Every now and then, we like to offer some quick tips and ideas for easy ways to live just a little bit greener. Most of these are not major things, on their own, they won’t change the world. But we like to think of them as raindrops in a bucket. Each drop may not fill the bucket very much, but over time, with enough raindrops, the bucket will overflow with goodness.
We’ve gathered five everyday items that you may be surprised how easy it is to recycle them into new and inspiring life.
Cell Phone – What do you do with your old cell phone? Sure, there are places that will recycle the components, and you can check the EPA site for a list of options, but why not donate your phone to a charity instead? Check with your cell provider, most have programs to provide cell phones to women’s shelters, and there is also the Cell Phones For Soldiers program and Phones 4 Charity.
Eyeglasses – Prescriptions and styles change, and it’s a rare glasses wearer who doesn’t have at least one pair of spare frames laying around. Don’t throw them away. Call up your local Lion’s Club, they take donated glasses and redistribute them to needy individuals.
Tennis Balls – If you’ve got a lot of gently used tennis balls that have lost their bounce, look into Rebounces. If you’ve got only a few, ask around at senior centers, daycares and preschools. Tennis balls make great foot covers for chair legs and walker or cane ends.
VHS Tapes – You may have moved on to DVDs and streaming video, but if you’ve got old VHS tapes your family has outgrown for one reason or another, you can donate them to a nearby chelter, preschool or library. You could also find a recycling center, or send them to Alternative Community Training. ACT offers individuals with disabilities a chance to gain employment, and offers you another option for recycling VHS tape.
Metal Hangers – You come home from the dry cleaner with a pile of them. They take up space in your closet, and they’re just unsightly and because they’re coated in a plastic, many recycling centers won’t take them. Most dry cleaners will accept hanger returns (if yours doesn’t, it might be worth finding a different cleaner). You can also check with local daycare centers and schools, wire hangers are terrific art supply pieces to make mobiles. We know a local artisan who transforms wire hangers into decorative plate and mask hangers for her business.
There they are. Five simple things that we can do differently to reduce the amount of trash we put in the landfill. It’s just that simple.