F reeing up space can free our spirits, but if we simply throw our used goods into a landfill, we contribute to the damaging of our planet. It’s possible to clean our lives and recycle our clutter. Here is how you can lighten your load without harming this Earth we share.
How to Recycle Large Items
Small items are easy to recycle — simply bag them up and take them to a local charity. However, big items can pose a challenge, especially since charities may cherry pick the items they currently need. That doesn’t mean there aren’t clever ways for you to recycle your large items, such as mattresses or large electronics, without resorting to a garbage pick up. One way is to list your item on a website like Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace. Put a low price on it, or even list it as free, and someone may come by and take it off of your hands.
If you have a large appliance, a refrigerator, or washing machine, you should call your local recycling agency. They may offer scheduled pickups. This can keep any toxic substances, such as fluorocarbons, out of the ozone. If you have a truck, you may be able to sell your old machine to a scrap metal recycler. Just call and ask what they accept, and you may be able to earn back some money from your machine while helping to reduce waste.
Ditch the Paper
Going paperless is a great way to free up space at home and protect the environment. If you switch to storing important information digitally, you can save so much waste. Start by requesting electronic statements over paper ones. If you have limited hard drive space, consider getting a cloud subscription to store your documents online in protected servers. You can even store photographs and make digital photo albums. Payments could also be made online to save on paper waste, such as checks, envelopes, and other paper products that could be otherwise saved. You can even sign documents digitally now with no need to print and scan. Every piece helps, so start digitizing your paper goods today.
Upcycle Your Goods
Sometimes, you don’t need to get rid of an item; instead, you can transform it into something new. This works with furniture but also things you might regularly throw out. For instance, there are craft projects you can make with plastic bottles, and you can transform a ketchup bottle into a batter dispenser for your Sunday pancakes. Old doors you no longer need can be turned into tables. Egg cartons can store small items that might get lost. Old clothes can become pillows or quilts. It really comes down to how creative you are. While you go through your closets to decide what you want to keep and what you want to donate, make three piles to help you organize: keep, donate, and toss or upcycle. Just because you don’t use it now does not mean it cannot become something artistic or useful with a bit of work.
Clean It Up Green
After you’ve purged your home of clutter, invariably you will want to clean. However, if you use harmful chemical cleaners, you’re undoing a lot of the good you’ve just accomplished. Instead, opt for natural solutions. The easy way is to grab some green cleaning products at the store. Companies like Seventh Generation and Biokleen are excellent options, but not the only ones. You can also make your own out of common household ingredients. However, make sure you look up good recipes and don’t mix your cleaners.
We only have this one planet, so we need to find eco-friendly ways to protect it while still living our best lives. If you recycle, upcycle, and go chemical-free, you can do both at the same time.
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