People often have an awful lot of STUFF in their homes. It seems like every trip to the department store, baseball game, restaurant or grocery store results in yet another spare thing for you to find a home for in your ever crowded house. In fact, many people have to rent storage units just so they can find a home for all of their possessions!
If you have decided it's time to downsize and get rid of some of the clutter in your home, that’s a great idea. However, think twice before you just dump it all into the trashcan! According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2009, Americans generated about 243 million tons of trash! Much of that trash could have been recycled, upcycled, or given a new home.
Here are a few things you may find scattered amongst your stuff and a few suggestions as to what you can do with it:
Eyeglasses: As we get older, our eyes change and the prescription that used to work perfectly is now giving us a headache. There are a number of underprivileged people who would love the chance to read a book without squinting. The Lion's Club will help match your old prescription glasses to a new set of needy eyes.
Cellphones: It seems like technology is rapidly changing every year so people are upgrading to newer and faster phones. There are a number of organizations that will either recycle the components of mobile devices or donate your phone to one of several non-profit organizations. The EPA also has quite an extensive list of places where you can recycle your phone.
Tennis Balls: Tennis balls make great foot covers for chairs, especially at daycares and preschools, so ask around to see if any in your area would like them. You can also check out Rebounces and they will re-pressurize those gently used balls and get them back onto the court for some more playing time.
VHS Tapes: If it’s a tape your children have outgrown or your family has just seen one too many times, consider donating it to a nearby shelter, preschool or library depending on the type of tape. You can also send them to Alternative Community Training, an organization to help people with disabilities get back to work, and they will recycle them for you.
Metal Hangers: If you ever send your clothes off to the dry cleaners you probably have an abundance of metal hangers taking up precious space in your closet. Because they are actually coated in plastic, many recycling facilities will not accept them. Call your local dry cleaners to see if they will take them back or ask if your local preschool would like a few so the kids can make mobiles to bring home to their parents!
By consciously thinking about every item we toss into our trash cans, we can do our part to reduce the amount of stuff that gets thrown away.
Have any other suggestions? What types of household items have YOU repurposed or recycled?
Article originally published on SCJohnson.com.