This post is sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hefty®. The opinions and text are all mine.
Almost a month ago now, the boys and I started using the Hefty® EnergyBag® orange bags. My initial reaction to this program was one of excitement. Here in the Boise / Meridian area, we are very limited on what can be recycled. It was a hard transition to get used to when we moved from Portland. We were so used to being able to rinse and recycle pretty much everything!
When the Hefty® EnergyBag® program came to town, I was stoked. We picked ours up from a local Albertsons, and got to work collecting hard-to-recycle plastics! And let me tell you, almost 4 weeks later and I am AMAZED at what we saved from landfills.
What is the Hefty® EnergyBag® program?
As a refresher, I shared an informational post about what the Hefty® EnergyBag® Program is. In short, “Hefty® has introduced a ridiculously awesome initiative to collect what we once considered trash and convert that into valuable resources! The Hefty® EnergyBag® orange bags are allowing us to reduce tons of waste created by hard to recycle plastics. So now they’re out to be collected and turned into energy, instead of having to be trucked off to the dump.”
I had a few people asking if I could go into more detail about what CAN and cannot go in the orange bags. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty. The following clean items are considered hard to recycle plastics and they can be collected and turned into energy using the orange bags:
Kitchen items that go in the Hefty® EnergyBag® orange bags:
- Egg cartons
- Meat trays
- Bread bags
- Chip / snack bags
- Fruit / vegetable / salad bags
- Pet food / treat bags
- Grocery bags
Plastic Food Packaging:
- Plastic food wrap
- Meat / cheese packaging
- Candy wrappers
- Food storage bags
- Plastic bottle caps
- Juice pouches
- Applesauce pouches
- Yogurt pouches (you get the picture – POUCHES!)
More kitchen plastics:
- Dairy tubs / lids from yogurt / butter / sour cream
- Single serve snacks, like pudding
- Dinnerware, like straws / utensils / cups / plates / etc.
Home / Office items that can go in the Hefty® EnergyBag® orange bags:
- Bubble wrap
- Air packs / pillows
- Shrink wrap
- Plastic envelopes
Bathroom items that can go in the Hefty® EnergyBag® orange bags:
- Toothpaste tubes
- Empty deodorant sticks
- Plastic lotion / cream tubes
- Amber colored Rx bottles
So you’ve got your Hefty® EnergyBag® orange bags, now what?
- Fill your orange bags with clean, empty and dry plastic items.
- Tie the bag up securely.
- Place in your recycling cart on your scheduled pickup day.
- Give yourself a high-five for helping to reduce the amount we send to landfills!
We tried the Hefty® EnergyBag® Program, here’s what happened:
The Hefty® EnergyBag® Program here in Boise and Meridian has been a GAME CHANGER for us. I honestly don’t even know where to start.
First, our trash is down.
So much. We are literally barely filling our trash cans 1/2 full each week. Before the program, we would have to jump inside the can to push our trash down so we could keep adding. Now, so much of our trash is being diverted to the additional waste-reducing option we have.
Secondly, we are becoming so much more aware of our waste.
I have already noticed a change in our shopping habits! Especially with groceries. Little single use snack bag plastics that used to fill baskets in our lower shelves for the boys? We haven’t replenished. We’re buying more in bulk and using more glass and aluminum.
But if we do buy or use something that utilizes a #4-#7 plastic. Or when we do buy something shrink wrapped or grab extra pouches for on the go? I have SO much less guilt. Because I know I won’t have to toss anything in the trash. Rather, I can rinse it off (if needed) and put it in the orange bags!
And finally, one of the coolest things has been seeing the boys get involved.
Whenever the boys grab a yogurt or a fruit snack, or whenever we get drinks in plastic cups with straws, their eyes light up. Especially H! He’ll turn to me and say, “mama! We can save this with the orange bag!” And oh does my crunchy little mama heart burst. I love that they’re seeing this. Seeing what waste is, and how we do our part to keep Idaho, and the world, beautiful.
All I keep thinking is, if we, as a family of 4 that are pretty waste conscious, are saving this much from the trash each month – what would happen if we all did this?!
Coming up on the holiday season, I think the Hefty® EnergyBag® orange bags are going to be crucial. All those candy wrappers from Halloween? All the wrapping from the toys and books and clothing under the tree? That’s where the orange bags come in. And don’t forget about the family meals! So much of the product packaging can be rinsed and tossed in, too!
I would love for you to join me in this incredible initiative. In fact, I’d like to challenge you to pick up at least one pack of Hefty® EnergyBag® orange bags. Try it out for a week. See how much YOU can save from having to be thrown in the trash!
Want more info? Head to the Hefty® EnergyBag® website!