It’s no secret that there is more and more waste building up throughout the world. Movements have been made to encourage people to stop using plastic straws and grocery sacks, but movements only last for so long. However, these movements did cause many corporations to begin finding eco-friendly solutions for their products. Reusing, reducing, and recycling requires a conscious effort to become a better steward for the planet. Where you live can have a major effect on your recycling habits based on the rules of your provider, however, there are more things you can reuse and recycle than you realize.
While your closet may be filled to the brim with athletic, professional, and casual footwear, many people aren’t as fortunate. In other countries, a pair of shoes is what decides if a child can obtain an education. Instead of throwing an old pair of shoes away when you’ve upgraded or decided you don’t need a pair, donate them. If they are extra worn out and wouldn’t be a good pair for someone in need, send them to a recycling program. Nike’s “Reuse-A-Shoe” program uses the materials of old sneakers (any brand) for new products–like playground surfacing or outdoor basketball courts.
If you colored as a kid, you probably knew the struggle of trying to color with a half-inch piece of crayon. Coloring is a fun past-time, but once the crayons are broken and no longer fit in the box, it becomes a messier play-time activity then you signed up for. Instead of throwing out crayon bits, you can send them to recycle programs that melt-down the wax to make fun, new colors. These upgraded crayons are typically sent to children’s hospitals for other kids to enjoy! If you want to reuse crayons yourself, you can melt them into your own mold, or try something different, like making playdough!
After popping open a bottle of wine, what do you do with the cork? Maybe a better question is, “What should you do with the cork?” While you may be used to tossing it in the trash and maybe doing a little cheer when you make it from a distance, consider collecting corks instead. You don’t need to keep your collection–there are areas where you can donate the cork for flooring tiles, sports equipment, or insulation recycling. However, if you do want to keep your cork collection, there are plenty of fun ideas to repurpose them. Some craft ideas include making a wreath, wall art, or an actual corkboard!
While you may not be doing much woodworking from your home, there are other businesses that generate large loads of wood waste. Wood waste looks like coarse sawdust or small units of firewood. Many businesses that accumulate wood waste offer to sell it. Sawdust is great for horse and cattle bedding because it is absorbent and insulating. Sawdust is also a great gardening tool as it conserves moisture and helps keep weeds from growing. Businesses like Challenger Pallet & Supply deliver their wood waste to customers in bulk.
Cardboard Egg Cartons
Not every type of egg carton is recyclable. Polystyrene foam is not recyclable, so be sure you are only recycling cardboard cartons that are clean and don’t have any residue from cracked eggs. If you are looking for a project, though, cardboard egg cartons are excellent for starting seedlings, making fire-starters, or feeding birds.
This year, become a steward for the earth and take care of it by reusing and recycling what you can.