It's that time of the year again; getting ready to settle in for a long winter's nap as temperatures cool down. But it also means doing that final cleaning with the windows open before everything is buttoned up for the season. With that comes a great purge of unused items that have been piling up for more months than you would care to mention. If cleaning out your basement, garage, or shed is part of your to-do list, don't forget to recycle rather than throw away. Here are some things to consider and how your actions can help the environment.
Recycle More Than Just Plastic
When most people think about recycling, they think about simple household plastics and paper. In fact, there are many things that you could be recycling as opposed to just tossing in the trash. Here are some important unused items that can be recycled:
- Batteries—Battery Solutions takes old batteries. Check locally for battery recycling services that take scrap batteries too.
- Ink Cartridges—Donate unwanted cartridges to your local STAPLES store or join their ink refill program.
- Compact Florescent Bulbs—IKEA is one store that takes back burned-out bulbs
- Eyeglasses—Don't throw out those old readers or prescription glasses. Your local Lion's Club should take them
- Foam Packaging—The foam packaging that comes with many shipped items can be recycled through your local shipping/delivery store.
- Techno-trash—Things like iPhones, computers, gadgets, audio tapes, and pagers.
These are all good starting points for recycling household items. Don't get discouraged with the extra time it takes—the result is less unwanted items in your local landfill.
Boost the Condition of Your Home and Property
Removing excess junk and clutter from your home can boost the overall condition of your property. Getting rid of an old aluminum swing set or rotting wood deck can help improve curb appeal and the property value of your home. Bags of old clothes in the basement can eventually get wet and damp. This can harbor unwanted mold and bacteria. Donating items to Goodwill or a homeless shelter instead of taking them to the curb helps recycle the items by giving them a new life.
Remember all of the Benefits
It can be easy to just toss items into the dumpster or bag things up and throw them away. But there are some real benefits to taking the extra time to recycle properly, such as:
- Reducing the amount of junk being shipped to a landfill or incinerator
- Preventing pollution by reducing need of new items and products
- Creating recycling and U.S. manufacturing jobs
- Conserving more natural resources such as minerals, water, and lumber
Not only are you freeing up more living space in your own home, you are also helping the environment by living a greener lifestyle.
The beginning of fall is a great time to get rid of unwanted items. Turning household junk over to the proper recycling center is the first step in playing your part in a better future for Mother Earth.