Ways To Recycle Household Items
Every year, on the April 22nd, Earth Day is held to help demonstrate and promote environmental protection. Since 1970, countries worldwide have celebrated and individuals are encouraged to participate in Earth Day activities.
While Splintered Forest strives to make environmentally conscious decisions by using wood recyclers and giving away firewood, we thought we would research other (maybe not as well known) ways to recycle.1) Markers
Crayola partners with schools across North America to help kids understand their role in protecting the environment and save markers from going to the landfill with the Crayola ColorCycle Program. The steps to participate are easy:
- Check with your school administration or PTO to see if they are currently participating or would be interested in starting a ColorCycle Program
- Setup a collection station in the school for all of those used markers.
- Count up the markers and pack them in a cardboard box
- Print out the shipping label and have FedEx pick them up free of charge
For more information about starting the program at your school, visit Crayola ColorCycle.
2) Plastic Bags
According the US EPA, Americans use more than 380 billion plastic bags and wraps each year. Since plastic bags are petroleum-based, they do not biodegrade and it is estimated that less than 5% off plastics are recycled worldwide. How can you help? Utilize local recycle bins at local retailers such as King Soopers, Safeway and Walmart to recycle your plastic bags. Some helpful tips:
- Be sure to empty out items such as crumbs and old receipts from the bags
- Keep a larger bag to collect all the plastic bags and drop them off before starting your shopping trip
- Look for a #2 or #4 on the bag to make sure it is recyclable
- Invest in some reusable shopping bags and take them with you each shopping trip, there are even some retailers such as Target that will give you 5 cents off for each bag you bring in
Need help finding a place to recycle your plastic bags? Visit Earth911 for locations near you!
3) Bathroom Products
Many people overlook their bathroom products as items that can be recycled. Generally, plastic bottles that are marked with a #1 or #2 can be accepted in the household recycling. To help encourage bathroom recycling, participating CVS locations are giving away a bin with a qualifying purchase.
Items such as toothpaste containers and toothbrushes do not qualify for household recycling, but programs such as TerraCycle have created mail-in programs for these items.
Perhaps you are ready to skip the containers all together? Companies are now creating items such as toothpaste and shampoo tablets to help eliminate this packaging waste.
MAC encourages their customers to recycle the “primary packaging” (what actually holds the product) of makeup such as lipstick, lash cases, blush compacts and eye shadow pots through their Back-to-MAC Program. Return six MAC makeup containers to their store and receive a free lipstick (they will also accept other brand items for recycling, but they won’t qualify for the free item)!
Other companies also encouraging recycling include:
- Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics will give you free fresh face mask if you return five empty, clean LUSH pots
- Kiehl’s will give you one stamp for every empty container returned, collect ten stamps and receive a free travel-sized product
5) Electronic Recycling
Local Best Buy stores offer recycling of your electronic items including:
- TV’s (tube TVs under 32” and flatpanels under 50”)
- Computers and tablets (monitors may be subject to a $25 fee)
- Cell phones, radios, audio equipment
- Ink and toner
- Vacuums (stick, upright and robot)
- And much more
Households are limited to three items per day. To learn more about what they accept visit their website.
6) Rechargeable Batteries
The Home Depot partnered with Call to Recycle to offer recycling of rechargeable batteries to customers. Batteries commonly found in traditional household items (cordless power tools, laptops, remote control toys, digital cameras, etc) are all eligible to be recycled at participating stores. Please note, batteries must be under 11 pounds.
To find your nearest drop off location, visit Call2Recycle.
Have you heard of some of these programs? Know of other programs that allow recycling of common, household items? Share them with us!