Archive for the ‘Going Green’ Category
We have been doing some serious summer cleaning at our house this week. I finally went through all my pre-Jacob clothes to figure out what still fit and what was never going to fit again, which was the majority of it. I reorganized our closet, got rid of worn out shoes, a computer we were no longer using, and books that we have already read and no longer need. Due to all of this we had a boatload of stuff to dump. We took the clothes to donate, the books to a bookstore and sold the ones worth money online, and took the computer and all of our leftover old metal hangers to Boulder’s Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHARM).
I had never been there before and was kind of dreading going with the baby because I thought it would be a pain to take the computer in along with Jacob but was hoping someone there could help me. It turned out to be much easier than i thought. You pull up to a drive up booth, tell them what you have to donate. Some items they charge you for due to the recession and less demand for recycled products. It cost $25 to dispose of the computer and the hangers I had were free to recycle. Once you pay at the booth for what you are recycling you pull around to drive up bins that are set up for all of the different items they take. It worked great for me because Jacob was asleep in the car, and I just pulled up, put my stuff in the bin and was able to drive off. Now I’m really excited I have a place to take things I no longer need and I don’t have to worry about how to manage it all with a baby.
CHARM takes a large number of items, which is nice because if you are cleaning things out you don’t have to make multiple stops to get rid of your stuff.
Books – Children’s books are donated, books in good condition are resold, and the rest are recycled.
Computers – Donated to Jared Polis Foundation or recycled if they are in poor condition.
Cell Phones – Refurbished or donated depending on the condition.
Plastic Bags – Recycled into wood alternatives for decks.
Printer Cartridges – Most brands are refilled and reused.
Textiles – Donated if in good condition or recycled into rags.
Worn Tennis Shoes – Recycled into materials for resurfacing tracks and playgrounds.
Cooking Oil – Recycled into biodiesel.
Big #2 Plastic Items (for example plastic furniture) – Recycled into railroad ties.
Toilets, Sinks and Urinals – Recycled into road surfacing material.
You can find a more extensive list on their website and they also list other places in the area that will take your items, for example many dry cleaners in the area will take wire hangers you no longer need. I’ll be going back next week already because our dishwasher just broke and they will recycle dishwashers as well, so I don’t have to figure out what on earth to do with our broken dishwasher.
I’ve come across a couple of things related to recycling lately that I wanted to share. First, I was at the garden last weekend planting some tomatoes, basil, and flowers we had bought at local nurseries. A fellow gardener approached me and asked if she could recycle the plastic containers they had come in. I hadn’t thought about recycling these before, but she told me that a lot of nurseries will recycle them for you, and if you live in the Boulder area, Lafayette Florist has a drop off point for them at their store. If you don’t live in the area, call around to some of your local nurseries and see if they will recycle them for you.
Second, my friend Amanda let me know that Aveda now has a recycling program to recycled caps that local community recycling won’t take. They take these caps that usually end up in the trash including “shampoo, water, soda, milk and other beverage bottles, flip top caps on tubes and food product bottles (such as ketchup and mayonnaise), laundry detergents and some jar lids such as peanut butter.” The one condition is that the cap has to be rigid and un-bendable, so if you can bend it, they cannot recycle it. You can drop off your caps at Aveda salons or stores. They also have a school program, where they work with kids and schools to collect caps and send them to Aveda for recycling. For more information on the school program see this flyer.
Third, now that the U.S. has made the switch from analog to digital TV you may be wanting to get rid of your old analog television. Instead of throwing it in a land fill, recycle it. In 2004 laws were passed in many states requiring manufactures to take back their televisions and recycle them for you. If your state doesn’t have laws like this there are probably still places to take your TV so it won’t end up in a land fill. To find a recycler in your area go to http://www.mygreenelectronics.org
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