Halloween is over, which means the stores have started decking their halls. Hold on!
There happen to be several holidays worth celebrating between Halloween and New Years. (And we’re not even talking Turkey Day.)
For instance, November 15th marks America Recycles Day. To celebrate, we challenge you to investigate unusual items in your house that can be recycled.
We all know the basics—paper, plastic, cardboard, etc. But did you know that you can recycle athletic shoes, bikes, bras, carpeting, hair dryers, mobile phones, packing peanuts, and resealable sandwich bags?
Let’s take these one at a time.
Athletic shoes: Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe recycling bin allows for this dandy corporation to reuse the soles for a raw material called Nike Grind, which is used in things like shoe soles, running tracks and zippers.
Bikes: Americans toss out over 15 million bikes per year. But consider giving them a second life with Bikes of the World, an organization that collects and refurbishes old bikes and donates them to low-income families, both in the United States and in developing countries.
Bras: Although we don’t generally choose to donate old bras, the Bosom Buddy Program (a textile recycling company out of Arizona) wants us to do just that. You can drop them off at a number of locations or mail them in, where their awesome workers will spruce them up and donate them to women’s shelters.
Carpeting: Many carpet retailers have a recycling program in place. Google “Carpet Reclamation Facility” and find one that’s convenient for you to drop off that old orange shag carpet.
(Kidding, we’re hoping that’s long gone by now.)
Hair Dryers: While they usually have a long life, once they do die they’re rather clunky to have lying around. Mail them into Folica.com and they’ll issue you a $40 credit to buy a new one off their site. Pretty sweet deal, eh?
Mobile Phones: Ahh, old phones. A treasure chest of embarrassing pixelated photos, ex’s numbers and terrible pre-loaded wallpapers and ringtones. Time to say bye bye. You can find a list of mail-back programs at earth911.com.
Packaging Peanuts: “GASP! But they’re Styrofoam!” We know. We found it astounding as well. Amazingly enough, those little guys are surprisingly resilient. Most shipping companies will take them back—check out loosefillpackaging.com to find a drop off location near by.
Resealable Sandwich Bags: We know you’re guilty of it. A one-time use and then it’s out to the trash (mostly because the idea of cleaning out sticky peanut butter and jelly or smelly old chicken doesn’t sound like a wise use of your time). Well that’s because it’s not. Now, you can recycle them at more than 18,000 in store recycling centers. Go on, give it a Google and be amazed.