Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle
These days we try to be as green as possible, and therefore reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible. We recycle paper and glass, take recycling to the curb on trash day, use rechargeable batteries, save energy at home by turning off lights when no one’s in the room, or using energy savers like light bulbs or power strips, and drive low emission cars. But what about the things you didn’t know you could recycle??
If you think the only thing that can be recycled is paper, then you’re out of touch with environmental issues. It is estimated that about 13,000 pounds of recyclable materials are thrown away every year. This not only results in a lot of waste but also makes its way to landfills and negatively impacts the environment by emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It is time to learn – things you never knew could be recycled.
For most parents, buying toys for their children is a way of life as they want them to be happy. However, you need to understand that children don’t stay children forever and once they outgrow the toys, they are usually left lying around the house or thrown away during spring cleaning.
Instead, you should donate these toys so that other people can make use of them rather than throwing them away unnecessarily. If the toys are in bad shape, the best thing would be to break them down into smaller parts and donate them so that they can be reused for creating new toys.
Most people have closets full of clothes that they no longer wear because either they outgrow them or don’t like them anymore. The challenge is that even though many people try donating their clothes, there are still those who throw them away.
Pens and markers can be recycled through several companies. TerraCycle’s Writing Instrument Brigade, for example, recycles pens and markers — including Bic, Paper Mate, and Sharpie — by turning them into plastic pellets used to create new recycled products.
The National Pencil Recycling Program will accept any type of pencil, along with crayons, erasers, and glue sticks. The program accepts old writing utensils from individuals as well as schools, businesses, and manufacturers. According to the organization’s website, it takes more than 100 million pencils to make America’s students successful every day. Those old pencils can be reground into new ones or used in other applications such as garden mulch.
Crayons that have been broken or half-used can be sent to Crazy Crayons for recycling. According to the organization’s website, it accepts crayon donations from kids’ camps and school fundraisers, as well as individuals.
Toothbrushes can be recycled into things like plastic lumber, garden edging, or even used as scrubbing bristles.
Donating your unused bras to organizations like the Bra Recyclers helps to provide bras for women who are victims of domestic abuse and natural disasters. There’s also the Support The Girls Foundation that distributes bras to homeless women. Bras that have seen better days can also be turned into the fabric for stuffed animals and car seats.
Soles4Souls is an organization that collects shoes and donates them to people in need all over the world. They also accept clothing donations and turn them into new fabrics.
Many electronics retailers will take back old electronics so they can be properly dismantled or resold to other customers. You can also donate computers or electronics to organizations that refurbish them and put them back on sale for a discounted price.
The more we recycle, the less we have to send to landfills, which saves natural resources and energy, as well as reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
- Personal care products (e.g., shampoo and conditioner bottles, body wash containers, etc.)
- Plastic bags and wraps (e.g., grocery bags, bread bags, newspaper sleeves, etc.)
- Detergent bottles and boxes (e.g., laundry detergent containers, dish soap bottles, dryer sheets boxes)
- Clean aluminum foil and trays (e.g., foil take-out pans and cookie sheets)
- Plastic packaging (e.g., plastic wrap around food items or toilet paper rolls)