Thursday, September 23, 2010

Simplifying the GREEN Way!

Yes, the term "green" is quickly becoming cliche, but I still feel strongly about it!  As I've said before, I've been passionate about the environment long before it was trendy...

Anyways, as I've been working on simplifying and decluttering my life and home, I realized a big cause of the clutter is because I HATE to throw anything away.  I always feel that an item may be able to be re-used at a later date, or someone else may actual want it and be able to put it to good use (since one person's trash is another person's treasure!), so I hate to send it to a landfill...  So, I've been very diligent about either recycling or donating the majority of the "stuff" that I'm cleaning out!

So, I just thought I'd share some of my "Green" tips here, in case you ever need to clear anything out!

First of all, if you don't have one yet, contact your trash company about getting a recycling bin!  We are fortunate enough that our trash company provides us with a recycling bin that is the same size as the trash bin and can be wheeled down to the curb!  No more carrying the small, overflowing, rectangle bin!  Plus, we don't have to sort!  We just throw our plastics, paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum, etc into the bin!  I LOVE IT!  So seriously, call your trash company and see what they can provide!  There may be a slight charge for the bin, but hey, shop around!  A lot of trash companies have coupons on their websites.

Next, a big dilemma I had was what to do with old, scratched CDs and DVDs!  So, I Googled "recycle cds", and found the The Compact Disc Recycling Center of America.  You can just mail your junky, scratched CDs and DVDs to this address:

CD Recycling Center
68H Stiles Rd.
Salem, NH 03079
They recycle everything that comes with a CD: the paper insert, the case, and the CD.  You do have to separate these components, but it's not too difficult!  I just did this, and I sent only the CDs and DVDs, because you DO have to pay to ship them.  It cost about $1 to mail the stack of CDs pictured below.  Then, I threw the paper and plastic cases into my own recycle bin. 

My final tip of the day is to donate anything you don't want!  You could donate to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or any local mission.  

About a year ago, I volunteered at the Holland Rescue Mission.  My task was to sort through the shoes that had been donated, making sure that the matching pairs were tied or banded together.  Other volunteers were sorting through the clothes and miscellaneous items that had been donated. 

We learned that A LOT of their donations were actually items that Goodwill couldn't/wouldn't sell in their store.  The Holland Rescue Mission takes these unsellable items and crates them up and sends them to third world countries.  We were told about someone who had witnessed the delivery of these crates of clothes, shoes, and random stuff and they said that the people of that country were so incredibly grateful and happy to recieve these items that were considered "unsellable" at a Goodwill store in the United States. 

So this just goes to show that while you think that something is trash, you should still try to donate it!  It could get sent to some far off land where someone will really appreciate it and can use it!!!

I know that I am still not 100% green, or even 50%.  I admit that I have wasteful habits and do things that are harmful to the environment.  But I try as much as I can to reduce my impact on the environment.  I encourage you to do the same!  Every little bit helps!!!

What tips do you have to share about being "green?"


  1. great tips! i hate how people don't recycle here in kansas like they did in michigan :( but i didn't know i could ship off my old cd's! i'm so excited now because i have so many to get rid of!

  2. Yay! I'm glad my tips helped! Hopefully your neighbors and friends in Kansas will follow your lead with recycling!!! :-)