This post first appeared on our parent site, The Local Mom’s Network.
Whatever your inspiration – spring cleaning, Earth Day, an upcoming move, or the inability to look at the mess any longer – getting rid of your stuff is a struggle. Make it easy by organizing things into categories and tackling one at a time.
The below companies and organizations offer stress-free ways to recycle old, unused, and unwanted items. Some give rewards and some do good by helping those in need. And you can rest easy knowing you aren’t adding to the overwhelming landfills.
Start today by checking out The Local Moms Network’s resources below for safely disposing belongings — and enjoy your new, clutter-free home.
Old batteries and electronics contain chemicals that can contaminate soil and the water supply. CALPIRG, a public interest research group, says up to 85% of textiles end up in landfills or are burned, releasing toxins into the air. And Americans produce five pounds of trash per day, per person, says the Environmental Protection Agency!
Just like linking Apple devices is easy, so is sending them back to where they came from. Bring in an old phone or laptop and get credit for a new item. But if you’re not ready to buy or the device is too old or damaged to trade in, send your items in for recycling using a pre-paid label.
There’s still time to head to Target for their annual Car Seat event. They will accept your used, damaged, or expired car seat during April 16-29 at their in-store trade-in. Bring in an old seat and receive a 20% off coupon for a new one, a stroller or baby gear.
Clothing and Textiles
If selling old clothes on thredUp or Poshmark isn’t your thing, you can buy a bag through the Retold Recycling program. They ship you a bag (made of cornstarch) and find a place for your old textiles, including items that are so worn they have holes or even your wedding dress. Retold has a strict no landfill policy, so clothing will be sent to thrift stores or recycling companies.
Electronics – and more!
Staples will actually pay you rewards money for bringing in old supplies like batteries, computers, digital cameras, ink & toner, writing tools (finally, a place to take the plastic markers!), or even paper shredded in the store. (Check their site for more details – it’s a long list!)
Donating loved, but unused Legos couldn’t be easier with the Lego replay program. Simply throw individual blocks into a cardboard box and print a UPS label and your Legos will be cleaned and donated to a child in need along with a booklet of exciting building ideas.
Bring old sneakers and workout wear (think leggings and t-shirts) to Nike stores where they will give your athletic gear a new life.
…And All the Rest
For stuff that’s difficult to recycle in the local town recycling program, turn to TerraCycle. TerraCycle has free recycling programs for items, such as razors and toothpaste containers. They send a free bag with a prepaid label and you fill it with old, used up items.
For larger products, if you’re moving, or if you choose to organize a recycling event at your child’s school for example, pay for a large cardboard box for items. Now there’s an answer to “what do I do with this?”
Think Before You Buy
If you’re interested in cutting down on your waste before you bring stuff home, Grove Collective is a subscription or one-time delivery service for cleaning, beauty and home products. Their mission is to be plastic-free by 2025. Grove sells refillable glass containers for hand soap, dishwashing soap and concentrated formulas for cleaning products.
They will send you a free, prepaid label and pack to return things like plastic pouches that hold hand soap refills and silicone items.
Wondering what to do with old toys? Read their comprehensive article here.