Everyone knows that recycling is good for the environment but did you know that it can be good for society, and even your wallet too?
How much do YOU recycle? Do you do your bit by recycling empty cereal boxes and empty jam jars? What about composting your food scraps? Did you know that you can recycle other things too? There are many more things that can be recycled or reused, that can help those in need and maybe make you a few dollars (pounds?).
Here’s a list of a few things that can be re-used or recycled that you may not have thought of;
Clothing that is still in good condition, but that you no longer wear can be sold on sites like eBay or you could have a garage sale. If you don’t have the time, or can’t be bothered selling them, donate them to a charity. There are many charities that accept donations of clothing that are still in good condition. If you have old clothing, bedding or towels that are no good to be used anymore, you can still donate them to an animal shelter! Animal shelters can use them as bedding for the animals to keep them warm and dry.
If you no longer want your wedding dress, don’t throw it out. You could donate it to charity with your other clothes, however here is another suggestion. Angel Gowns is a charity organization that takes old wedding dresses and turns them into mini-gowns for newborns that have passed away too soon. The gowns are presented to grieving parents of stillborn or infant babies that have passed, to allow them to have a beautiful farewell to their child.
If you have an old car that can’t be driven anymore you can still make some money from it and help out the environment at the same time! There are many scrap car recyclers that will take your car AND pay you for it! They will then pull your car apart and sell off any parts that are still in good condition. They might be able to salvage your car’s tires, doors, engine parts, light shields and even the seats. After they have stripped it of all the useful parts, they can crush what is left. The rest of the car can be melted down and made into new metal objects.
Chucking batteries into the trash is particularly bad as they contain toxic chemicals that can leach into the soil or water tables. Some places that sell batteries also accept old batteries to be recycled. Phone companies, in particular, will take your old phone battery, and some will even give you a discount off of a new phone purchase.
Mattresses used to fill up landfill sites, nowadays mattresses can be recycled. Look up your nearest mattress recycler. They will pull the mattress apart and use different parts of it to create new products including home insulation and rubber matting for playgrounds.
Reading glasses can be donated to charities like OneSight, that help people in third world countries that have poor eyesight. You can donate prescription eyeglasses as well as sunglasses that you no longer need or use.
If your hearing aid still functional but you no longer need it, you can donate it to the Starkey Hearing Foundation. They then redistribute the second-hand hearing aids to people that cannot afford to purchase one of their own.
If you enjoy a glass or two at night with dinner, you could accumulate quite a number of corks in a year. Don’t throw them in the trash. Collect them in an empty jar and when it’s full take it down to your nearest Whole Foods or you can send them into an organization like ReCork. They will then be transformed into soles for shoes and other useful products.
Inhalers and Prescription Medication
If your inhaler is out of date or you no longer need your medication any longer, don’t just chuck it in the bin. Return unwanted medications to your pharmacy who will dispose of it correctly for you. Old inhaler cans are made of aluminum and can be melted down and turned into new things.
If you have something else that is in good condition, but you no longer need, why not check out Freecycle. It’s kind of like a cross between eBay and a garage sale, only everything is free. Swap your unwanted belongings for something that you can use, or simply donate it to someone in need.