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Wiser Living

Finding a natural solution

Following Captain Planet’s advice

by Gina Souders

Tags: Recycle, Green, Recycling Bins, Recycling Center, Pick Up Service, Challenge,


This is the island my fiancé built, which houses both our recycling center and the cage our dog, Alex, sleeps in. 

I am a “light green.”

Growing up I always assumed being green meant joining Captain Planet’s crew and wearing one of those element rings (“Earth, fire, wind, water, heart!”). But ever since I became an intern for Natural Home magazine I’ve learned that it’s not a corny cause—it’s important. We need to realize that the earth around us has to be cared for and that we are responsible for our actions.

I’m sure many of our Natural Home readers recycle on a regular basis, but not too long ago my fiancé and I finally set up our own at-home-recycling center. Figuring out where to hide the recycling bins strategically in my tiny kitchen was a challenge, but a little bit easier seeing as how I have a construction-savvy fiancé who built this island. (Maybe I’d be greener if we used salvaged wood, but one step at a time.).


The island was built to house the center perfectly, fitting it neatly between the wall and Alex's cage so that it can easily slide out for proper disposal.

The island covers four bins that are stacked on top of each other. Sliding out horizontally, I labeled each accordingly: paper, plastic, glass and aluminum.

Now, every other week my fiancé and I take a trip to our local recycling center (I like snooping through the magazine/catalog bin to see what magazines I can take for free), and I have to say, recycling makes me feel a little bit better about myself.

Setting up this system made me curious. How do you recycle? Where have you set up your recycling center in your home? Do you use a pick-up service or do you take your own trash to your local center? Do you think pick-up services should be included in our garbage-pick-up fees? I want to know what you think!