Recycling has become a lot easier for many people since curb side programs have become readily available. Using recycled glass, aluminum, and paper will take 50% less energy than when using virgin product.
Things that you can recycle that you wouldn't think about:
- Do you DIY when it comes to changing out automobile fluids? Oil and anitfreeze are recyclable and most oil change or auto service companies accept used motor oil from the public. Used motor oil can be re-refined into a brand new product that can go back into your car, recycled into clean lubricant or burned as fuel. As long as the used oil hasn’t been contaminated with other fluids. Used antifreeze can also be recycled by filtering out contaminants such as lead, then restoring the original properties through stabilizing additives.
- Recycle wallet trash! Most gift cards, credit cards, discount cards, hotel key cards are made with PVC plastic and can be recycled. The magnetic strip used to be an issue, but now companies have begun to accept them and melt them down to reuse.
- Before you throw out your cooking oil... This is a tricky one for most people. Pouring it down the drain harms many wildlife creatures while also causing damage to your pipes. And throwing it away is just as harmful to the environment. Now that people are researching biofuel, there is a need for used oil. You can use www.earth911.org to find a oil recycling center near you. Just store the oil in a container until you are ready to drop it off.
- We've all seen the horrible pictures of birds with the 6 pack beverage ring caught in its beak. Most of the rings are made out of plastic #4 which is a recyclable plastic. If your curbside only picks up #1 and #2 plastic, you can mail your rings to Hi Cone.
- Did you know that you can recycle your make up containers? Most are made with #5 plastic, so instead of trashing, just clean them out. Origins accepts any type of makeup containers. Mac will take back its containers and will issue a free lipstick with every 6 container returns. Aveda will take bottle caps, which are not recyclable, and use them for their packaging.
- Want to get paid for trash? Go to TerraCycle.com and learn how you can recycle candy bar wrappers, chip bags, drink pouches, coffee bags, and lots of other wrappers and get paid for it! There are thousands of locations accepting your trash.
- Most people throw away old keys, but now you can help a cause. Keys for Kindness accepts all metal keys to help raise money for Multiple Sclerosis.
- Save your hair and donate! Many places accept hair to help make wigs for cancer patients. It takes up to 8 pony tails to make 1 wig. Pantene Beautiful Lengths will take 8 inches, Wigs for Kids accepts 12 inches, Locks of Love will take 10 inches, Childhood Leukemia Foundation will take 12 inches, Children with Hair Loss will take 8 inches, and Matter of Trust will take any length.
- Don't throw out your old or broken electronics. You can find e-cycling programs that will accept computers, tvs, video games, cell phones, and other electronics at www.epa.gov Most electronics contain hazardous materials like lead, mercury, nickel, cadmium, and lithium which can leach into the soil and contaminate the areas water supply.
- Appliances are also recyclable. If you purchase a new one, have the store deliver so they will take your old one. You can also call Salvation Army to pick up working items. You can find out more ways to recycle metal at RecycleMetal.org
- Aluminum foil, metal and plastic clothes hangers, stainless steel products like pans and tea pots, and even empty aerosol cans (at some locations) can be added to your recycling bin.
- Packing materials, CD and DVD cases, plastic electronic casings, mixing bowls, tooth brushes, legos, detergent bottles, egg cartons, produce bags, and bread bags can also be recycled.
- You can find places in your area that take batteries, pesticides, mercury, and light bulbs by going to the www.epa.gov site.
What about food recycling? Do you compost? If so, what foods do you recycle?