My Tallahassee housing complex doesn’t recycle. How can I stay eco-friendly in my apartment?

We have had it drilled into our minds since we were children. "We need to save the planet! Reduce, reuse, and recycle to help protect the environment!" We live in the great state of Florida, the Sunshine State, which is famous for its unique ecosystems and wildlife, so this issue is quite pertinent to areas as South as the Florida Keys, and as North as Tallahassee. However, for reasons based on zoning or economic issues, some apartment complexes in Tallahassee do not have the weekly recycling picked up; this leaves many tenants to simply place their recyclable items in regular trash bins and create further waste.

So, if you do not live in a Tallahassee apartment that recycles as part of their green efforts, what can you do to help our planet? Here are some ideas showing how you can make a positive impact on the environment.


Once your recyclable items are brought to the recycling center, the materials are sorted, taken apart, then pressed with other peoples' items to make new creations. Plastics are used to make plastic bottles, pipes, and even fake wood! Paper and cardboard products are easily rearranged to make new sheets of paper, paper bags, or cardboard boxes. So, why not do a little repurposing of your own? Think of it this way: the recycling plant has a predetermined purpose for every item brought in. You have the opportunity to make a unique, new creation!

Take an orange juice carton for example. Looks like a regular juice carton, right? Wrong! After you've finished the contents, rinse the carton out and cut a hole in the middle, taking part of the front and side parts off. Poke a hole in the top, tie some fishing line or string around the top, and voila! You have yourself a homemade bird feeder! You can even decorate it if you'd like with markers or paint; make it your own! Hang it up on your apartment patio or balcony if it has one, throw in some birdseed, and enjoy seeing who comes and visits your apartment!


Choosing not to consume one-time-use items is another great way to reduce negative environmental impact. Instead of using plastic or paper bags to carry groceries out of the supermarket, you can bring your own canvas bags and reduce your waste. Instead of buying and using disposable plastic water bottles, you can purchase metal or reusable plastic bottles and refill them throughout your day; this can be quite a money-saving method as well!

Taking A Ride

We all know that generally speaking, the recycling truck comes around and picks up your bin, dumps it out, and leaves before you even wake up once a week. However, if your complex doesn't take part in this, you can still make a difference! Collect your recyclables throughout the week in a regular trash bag. then, when it's full, instead of stashing it in your apartment's storage space, take a drive over to your friend's complex (if their complex recycles) and dump it in there! Or, if it's easier for you, you can drive directly to the recycling plant and dump it there too!

While doing these things will take more time than just tossing recyclables in a bin, practices like these helps preserve our environment and reduce our already enormous amount of human waste. In doing these, you are doing more than just taking care of your waste; this creates a ripple effect. Your roommates or neighbors might notice your practices and start taking action on their own! Beginning these habits now, in your Tallahassee apartment, will keep you environmentally aware for years to come! Starting small with the ideas given above can snowball into tons of waste reduced, reused, or recycled over a lifetime. Don't be afraid to share your experience with your family and friends!

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