Blog Post

Don't Toss Your Leftovers (or your recycling!)

 Happy Thanksgiving! Time to gather ‘round the table and reflect on life’s blessings while savoring juicy turkey, creamy mashed potatoes and other mouth-watering favorites. Joining with family and friends over these delicious dishes is the best part of Thanksgiving.


And the second best part…? The casual, reheated post-holiday feast that follows: the leftovers.

Thanksgiving Round II is almost as good as Round I. And for those who purchased, prepped and cooked for hours over a hot stove to assemble the original spread… Round II may even be better.

But, what exactly is it that makes leftovers one of the most coveted meal options of the holiday season?

Simple. They put us a mere scoop, splat and microwave zap away from all the deliciousness of Thanksgiving with half the time and effort compared to starting a meal from scratch. Though not nearly as tasty, recycling works in much the same way.

Just as you save your Thanksgiving feast to reheat and re-plate next time you’re hungry, you save your recycling to be processed and remade into new products next time they’re needed. Reheating leftovers serves as a “shortcut” to your next meal because basic ingredients don’t have to be bought, prepared and cooked. Similarly, recycling is a shortcut to creating new products because raw materials don’t have to be mined, refined or transported.

By definition, shortcuts get us to the same point at a fraction of the time, energy and cost. By reheating leftovers we can sidestep a trip to the store, save money on purchasing ingredients and avoid unnecessary time spent cooking. In doing so, we save energy and reduce waste throughout.

The same happens when we recycle because collecting, sorting and remaking products from material already in existence is often more efficient and uses fewer natural resources than making new products from scratch. Wasting food is, well, wasteful… and so is trashing perfectly good recyclables. There’s no need to start all over at the beginning when we don’t have to. A little thinking ahead now may make all the difference for future generations.

So as you pack those leftovers into the fridge, think about packing your recycling bin as well. Leftovers are the quickest and easiest way to your next delicious meal and recycling is the perfect shortcut to a cleaner and greener lifestyle.

Looking for holiday green tips? For a reminder of what to recycle, review our acceptable items list.

About the author: Taylor Greely is the corporate communications assistant for Rumpke.

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