Recycling plastic is helpful but it isn't the end of the story.

If you peep into most household recycling bins, you'll find that much of the waste is plastic bottles - water bottles, soda bottles, milk jugs, etc. I know I feel very proud of myself when I recycle most of the plastic I use but I could do a lot more in the area of reducing my plastic usage and making smarter consumer choices. 

I'm sure I don't have to tell you about the vast island of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean and how it got there. The impact of our collective wasteful behavior is profound to say the least but we can reduce the amount of plastic that ultimately ends up in the landfill or the ocean.

Lots of consumer products are made from post-consumer plastics but the item that tickled my fancy this summer is lawn furniture. Poly lumber is made from almost 100% recycled HDPE plastic and is incredibly long lasting. It's ecologically responsible, easy to care for, needs no painting or maintenance and comes in several vivid colors. What's not to love? Most of the furniture you see online is made in the USA so it's skilled job creation, too. Google recycled plastic lawn furniture and see what you find.

We make choices everyday. Refilling your water bottle with filtered water instead of cracking open yet another plastic bottle is an impactful choice but so is using the power of the pocketbook. When we create demand for post-consumer plastics, we make sure that recycling programs across the country have somewhere to sell the waste we create. That's just as important as not creating it at all.