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Rinse, Recycle, Reimagine: Making a Difference as a Family

My almost three-year-old son is obsessed with garbage. He gets a sense of accomplishment lifting the lid of our trash bin and throwing things away—leftover food, diapers, scraps... You name it, he’ll chuck it. Works for me—he’s like a free on-call maid service. (If only I could get him to pick up his toys…)

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Recently, my inquisitive little guy asked me, “Mama, where [does] the garbage go after we take it outside?” And so I told him “the garbage man comes in his big garbage truck and brings it to Garbage Land.” (I thought that sounded more appealing than “the landfill.”) Of course, now, he thinks it’s an amusement park he can visit, but I’ll wait a little longer before crushing that adorable toddler dream.

I’m happy to say that our “trash talk” (the good kind) hasn’t ended there. His natural curiosity has lead to a more meaningful conversation about recycling. I explained to him that some bottles, cans, fabrics, and materials can be reused—that recycling helps us all and makes our world a cleaner, better, and safer place. I told him that our recycled plastics can “come back” as the hairbrush we use every day or the playground set we visit on weekends. (That word definitely piqued his interest!)

My mini man now helps me identify which items belong in the garbage and which items should be recycled. It’s become something of a game. Juice container? Recycle! Soup can? Recycle! Empty shampoo bottle? Recycle. That’s right, as I previously mentioned, we’ve added a separate bin in our bathroom for recyclables. We used to be guilty of throwing away empty bathroom and beauty packaging—and we were contributing to the 600 million plastic bottles that end up in landfills each year. But now, with my tiny helper’s assistance, we’re making a difference one body-wash bottle at a time.
Our new motto at home is Rinse. Recycle. Reimagine. Unilever is launching a program by that same name, designed to educate people about recycling in the bathroom, inspire them to reimagine what empty bathroom products could become through recycling, and ultimately make small changes that hold big potential to positively impact the environment.

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Join us in our efforts and spread the word by sharing a photo of your bathroom empties being recycled on Twitter and Instagram using #ReimagineThat. Add #Sweeps to your post to be entered for a chance to win recycled, reimagined prizes; and visit to learn how you can help bridge the gap in bathroom recycling. Get involved and make it a family affair. And if all else fails, tell your kids that little playground tidbit I shared earlier—it’ll work like a charm.


Statistics taken from an online survey, commissioned by Unilever, and conducted by KRC Research. The survey was conducted nationwide from March 9-23, 2015, among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 5,516 adults ages 18+.

This post is sponsored by Unilever. All opinions are our own.

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