Sunday, November 6, 2016

5 Things You Should Keep Instead of Throwing Away

This is a guest post, in hopes of keeping relevant while still out in the garden harvesting, this is from Jessica Kane.  Let me know what you think!

When most people think of recycling, the first thing that comes to mind is probably that little bin that you put out to the curb once a week. Everyone knows you can recycle bottles, most glassware and a wide variety of paper products this way, but a lot of items still end up in the garbage when they shouldn't. Eco-friendly people often don't realize that many items do not need to be sent to some landfill or plant far away to be properly recycled. If you're looking to be nicer to the big, blue planet that you live on, here are five things you should keep instead of throwing away.

1. Cell phones

E-waste is hands-down one of the biggest recycling problems of the 21st century. As technology rapidly upgrades, handheld devices quickly become obsolete and are simply disposed of, and often in the worst way. These small, useful devices are loaded with precious metals and volatile components that can poison the environment. If your curbside recycling program doesn't include something specifically for small electronic devices, don't bother throwing them in the recycling bin, either. Instead, you can take your old phones to a local ecoATM, where the kiosk will actually pay you cash for the phones you bring. These can often be found in nearby Walmart stores.

2. Water bottles

Plastic water bottles are extraordinarily useful and abundant items that can improve your day-to-day life in a surprisingly large amount of ways. They make excellent packing material for shipping, and if you're looking to make an indoor garden, cut them up and use them as pots for smaller sprouts and vegetables. More constructive people can use them as aqueducts for larger gardens or drains for around your home's foundation. You can also refill old water bottles and store them somewhere in case of an emergency, but be sure to re-filter the water before drinking it, as some plastics have been shown to leak hazards into water over long periods of time.

3. Shoes

With so many people around the world suffering from foot-based ailments and diseases, it is downright irresponsible to not recycle your old shoes, no matter their condition. Look for the nearest PlanetAid drop-off near you, and give someone else in the world a better chance at life. The condition of the shoe does not matter — the company repairs what it can and then uses leftover shoe material to make rugged, recycled footwear for those who have none at all.

4. Batteries

There is quite possibly nothing more harmful to the environment than single-use, alkaline batteries, as there are so many of them that have been disposed of irresponsibly. Batteries contain metals and acid, which are poisonous and corrosive. Instead, keep your old batteries in a bucket, and bring it to a designated recycling area (or ship it out) when it's full. Batteries have useful materials than can be reused by many industries.

5. Wrapping paper

After a big birthday party or winter holiday, think twice before sending all of that useful (and pretty) wrapping paper to a landfill. Instead, cut them up for confetti for a surprise party or patriotic holiday. Old wrapping paper makes excellent packing material, and particularly crafty individuals can shape the paper into beautiful ribbons, streamers and even envelopes for special occasions.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Econoheat., the world’s #1 leading manufacturer of the largest waste oil burning product line.

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