Welcome back to #FantasticForumFriday and a special thank you to this week’s guest, Jessica Kane. Today’s topic is an environmentally-conscious one – check it out below.
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Our planet has a finite supply of resources, and that supply decreases every year. Fortunately, there are a lot of things people can do to combat this. Not being wasteful is a big part of this, of course, but so is recycling. Most people know that you can recycle cardboard and metal – in some places aluminium cans be turned in for a deposit. In addition to your run-of-the-mill products, there are some items that can be recycled that may surprise you. Here are five of them.
1: Computer Ink Cartridges
These are not recycled in a traditional sense. It’s more like they are refuelled and reused, but the principle is the same. You take your old printer cartridges into your local printing company and they refill them. Not only does this reduce the amount of ink cartridges that have to be made, but it saves you money. This can be especially practical in a workplace where a lot of documents are printed – think your local H&R Block!
2: Wine Corks
Believe it or not, those old wine corks can actually be reused! There are a couple of different companies, including Whole Foods Markets around the country, that have a bin where you can deposit your used wine corks. These corks are then recycled into post-consumer materials such as floor tiles and wine shippers.
3: Old Coins
If you live in northern Montana, you’re probably used to getting Canadian coins in with your change. If you live in Europe, chances are you’ve got all kinds of random currency sitting on your shelf. If you’ve ever wondered what to do with all of that, there are several charitable organizations in the United Kingdom that accept old foreign coins.
I’m not sure what they do with the old money, but it is presumably taken to a bank somewhere and transferred into British pounds. There’s another advantage to this as well: your recycled donation will support a good cause.
4: Yoga Mats
Yoga mats are generally made out of a thermoplastic elastomer, which in common English translates to PVC, the same stuff your plumbing is made out of. Because of the chemicals involved in the creation of PVC, it is notoriously difficult to recycle. In spite of this, there are several companies that are able to recycle them. JadeYoga recycles old yoga mats into new yoga mats, and the California-based company Sanuk recycles them into sandals!
5: Handheld Electronic Devices
This one is the best. Old cell phones, mp3 players, iPods and other electronic devices can be donated to Recycling for Charities. These items are difficult to dispose of normally because the lithium batteries used to power them can leak chemicals and are not fit for ordinary landfills. Not only does this program provide a safe means to dispose of these unwanted items, but it benefits the less fortunate as well. Recycling for Charities is not the only program out there, either. I’ve seen drives like this all over the place, including at a Western Union once.
This list is not all-inclusive. There are programs to recycle CDs and DVDs, wireless coat hangers and numerous other unusual everyday items. So the next time you need to get rid of something and you’re not sure if it can be recycled, do a quick Google search. You may just be able to save something from the landfill!
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