Everyone has heard the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle.”
Now more than ever, it’s critical to be thoughtful of how we consume and dispose of things.
The only materials widely recycled in the U.S. are plastic, glass and paper.
Plenty of other things can be donated to thrift stores or charities, but what can we do about things that don’t recycle traditionally and aren’t in good enough shape to donate?
There’s a surprising number of new ways to recycle trash or unwanted goods, and I think a lot of them are worth looking into.
For example, H&M does a textile recycling program.
They sort through the donated clothes, as well as other fabric goods like sheets, towels and rags. The store donates any clothing that’s in good shape and uses the things in too poor of shape to wear to create recycled fabric.
They also give coupons to anyone who brings in clothes for the recycling program.
American Eagle has a similar program.
Through a partnership with Blue Jeans Go Green, you can drop off any brand of jeans at an American Eagle store, where they will then be repurposed as housing insulation.
The organization will also plant a tree for each pair of jeans donated and provide a coupon for $10 off your next purchase of American Eagle jeans.
Maurice’s, another clothing retailer, is running a similar program until Sept. 9. Nine hundred of its U.S. and Canadian locations are accepting denim to donate to local nonprofits.
Additionally, anyone who donates will receive a coupon or 25 percent off their purchase that day.
Some secondhand shops may refuse items like bras, but those can also be repurposed.
Wildthunder Wildlife and Animal Rehabilitation and Sanctuary accepts the clasps of bras for repairing turtles’ cracked shells.
You can mail them to the center at 2584 Henley Ave. Independence, IN 50644.
Makeup is another item that can’t be donated or recycled.
However, Wands for Wildlife takes old mascara wands for cleaning rescued animals.
Due to a viral post a while ago, they receive too many wands and only take donations in February and October.
Visit appalachianwild.org for more details.
Crayola also has a marker recycling program called ColorCycle.
You can set up a collection station at a school or library, and once you’ve collected 8-10 pounds of dead markers, you can print a FedEx label to mail them to Crayola.
They take any brand of marker, and all shipping fees are paid by the company.
While there is still a lot left to be done to reduce waste and pollution, it’s great to see that there are so many new ways to reuse, repurpose and recycle things that weren’t available in the past.