Wondering where to start decluttering your home? First, learn how to recycle household items and reduce your carbon footprint as you clean!
I bet you have stuff tucked into every corner and every drawer of your house that you no longer need, right? Sneakers that your kid outgrew, paint that you no longer need because your living room is no longer yellow….all that stuff takes up space.
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If you are anything like me, you like to tuck things away for safe keeping ‘in case you need it one day’. Am I right? I do that all the time. Then I open a closet door and 15 pounds of crap falls on me because all that stuff is still taking up space and not getting use.
How to Recycle Household Items
If you want to start decluttering your home, here are a few tips on how to recycle household items that you no longer need:
Household Hazardous Waste:
I bet you think your household doesn’t have any hazardous waste, right? Well, except for the baby’s diapers but those can’t really be recycled! Household hazardous waste includes things like cleaning products you no longer use, lawn and garden chemicals, pool and spa supplies, propane/butane tanks, and automobile fluids are all considered hazardous wastes.
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Improper disposal of hazardous waste can really screw up our water supply and harm wildlife. Household hazardous waste is generally collected by your local trash company. Call them up and ask about special drop off days or the location of your nearest collection center.
How to Recycle CFC light bulbs:
I bet you are slowly swapping out all those incandescent light bulbs for eco friendly ones, right? Well, those CFC light bulbs shouldn’t go into the trash! The FDA and EPA insist that CFC bulbs are not dangerous but they do contain a small amount of mercury. This mercury should not end up in our landfills.
Most Home Depot stores have a recycling program for CFC bulbs. Don’t have one near you? Check out Earth911 for more information about CFC light bulb recycling.
If you wear glasses, you probably get new ones every few years because your vision prescription changes. What do you do with the old glasses? Tuck them in a drawer for emergencies? How many emergency pairs of glasses do you really need?
Check out the eyeglass recycling at New Eyes and get those old glasses out of your house for good. Eyeglasses in good condition are sent to medical missions and international charitable organizations for distribution to the poor in developing nations.
Can you Recycle Cosmetics?
I bet you have a ton of makeup in your bathroom drawer that you bought and decided you didn’t like. What do you do with it? If you have a friend you could certainly pass it along to them but do they want your already opened makeup? Maybe not.
Some makeup retailers will accept used cosmetics containers and recycle them for you, so ask around at your local cosmetics counters. Some cosmetic companies offer mail-in programs for recycling cosmetic packaging.
Other Recycling Articles You Might Like
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- How to Recycle Gift Cards
There is a ton of information about cosmetics recycling programs on Ecolife.com. Seriously…check them out. If you are cleaning out your makeup drawer, don’t just throw it all in the trash can!
Yes, your kid probably love coloring with crayons. But do they need 3 shoe boxes full of crayons? That is about how much I currently have in my house and my kids are teenagers. They don’t color with crayons very much any more! Apparently 120,000 pounds of crayons are produced each day in this country. That is a ridiculous number of crayons to end up in the landfill.
Consider donating your used and no longer needed crayons to your local preschool program. If you can’t find any needy children looking for used crayons, check out this crayon recycling program and keep them out of landfills. You can also melt down broken crayons and put them in crayon molds to make brand new and fun to use crayon shapes for your kids.
What to do with old Cell phones:
I recent statistic that I read stated that only 1 in 10 cell phones today are actually recycled. That is pretty sad. Do you upgrade your cell phone regularly? What do you do with the old one? Some cell phone components require proper hazardous waste disposal while others are recyclable.
Many charities accept cell phones for recycling to give to the elderly, military veterans and others who may need a phone but can’t afford it. Check this list of mail-back programs at earth911.
There are a TON of ways to recycle household items that you no longer need. If you are trying to clear out the clutter in your home, learn how to recycle household items rather than throw them in the trash can. Every baby step counts on the road to green living!
Have any other household recycling tips to share?
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Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.