My daughter and I pulled up to the stop sign in our little country town. In front of our very eyes, a man (I can no longer call him a gentleman), pulled a yard sale sign out of his yard, crossed the street in front of our car where we waited, and threw this sign into the ditch.Yes, just threw this large sign into the shrubbery.
My jaw dropped. My daughter gasped and I said, “Did he really just do that? Please tell me he did NOT just do that.”
“He did, mom. He really did.”
Tempted to roll my window down and give him a piece of my mind, I knew it was past my turn to head through the intersection. All the way home, I couldn’t shake my shock. Even my ten year old daughter couldn’t stop talking about the man who would just purposely and deliberately litter like that.
How much effort does it take to just throw the sign away? I mean, are we that lazy?
As parents, we constantly hear the encouragement to teach our kids to care for God’s earth. I get so frustrated when our kids get lazy and throw garbage on the ground. When they do that, they know troubles coming their way. They have to pick up what they threw, find the trash can and then pick up any surrounding, yes, nasty items that might be next to it just to build a little character.
Just last week, my husband’s office gathered for a service day of picking up litter on the highway. He couldn’t believe how much gathered. Are people just rolling down the window and throwing trash out? ‘
Ugh!! We need to raise a generation that cares!
Re-purpose, re-use, and recycle are popular trends these days. My daughter loves to re-purpose cardboard boxes and old bottles. If you follow me on instagram (jenschmidt_beautyandbedlam), you know I love spray painting them, but one area of recycling that’s getting neglected is in the bathroom.
In fact, according to a recent U.S. survey, 7 out of 10 Americans say they consistently recycle. However, only 1 in 5 Americans consistently recycle in the bathroom. 22% of the people surveyed, the idea of recycling bathroom products never even occurred to them.
Honestly, I am embarrassed to admit it, but I am one of them. Guilty as charged.
With five children, all in sports, the amount of shower time we have is incredible, which means we go through a ton of shampoo and body wash bottles with multiple showers a day – all of which can be used to make other products and materials.
I’m out of town and asked my son to snap a quick picture of the plastic bottles we have in our bathroom. HELP!! That is embarrassing, but our reality. Different children, different preferences, different fragrances, you get the picture.
Each year, Americans throw away enough 15-oz. shampoo bottles to fill 1,164 football fields—that’s more than 18,000 tons of plastic ending up in landfills.
I love supporting brands that desire to help others and Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies just launched a new campaign, CARE TO RECYCLE™, which creates awareness about the importance of bathroom recycling and desires to change behavior by providing helpful resources to consumers.
I highly recommend gathering your kids and popping over to the CARE TO RECYCLE™ page where they have a beautiful (and short) video which will inspire your kids to take the next step in recycling. They won’t be bored. It’s a great video.
Once you watch it, have them take a look around your bathroom and identify things that can be recycled. You will be amazed at everything you can gather for your bin.
In the world of plastics, there are shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, baby powder, and face cleaner bottles, just for starters.
Not to mention the paper and card board item. We use a ton of toilet paper rolls and card board boxes.
There’s too much litter and waste going on in all our communities and each small step we take towards educating our children on the simple choices they can make to improve our environment equals large benefits.
Have you ever done a trash pick up day or how about recycling in the bathroom?
I’d love to hear what your family does.
*This post brought to you by Johnson & Johnson via Mom Trends. All opinions about picking up trash and recycling, completely mine. 🙂
My community has a 49.1% recycling rate that we are trying to maintain/improve on so I’ve been trying to find more things to repurpose and recycle. I think it’s wonderful to highlight the bathroom b/c there are so many items that can just easily be thrown into the trashcan but SHOULD be recycled, it just takes a little more effort.
I keep a bag hanging on the back of my bathroom door and put bathroom recyclables in there. From shampoo bottles to empty makeup containers (even mascara) to nail polish to hair spray. Every so often I take that bag to an Origins store. They have a bin in the corner of every store that takes that type of recyclables – since most aren’t standard in my town. It is super easy and they give a sample product to you as well!
I put a recycling bin in my upstairs hall to encourage the recycling of these bathroom items including those paper Dixie cups that only hold water. Cardboard boxes that held soap and Kleenex. Newspapers and school papers that end up upstairs. Some days I think I am the only one who uses it (some days I think I am the only person who uses trash cans in our house, too, but that’s another story) but at least it cuts down on what goes in the garbage.
I collect tp rolls & paper towel rolls in a bag and when the bag is full I take them to church and give them to our Children’s dept for crafts. There will always be crafts that need rolls and they are especially handy during VBS times.
I also collect and re-use the lovely Folger’s plastic coffee cans. They are marvelous for all sorts of things ; i.e., drill a few holes in them and use them for pots for plants; my neighbor who smokes took several, filled them with sand and made outdoor ash trays for she and several folks she knows who also smokes (keep those nasty cigarette butts off the ground where animals can get to them) ; I keep hand garden tools in one and I use one in the living room as a small but highly useful trash can.
I use the plastic bags from the grocery store for liners in my trash cans in my bathrooms; they are wonderful for packing too! I know of a few websites that show them being used as yarn and people making bags, rugs and slippers out of them! If you don’t do that – collect them in a bag and donate them to a second hand store. I’ve yet to encounter a second hand store that isn’t grateful for a bag donation!
I never throw out a used computer disc unless it is cracked or broken. They always come in handy for crafts too – the Children’s dept likes them as well. They also like the little containers from Jello & yoghurt; they can be used for all sorts of things. I love to do needlework and I use old Tic Tac containers for needles and old plastic containers with lids for holding orts (pieces of cut off thread & yarn that later get emptied into the trash).
I recycle everything I can and I only put out garbage once or twice a month. I suppose if I composted it would be even less. We are not good stewards of our planet – we can do better. Thank you for the wonderful blog and touching on this subject. It makes me sick to go thru my neighborhood and see what people throw away rather than recycle because it takes just a little extra effort. It is a marvelous habit to get into and one that does not need to be broken later on because you’ve gained weight, etc. J
I think recycling is part of being good stewards of the amazing earth that God made – but I know that He is holding the earth together and nothing we can do will prevent the ‘groaning’ that this world is experiencing because of the sin of man. While we are looking forward to the new heaven and new earth. we’re still taking care to recycle everything we can each week. We’re out in the county a bit so it was costing a lot each month to put the bin to the curb so we opted out of that program and just make a trip to town every week or so and use the free community recycling drop off.
I drew a large recycle sign on the side of an 8 gallon trash can. It sits in my kids’ bathroom closet. Anything from upstairs that is recyclable gets thrown in there – soap/shampoo bottles, cardboard, paper, whatever. When it gets full, we take it downstairs to the large recycle bin in the garage.
I need to put smaller ones in each of our other bathrooms. The one thing we consistently throw away are toilet paper tubes and soap boxes. (I always recycle the soap boxes, no one else does.) If there was a small can right there, we’d be much more likely to remember to recycle them.
Sometimes I find huge amounts of paper in a trash can – my boys can go through a pack of construction paper in a day or two! When that happens, I make them dig through ALL the trash cans to find any recyclables that got thrown away.
It’s amazing how much one can recycle. I’d say 3/4 of our trash is recyclable. We’d have even less trash if we composted. I’m considering doing that, but haven’t gotten there yet.
Liza – Those are such super suggestions!!
My parents probably rue the day they taught me about recycling…because I surpassed their expectations and became a bit of a recycling Nazi….who has sometimes “tsked, tsked” them for not recycling everything that could be recycled. I should work on being more gracious in the way I encourage people to recycle…
I have influenced my husband and children to become serious recyclers, but I hope they keep it up even when I’m not around to remind them because they realize how easy and important it is to do it.
A couple summers ago, after seeing a neglected park in our city, our church small group went together and picked up a significant amount of garbage that I think made quite a visual difference. It was fun doing it as a group, and then we went out for ice cream. I’d like to do it again.
Since you didnt ask him.. how you do know that he didnt just throw the sign there because he was going to stand it back up in the morning? Could be he was just tucking it out of site for the rest of the day… Just the first thing that hit my mind when I read your post… 😉
I wish, but it was there three days later and yes, I needed to stop at that intersection and pick it up, but I didn’t. 🙁 Someone else did.
I guess Im one of the 1 in 5 who recycles bathroom and every other room stuff.. I didnt realize I was such a minority..
I was super surprised when I saw that statistic as well, but so glad you already thought through that recycling stuff. 🙂
Thanks, Jen, for this post! This is by far one of my biggest pet peeves! NO ONE misses the trash can or recycle bin when I’m around. (And, yes, we recycle everything from the bathroom!) We need to do better so that our little ones have an earth they can be proud of and a land that they can use properly to build on, play on, and be safe on. Thanks for the reminders! Hugs –
Our upstairs bathrooms are tougher, because they are farther from the main recycling bin. I put paper, cardboard etc at the top of the stairs and it comes down with me the next time I head down the stairs with empty hands. Plastic goes in the dirty clothes hampers, since we have three throughout the upstairs. Then, the plastic goes into the main recycle bin when I sort dirty clothes. I don’t do that with the paper/cardboard, because if I happen to miss something in my dirty clothes sort, then I have a mess in my washing machine. My husband isn’t as diligent as I am, but the kids are quite good.
I was really very eco-conscious in my teens through college but fell off somewhere. Flash forward and my elementary school-age children remind me constantly to fill the recycling bin. They check up to make sure I’m remembering and praise me when I do. Now I’m entirely on board again and it’s a family thing. =) The school curriculum here really stresses taking care of the environment. It used to be something we did sort of counter-culture to our academia. This is a great change.