Recycling is such an important way to help reduce waste. It reduces the need for landfills, saves energy and conserves resources. What’s not to love! With all the stuff we have today it can be confusing about what’s recyclable and what’s not. But you’d be surprised about the things you don’t have to toss in the trash.

Every state has different rules about what’s recyclable and what’s not. It’s easy to find your state guidelines online. Check them out so you can know what you can recycle. An easy tool to find out where you can recycle is www.earth911.com. You just need to enter what you want to recycle and your zipcode to find a center near you.

Help your kids learn to recycle by setting up different colored bins. One could be for paper, one for glass and so on. It’ll help keep your recyclables organized and make it easier for your little ones to know where everything goes.

Remember to flatten cardboard boxes before recycling and take the lids off glass and plastic bottles.

Some items you might not realize can be recycled include:

Printer cartridges: Some companies include an envelope with their cartridge for you to mail to pack for them to recycle. Take advantage of this option if you can. Otherwise check with your recycling department to see if they accept cartridges.

Magazines: It seems sometimes you get more magazines than you can get rid of! Most recycling facilities accept glossy paper. Recycled paper uses 60% of the energy we need to make new paper. So put those dusty magazines to use!

Batteries can be very harmful to the Earth if not taken care of properly. Instead of throwing dead batteries away set them aside. Many retailers, such as AutoZone, will take your dead car batteries and recycle them. For the batteries you use in your TV remote or camera check to see if your town has a collection site for hazardous household materials. Some electronic stores also will take your dead batteries and recycle them.

Cell phones are quickly becoming the fastest growing trash. These electronics are toxin laden and need to be disposed of correctly if we want to stop them from harming the environment. Call2Recycle is a program that works similar to earth911. You can find a drop box for your electronics through their website. Many charities also accept used cellphones, which they will refurbish and give to those in need.

If you have a working household appliance you want to get rid of you can donate it to Goodwill. For appliances that don’t have the potential for a second life check out www.recycle-steel.org.

It’s amazing how far we’ve come in our ability to recycle. Never assume you have to throw away something, chances are you can recycle it!