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One of the most common ways Americans conserve resources is by recycling, which Simran says is a must.

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According to the EPA, each person in the United States creates about four and a half pounds of trash every day. One way to reduce that number is by recycling anything and everything you can.

Although every city has a different recycling policy, Simran says almost every city accepts newspapers. "If there was one thing you could do, recycle your newspapers," she says. "One four-foot high stack of newspapers is the equivalent of one 40-foot fir tree. That is what we are saving when we recycle our newspapers."

Many cities also recycle cardboard and mixed paper, which should be separated from newspapers before they go into the bin.

Glass is another item that builds up in landfills and is easily reusable, Simran says. Simply take off the lid and rinse out the container before adding it to your recycle pile. Aluminum cans, tin pans and foil should also be recycled.

Plastic containers are a little more complicated. Each plastic item is stamped with a number, which identifies what type of plastic it's made from. Some cities accept multiple types of plastic in their recycling program, while other places only accept one or two. To find out what's recyclable in your area, Simran says you can call the public works department or the sanitation department. You can also visit Earth911.org and type in your zip code to get specific guidelines.
FROM: Going Green 101: What Your Family Can Do Today!
Published on January 01, 2006