Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It Pays To Recycle!

Isn’t it amazing to think that your old ‘stuff’ can do a lot of good in the world? And sometimes there’s a great incentive for you to put that old stuff to work? As you know, I’ve been clearing out the clutter and I’ve been building piles of stuff to take out of our place and redistribute.

I’m most happy to report that my freezer has found a new home. It now belongs to a family with four children. I know they’ll make great use of it so it’s a win/win for everyone – me, them and the environment as it’s not in a landfill somewhere.
I’ve gotten to thinking about where my stuff will end up – and I realized that much of it will benefit me twice. Once by freeing up space in my home and again by giving back to me on it’s way out. Read on and discover how your ‘stuff’ can do great things in its own way.

Our local grocery store gives us points for returning certain items for recycling – milk jugs, different product containers, empty inkjet cartridges and so on. I’ve accumulated many things and eventually those points add up to certificates I’m cashing in for my son’s RESP. Free money!

Here we pay deposits on many items – returning them gives you back money in your pocket. My family saves all of the bottles, cans etc. with deposits and once again, the money goes to our son. I know so many people that throw away these or toss them in the recycling bin. A terrible waste of their money!

You can take items to resale/consignment shops, sell them on ebay, craigslist, your local buy and sell paper and more. You can sell nearly anything, but clothing, household items, collectibles, furniture, kid’s clothes and toys and even electronics go quickly. And remember a garage or yard sale can sell just about anything. In many areas Kid’s Swaps are sweeping the regions. These are the best places to buy your baby and kids items at incredible prices. Why buy new? And you can sell it all again when you’re done!

There are locations that will take back wood, batteries, electronics, metal, old paint and more for recycling. In most cases you don’t get anything for it – and in some you may pay a small fee – but the reward comes in the environmental savings.

Used book stores and music stores are great places. You often don’t get cash, but with the credit you can get partial to full credit to spend on new to you things. I love my local used book store – (Sue’s Bookshelf). It’s a fabulous store with an every changing stock to browse in.

If you are not looking to make money – but want to do the right thing (and really, deep down inside, who doesn’t) don’t forget that taking a few minutes to take things to thrift stores, church clothing drives, shelters (both for people and animals) and toy depots can help to raise money to change a life – or to give things to someone who really needs it.

I was driving in North Delta, BC today and they are in the middle of a recycle week. You put all your stuff curbside and people take what they want. The rest goes to the dump. It’s a great idea, but I did see a lot of great things going into the big garbage trucks. Maybe next year they can encourage people to post the good stuff online so that other people can connect with the things they need, ensuring that it gets reused and not compacted. However, even as it is now, it’s still a fabulous idea and I’m sure it saves a lot of things from an early end to their useful lifecycle.

So before you toss something, think about whether it has value – to you, to someone else, to a recycle depot. If not – then think about whether or not it’s harmful to the environment. If so, is there a way to dispose of it better? I think I’ve found a place to recycle alkaline batteries for a few cents a pound. I’ve been saving mine in a baggie and will return them when I have more. Consider doing one small thing like this because when we all do it, it adds up to one really big thing!

Happy reusing and recycling!

1 comment:

Maisie said...

Jackie, one of our supermarkets here in UK give out freepost envelopes in which we can then post any "spent" batteries and they will recycle them.

Also Brita UK have a freepost address to send the cartridges from water filter jugs for them to recycle again.

Once the warmer weather gets here we will do a few carboot sales (like your garage sales but you put it all in your car and go to a field etc and sell from your trunk).