This post was originally published on the Zero Waste Box™ blog. Visit us there for more expert advice on recycling, zero waste lifestyle tips, and more!
Our Zero Waste Box™ system has a recycling solution for nearly everything standard curbside recycling programs don’t accept. Items as specific as candy and snack wrappers, as inclusive as for all of the packaging in your kitchen, as comprehensive as a box you can put almost everything in—no separation required—can be saved from landfills nationwide.
The system is designed to allow households, schools, businesses, and individuals to easily recycle hundreds of different items, and so with the many mix-and-match, customizable options, choosing your first Zero Waste Box system just might be the hardest part!
So are you looking to recycle everything, but don’t know where to start? Here are some simple questions to ask yourself to determine which Zero Waste Box system fits your recycling goals.
Who is collecting?
Is your first Zero Waste Box just for you and reducing your individual impact, or is your family, workplace, or community organization also on the recycling journey? More people recycling will equal a greater volume of material, and this will affect the size (small, medium, or large) of the shipping box that will be the best fit.
A huge benefit to several people recycling together is the potential for sharing the cost of the box (and eventually the replacement box once this is full). The number and types of people collecting will also determine the type of Zero Waste Box that’s best for you, which brings us to…
What do I want to recycle?
Do you consistently consume pre-packaged foods from a vending machine, or carry out to-go lunches with rigid black plastic containers? What about items generated in the breakroom, or disposable gloves? We have a box for each of those, but our most popular include the boxes for plastic packaging and what we call the “all-in-one” because they take a wide range of items (including those just mentioned) and don’t require much sorting.
When will I want to use it?
Some seasons, months, or times of day generate a higher volume of trash than others, which may call for a larger box. For example, the garbage generated by the average American household is estimated by the EPA to jump 25% during the winter holidays due to the increase of retail sales (in-person and online both generate packaging and shipping material) and use of wrapping paper and disposable eating utensils.
Where do I want to put it?
Location, location, location. Putting your Zero Waste Box in the right spot can increase collections and create access to a recycling solution where people will use it. So, the place you want to recycle will also determine what size or type of box is best for your goals. We have boxes specifically for recycling everything in your kitchen, bedroom, garage, or office, as well as common items thrown away in those rooms, such as coffee capsules.
How much material do I want to put in the box?
A simple question relating to the previous factors of who is recycling and what, when, and where you want to recycle. Do you intend to collect a significant amount of material at once (like chip bags in a school) or a small amount over time (like alkaline batteries in a small office)? You can also think ahead regarding whether you’d like to invest in a larger box to collect in for longer, or try out smaller boxes to buy as you go.
Why do I want to recycle with Zero Waste Box?
Lastly, having a good think about why you want to recycle everything with Zero Waste Box will lead you to your best fit. Perhaps you are frustrated by the fact that most of the products and packaging we touch on a daily basis have no end-of-life solution. Maybe you want to teach your children about recycling, or reduce the impacts of your business behind the scenes.
Perhaps you want to use your platform, your voice, your dollar, to make a difference, taking responsibility for the trash caused by single-use items in our day to day lives. Whatever your reason, we are here for you because we believe it is possible to outsmart waste.
We all must start somewhere! Being realistic about what you intend to collect and recycle at your location is key to getting the most out of the recycling box you select.
Tell us which Zero Waste Box you ended up going with first and why in the comments below!