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10 Things You Didn’t Know You Can Recycle

April 13, 2010

We all know ‘living green’ isn’t a trendy phrase.  It is an important way of life, but what does it really mean?  Can we do simple everyday things to make a difference?  The answer is, YES! 

In the next couple Posts, I will review some things I’ve learned from our friends at Green America;

Today, we have a list of the ’10 Things You Didn’t Know You Can Recycle’ and where to get more information:

  • Appliances:  Many stores will recycle your old appliance when you purchase a new one.  Goodwill accepts working appliances.  Go to, or you can contact the Steel Recycling Institute to recycle them at
  • Athletic shoes:  One World Running will send still-wearable shoes to athletes in need in Africa, Latin America, and Haiti;  Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program turns old shoes into playground and athletic flooring;
  • Batteries:  Contact
  • Clothes:  Wearable clothes can go to your local Goodwill outlet or shelter.  Donate wearable women’s business clothing to the nonprofit Dress for Success, which give them to low-income women as they search for jobs;  Offer unwearable clothes to local animal boarding and shelter facilities, which often use them as pet bedding.
  • Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL):  Take them to your local IDEA store for recycling;  You can also order a Sylvania RecyclePak;
  • Computers and electronics:  To find the most responsible recyclers go to
  • Foam packing peanuts:  Your local pack-and-ship store will likely accept these for reuse.  Or call the Plastic Loose Fill Producers Council to find a drop-off site; (800) 828-2214.  For places to drop off foam blocks for recycling, contact the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers; (410) 451-8340,
  • Ink / Toner Cartridges:
  • Oil:  Find used motor oil hotlines for each state;
  • Phones:  Collective  Good will refurbish your phone and sell it to someone in a developing country;  Call to Protect reprograms cell phones to dial 911 and gives them to domestic violence victims;

You can take immediate action in making the healthiest, safest, and most responsible choices for your family and our future.  These are just a few ideas to get you started.  In my next Post, I’ll share more information from Green America about steps to reduce toxins in your home.

Stay tuned for more!


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