Charitable Giving

Reuse your unwanted items by giving them to friends, family or a charity. For unneeded items that are still in good condition, think of someone else that may be able to use it. If you can’t think of a friend or family member that would like the clothes that no longer fit you or that old refrigerator, consider one of the many charities that could use your item(s). With a little creativity, can both clean our your house and be useful to someone else.

Clothes:

Think of charities like Goodwill Industries, The Salvation Army, or church organizations; or giving to friends, family or offering at freecycle.org. We all lose and gain weight or just get tired of items that are still if very wearable condition. Why not share them with others that can use them?

Books & Magazines:

Welcomed at Goodwill Industries and The Salvation Army. You may also want to check with nursing homes, hospitals, or abuse shelters to see if they take these donations.

Appliances:

Some utility companies give homeowners a credit to dispose of old refrigerators or freezers since those older than 10 years are not energy efficient. If your old appliance contains a large amount of steel, it may be processed to make new products. Call your municipal waste collection service or utility company for recycle sites.

Batteries:

Don’t throw away your old rechargeable batteries and cell phones. When the rechargeable batteries in your laptop computer, cell or cordless phone, digital camera, camcorder, or cordless power tools finally run out of juice, recycle them. It’s an easy way to do something good for the environment. Visit Call 2 Recycle to find a rechargeable battery collection site near you.

Construction Materials:

Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores accept most new and good-quality used construction materials, such as cabinets, laminate floors, doors, windows, drywall, roofing materials, paint, lumber, and working appliances, says spokesperson Katie Evans. Or check with local theater and high school production companies, which might be able to use materials for building sets.

Computers:

“One computer monitor can contain three to eight pounds of lead and other heavy metals – toxic substances that can end up in soil and water,” says Marti Matsch, spokesperson for Eco-Cycle, a non-profit recycler in Boulder, Colorado. Save important information on a CD or memory stick, then use a data-wiping software program, or have a qualified technician clear your computer’s hard drive. To donate, check with local charities, or log on to the National Cristina Foundation, enter the computer’s basic specifications, then be matched with a non-profit organization that can use the equipment for training or job development. The computer needn’t always be in working order because many organizations refurbish them.

Cell phones and office supplies:

Most cell phone companies will recycle old phones, or you can donate them to organizations such as the Charitable Recycling Program. You select the local or national charity, which receives cash or a merchandise credit. Some retailers also have free drop-offs for electronic equipment. For example, Best Buy stores contain recycling kiosks that accept cell phone, rechargeable batteries, ink-jet cartridges, PDAs, DVDs, and CDs. Staples has a similar program, and they also recycle larger items like PCs, monitors, and printers for a fee of $10 per piece; associated equipment like keyboards and mouses are free. For TVs, speakers, and VCRs, find a local drop-off site and recycling events at My Green Electronics. Manufacturers such as Sony offer drop-off locations at waste management sites in nearly 20 states for almost any electric item, including small appliances like blenders, toasters, and irons. Sony products are recycled for free; others are recycled for a per-pound fee.

Exercise Equipment:

Goodwill Industries and The Salvation Army will typically accept exercise equipment, but this will typically require you to transport the items. Offering the items through freecycle.org is a great option in this case, especially for large items. The interested individuals from freecycling will gladly pick it up from your home for you.

 

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