far outweighs their value as a commodity that can be sold back to industry. I recommend visiting for more info on the topic.


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