When most of us think of recycling, we think of collecting cans and bottles in bins and putting them out in front of the house for pick up or dropping them at a local recycling center. While recycling cans, bottles, and other things that might otherwise get thrown in the trash is great, there are other things in your home that you may not have known you can recycle. And, many of these items can be used as donations for non profit organizations to help those in need. So, if you have any of these things laying around the house, don’t throw them out! Find out how and where you can recycle them, you’ll be glad you did!
Common Recyclable Items in Your Home:
Did you know that 12 million tons of clothing and textile waste is thrown in the trash (and taken to landfills) in the United States each year? That’s a lot of old clothes! If you’re like many, chances are you have clothes in your closet that don’t fit, are out of style, or that you’re just plain tired of. Instead of trashing these items, consider donating clothing to charity so that it can be used to help people who need it. It will likely not be difficult to find organizations that accept clothing donations and many will even pick up clothing donations at your home. By recycling your unused or unneeded clothing, you are reducing landfill waste and pollution to the environment and helping families in need.
Newspapers, Magazines, Books, and Junk Mail
Americans are notorious for wasting paper products. In fact, we could save about 25 million trees per year if every American just recycled one-tenth of their newspapers. If you receive a daily newspaper, do your part to conserve trees by recycling it instead of tossing it in the trash. The same goes for junk mail. Many Americans receive junk mail several times a week. Though the name implies that it is garbage, it can certainly be recycled. As for books and magazines, they can be used as donations for non profit organizations. Old books and magazines that you don’t want anymore could be used by people in need. Go online to find organizations that accept books and magazines as donations and give the gift of learning!
Many of us throw uneaten food in the garbage without thinking twice. Though food is not commonly thought of as recyclable, it can actually be composted. Americans generate 21.5 million tons of food waste every year. If we composted that food instead of throwing it out, it would reduce an equal amount of greenhouse gas as taking 2 million cars off the road would. Incredible, isn’t it? If composting is something you’re willing to try, make sure to do your research as there is a process to doing it correctly. In addition, unopened, unused food items that are not expired make wonderful donations for non profit organizations such as soup kitchens and food pantries.
We hope these ideas will inspire you to think next time you open the trash can and ask yourself, can this be recycled?