As a society, we’re becoming more and more aware of being green and the need to reduce, recycle, and reuse whenever the opportunity arises to do so. The bedroom provides plenty of opportunities for dedicated families to recycle items that are no longer useful to them. These are the top five.
Dressers, chests, and student desks your kids have long outgrown can take up valuable space in the local landfill. Or, to keep them out of the landfill, you can consider offering your local Goodwill or Salvation Army organization to find a good home for these furniture pieces among families who need them — even if they have seen better days. Additionally, you have the option of investing a little spit and polish to your old furniture and selling it on Craigslist or giving it away for free on your community’s “Freecycle” board.
Most people don’t think of shoes as the first thing to recycle. However, gently used shoes are a popular item for needy families. Consider consignment shops. If you have a nice supply of designer shoes, you can often recoup some of your investment by offering them to consignment shops or resale shops. If your shoes are not designer shoes, but you’d rather not see them cluttering up a landfill, consider offering them to a local clothing collection organization, domestic violence shelter, or fresh start program that provides these things to participants.
Mattresses are a huge problem for landfills. When you consider the amount of space traditional mattresses occupy and how difficult they are to compress, it’s no wonder that landfills are actively seeking alternatives. Natural latex mattresses, for instance, are 100 percent recyclable. The resilience and longevity of a natural latex mattress includes having a lifespan up to four times greater than the average of other mattresses on the market today, which makes a green mattress a great eco-conscious sleeping choice.
Most paints sold today contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that can be harmful to people who inhale the fumes as well as the planet. In fact, they cannot be disposed of in landfills because of the risks they present to local water supplies. Choosing to use paints that are low or no VOC paints instead, eliminates the need to use specialized disposal methods because these paints are water based.
This is another term used to describe electronic waste. Many communities hold special days throughout the year to collect and dispose of e-waste such as televisions, computer monitors, laptops, digital cameras, mobile phones, and tablet devices. These things contain components that present specific risks to the planet if sent to landfills and require specialized care when recycling.
If they are still working, however, you might consider donating them to organizations that can sell them for additional money, have use of them for the operation of the organization, or give them to families who have need of items such as these after removing your personal information and data, of course.
Recycling items from your bedroom is not only about saving the planet. It’s also about giving you the satisfaction of knowing you’ve done something that will help the planet as well as potentially help other people.
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