>> Friday, October 17, 2008
There are hundreds of online articles that can walk you through the organizing and purging of closets, attics, basements and various other dark, scary, overgrown places so I'll leave the driving to those folks (unless we find a really cool gadget or idea that hasn't been blogged to death).
Now that you have all those steaming piles of organized life detritus what do you do with it? Being the socially responsible hipster you are - you recycle it all, of course!
Let's get the toughest out of the way 1st...electronic waste or "e-waste".
Computers, printers, cell phones, tv's, gaming systems and radios make up the bulk of electronics that threaten the environment, because of their hazardous ingredients.
The foremost efficient and inexpensive way to keep these items out of the landfills is to donate them. But, if your Uncle Bob already has enough electronics to power NASA then let's move on.
Computers for Schools
National Cristina Foundation
If these organizations or your local school snickered when you kindly proffered your vintage PC fully loaded with DOS (sorry, geek joke) then let's plow ahead to some other alternatives and we'll work on bringing you into the 21st century in another post.
Many manufacturer-sponsored programs will accept and process their brands for free while some accept other brands for a small fee.
Manufacturer Specific Programs
* Toshiba Trade-In and Recycling Program
* Lenovo/IBM (will also accept other e-waste of other computer manufacturers)
* Epson (printers. scanners, projectors)
* Circuit City (Easy-trade in program)
* Best Buy
* Staples (accepts computers, monitors, laptops, and desktop printers, faxes and all-in-ones)
* Office Depot
* EPA Plug-In Partners (lists manufacturers, retailers and service providers that offer recycling of e-waste)
* EPA—lists options for donating or recycling e-waste
* Techsoup—lists non-profit organizations and recyclers of e-waste
* Goodwill Stores (some locations accept computers)—Web site includes tips on how to donate computers
Cell Phone Recycling/Donation
* Motorola (accepts all brands for free)
* Nokia (accepts all brands for free)
* National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (donation of cell phones)
* Verizon Wireless (accepts phones at Verizon stores)
* AT&T Wireless (accepts phones at AT&T stores)
* T-Mobile Wireless (accepts phones in stores and by mail)
* Sprint Wireless (accepts phones in stores and by mail; recycling proceeds go to charity)
* Cell phones for Soldiers
* The Wireless Foundation (see site for drop-off locations)
* 911 Cell Phone Bank
* Office Depot
Compost it! Put all your food scraps, leaves and weeds (no
meats and fats please) in a pile in the yard. Water occasionally, turn
frequently with a pitchfork and voila....nutrient rich earth your flowers
will thank you for.
This includes thermometers, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), thermostats.
*Earth911 (to find a facility near you)
Ask your local high school drama dept, church, or Habitat for
Humanity if they accept donations of unused paint. If you have the latex variety, you can also find a reuse-and-recycle program through
* Earth911 (enter the item and your zip code in the search box to find locations near you)
Bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, formal wear, gowns, shoes, or accessories. Try donating to one of these:
* Fairy Godmothers, Inc.
* Becca's Closet
* Glass Slipper Project
* Dress for Success
* Goodwill Stores (locate a store near you)
Eyeglasses and hearing aids:
*The Lions Club International
*New Eyes for the Needy
*Nike Reuse a Shoe
Miscellaneous household items & everything else (including the kitchen sink):
Check out your local chapters of
In the good ol' U.S. of A. it is often illegal or extremely
difficult to recycle leftover but perfectly usable leftover prescription medications.
There are, however, several US based organizations that repackage and ship drugs overseas.
Here are two I have utilized frequently. Madre takes more generic drugs like blood pressure meds etc. while Starfish looks for anti-retroviral (AIDS) type prescriptions to ship to HIV affected countries like Africa. Starfish Project will, however, send you prepaid shipping labels.
*Madre Medical Project:* The Starfish Project
There, now don't you feel better?