Matthew Ortiz recycles some of his styrofoam at the Recology store in Bothell. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Matthew Ortiz recycles some of his styrofoam at the Recology store in Bothell. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Forget the plastic! This Bothell store can help you go green

Recology is a recycling center and fully stocked store that sells new and recycled items.

BOTHELL — The average NFL game generates about 80,000 pounds of trash — and double that on Super Bowl Sunday, game day organizers told National Geographic magazine.

Recycling that kind of tonnage is a tall order. But locally, the Recology store in Bothell is helping customers reduce their carbon footprint one woolly dryer ball at a time.

“The average person makes about five pounds of waste each day,” said Erin Gagnon, who manages Recology’s four Puget Sound retail locations. That’s far less than a Super Bowl crowd and eminently more manageable.

Recology, in the Canyon Park Place shopping center at 22833 Bothell Everett Highway, is two things: a drop-off center for hard-to-recycle items such as batteries and styrofoam, and a fully stocked store that sells shampoo in bars instead of bottles, natural cleaning products, toys and stylish wallets made from recycled upholstery.

Gagnon and other staff are happy to show customers how to make bite-sized changes or rewrite the playbook.

“Our hope is that our customers would find it an easy switch for their everyday lifestyle,” Gagnon said. “People can feel overwhelmed as to where to start.”

Recology’s free workshops offer tips on how to devise a greener, more sustainable lifestyle without feeling overwhelmed. (Follow them on Facebook for more information.)

Seahorses entangled in cotton swabs, whales with stomachs full of single-use plastic bags — plastic pollution threatens sea life and wildlife habitats.

But each stage of plastic production — from the materials sourcing (plastic is a petroleum-based product) to its manufacture — produces greenhouse gas, according the non-profit Center for International Environmental Law.

Let’s start with the smelly sponge next to the kitchen sink. It’s made of plastic and contains tiny micro beads, also plastic.

There’s an easy fix, Gagnon said.

Replace it and rolls of paper towels with reusable Swedish dish cloths made of cotton and cellulose. They can last a year or more and are compostable, she said.

Inside the Recology store in Bothell. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Inside the Recology store in Bothell. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Stainless steel food containers eliminate the need for sandwich bags and plastic food containers.

Spools of plastic-free dental lace are a replacement for plastic floss dispensers that “are too small to recycle,” Gagnon explained.

Recology sells reusable beeswax food covers that can last up to 18 months, doing away with the need for plastic wrap.

Plastic food-storage bags also have a sustainable counterpart: bags made of silicone that go in the freezer or the microwave.

“These are durable products that you buy once,” Gagnon said.

Recycled airplane and car seats are the base materials for a line of leather wallets made by a Canadian company, Mariclaro Reclaimed.

Recology also sells a don’t-knock-it-until-you-try-it reusable ear swab in its own folding case. “It’s a bestseller,” Gagnon said.

“Once you buy this way, you can’t stop,” Gagnon promised.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods

Recology

The Recology store in Bothell is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Recology also operates stores in Shoreline, Burien and Issaquah.

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