Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday's Tip! Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle

When you think of recycling you usually think about those old newspapers, soda cans, a water bottle, maybe an old plastic food container.. but there are actually many other things you can recycle.  I have compiled a list of a few things you probably never thought about recycling.

                                                       Wine Corks
Instead of throwing away that cork (after you recycle the glass bottle) you can send them to Yemm & Hart Green Materials. This organization has started an experimental wine cork-recycling program that processes old corks into useful environmentally friendly cork floors and wall tiles.  This organization eventually hopes to be able  pay people for their corks!

When you are ready to trade in your shoes for a new pair they have usually been beat up quite a bit and wont make the best donation. Just cause you can't pass them on to someone new doesn't mean they have to live forever in a landfill.  Nike takes old rubber-soled shoes and recycles them into new athletic surfaces like basketball courts and running tracks. You can find a drop off location at http://www.nikereuseashoe.com/

                                                       Prescription Medication Drinking water in many areas is contaminated with all kinds of pharmaceuticals that have seeped into our water supplies. Instead of flushing your old prescription medications down the toilet you can donate drugs that are still usable. Not all states have a recycling program that allows patients to donate, you can check out the list at NCSL.

Books, DVDs, and CDs
Most people have stacks of old books, DVDs and CDs that they no longer use. Usually you don't throw them away, instead they take up space collecting dust. Swaptree.com allows you to trade your old stuff for something that’s new to you.  And it's free! Who doesn’t love free stuff? After you sign up you list your unwanted stuff and choose the items you’d like to receive.
You can also look into websites like Ebay and Amazon where you can make a profit from getting rid of your old stuff. I always order books online where I can get them cheaper than in a store.

Holiday Lights
Whether you just have tons of old & broken strands laying around or you want to upgrade to for environmentally friendly LED holiday lights you can give your old lights a new life. Send them off to HolidayLEDs to be recycled, Doing so will get you more than just the satisfaction of doing a good deed,  they will also give you 15% off anything on their site!

Old carpets can be pretty gross and it isn't always easy to get rid of unwanted carpet. Carpet Recovery has a map you can check to see if there are reclamation partners in your area. Your old carpet could be given a second life as composite lumber, roofing shingles, railroad ties, or automotive parts!

                                                                 Packing Peanuts
Nobody likes getting a package full of packing peanuts they get everywhere, they are hard to clean up, and aside from that, they aren't very Eco friendly! Now you can actually pass them along to someone who really wants them, EPS recyclers. They can be dropped off at a local location or sent in the mail.

Now bras are not something you want to include with the rest of your old clothing that you donate to goodwill . But you don’t t have to throw away quality garments that no longer meet your needs whether due to style or size.  Many people take clean undergarments for granted, but there are lots of people in need for things as simple as a bra. Bosom Buddy Recycling takes your donations and gives them to women around the country including those in shelters, transitional housing, and breast cancer-survivor support groups.

Metal hangers
If you dry clean metal hangers can accumulate rather quickly in your home. Instead of throwing them away, return them to the dry cleaner to be recycled. Most will accept and reuse them. Even banged up ones are usually returned to the supplier or sent to a scrap metal dealer.

Your old "junk" eyeglasses can actually be someone elses "treasured" eyeglasses. This is a great way to recycle an old pair of glasses that no longer benefit you. By donating them they can be enjoyed by someone who is visually impaired in a developing country, who otherwise would not be able to afford such a luxury. To donate your old glasses, visit New Eyes for the Needy. You can also visit stores like LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, or Goodwill where drop off boxes are usually located.

Well I bet you didn't know there were so many organizations and charities out there so willing to take all you old junk off your hands! I'm sure there is something on this list that you have collecting dust somewhere. So in the spirit of being Eco friendly (and adding more space to your closet) I encourage you to look into these opportunities to recycle!


  1. Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing. I knew about a few of these but the lights and bras idea rocks my socks.

  2. I hate to admit that I didn't know ANY of that. Wow, it really is amazing what all you can recycle now. Thanks for coming by on Friday, sorry I'm just now getting around to saying hello back! Would love for you to come link up to Fabulous Friday this week if you get the chance. Thanks!

  3. Your newest follow from Tuesday Follows. Hope to see you at Dropped Stitches!

    xo Erin

  4. following you from Admirer Monday! nice tips from your beautiful blog!

  5. Thank you for sharing! I always look for new ways to recycle

  6. Great tips! Thanks for sharing :-).

  7. Wow! Great tips! I have tons of dry cleaning hangers. And the shoes that this family goes through! Our City landfill will thank you!

  8. Wonderful idea!! If anyone has good collections of used wine corks send us for cork recycling at http://www.corkclub.com/