America Recycles Day (November 15) is almost upon us. Keep America Beautiful created this initiative to encourage people to make a commitment to recycling more in the month ahead. Hopefully, you’ve already made that commitment, but if not—there’s still time to take the pledge!

Made your recycling pledge? Now it’s time to make sure you’re ready to keep it. We spoke with Keep America Beautiful’s Recycling Team for some pointers on ways to recycle more and use less. Read on for tips that will help you keep your America Recycles Day pledge—and maybe even establish a lifelong recycling habit.

America Recycles Day

Be Mindful

Our first tip for keeping your recycling pledge is extremely simple to execute:

Ways to Recycle More: Think First

To make it easier to keep “using less” top of mind, here are some of the most common single-use items that can easily be replaced with reusable ones:

  • Plastic Water Bottles: Do you have a reusable bottle you can use? If not, why not buy one instead of using the disposable version?
  • Plastic Sandwich Bags: Do you have reusable containers you can use for your lunches? Can you repurpose items like empty butter containers etc. into reusable storage containers?
  • Produce Bags: Why not put that produce straight into a reusable shopping bag?
  • Paper Coffee Cups: Why not bring a mug to use at the office? Or ask your favorite coffee shop to fill a travel mug for you?

Be Creative

One of the most fun ways to recycle more is to break out the glitter glue before you break open the trash can:

Keep Your Recycling Pledge: Get Crafty

From plastic bottles to the bigger stuff, creating something beautiful out of potential trash can be a fun and fulfilling way to keep your recycling pledge. Even if you’re not the crafty type, there are plenty of simple and practical uses for many of the items we usually throw away.

Be a Good Neighbor

Just because you can no longer use a certain item doesn’t mean that someone else can’t:

Keep Your Recycling Pledge: Donate It

Remember that donation isn’t just for clothes and housewares. There are organizations out there that will accept donations of all kinds of materials:

  • Building-focused charities that will accept items like paint, tools and other remodeling materials.
  • Child-focused charities that will accept craft items, toys and electronics.
  • Education-focused charities that will accept books, notebooks, folders, writing implements and electronics.
  • Hunger-focused charities that will accept unused food.

Be Bag-Savvy

Plastic bags are an environmental menace. Ensuring that we’re recycling more of them than we’re throwing out requires us to broaden our thinking a little:

Ways to Recycle More: Recycle Plastic Bags & Wrap

Find your nearest recycling site here.

Be an Over-Achiever

One of the simplest ways to recycle more is to make it easy for you to do so no matter what room you’re in:

Ways to Recycle More: Don't Confine Recycling to the Kitchen

Did you make a pledge to recycle more for America Recycles Day?
We’d love to hear what you pledged and how you plan to keep it!

Need more recycling tips?
Check out our 10 simple tips for reducing waste at home or browse our recycling Pinterest Board.