Most of us do our best to lessen our carbon footprints when it comes to our stay on this planet. We recycle our bottles and newspapers, reuse plastic items, and do what we can to make a difference. However, there are a few more things you could do that you probably didn’t even know about! Recycle the following six common household items to make a difference in the world!
1. Don’t pitch dead batteries
When batteries get tossed into the landfill, they corrode for years. As they corrode, batteries leach toxic chemicals back into our air and soil. Luckily, there are a few places that will take old batteries off of your hands, such as Lowes and Staples. If you don’t have close access to one of these stores, Battery Solutions is a website that happily accepts dead batteries through the mail.
2. Recycle old house keys
Who doesn’t have mystery keys in their junk drawer at home? Instead of pitching them, check local recycling centers to ask if they could take them off of your hands. It may seem like a lot of effort for a couple of small keys, so consider asking your family and friends if they have any old keys of their own that you could take with you. Chances are, they will!
3. Donate old crayons and markers
If you live in a house with kids, you likely have crayons and markers that are either broken or dried out. You can donate any old, broken crayons by sending them off to The Crayon Initiative, a program that melts down and remanufactures old crayons. They are then distributed to children in hospitals. The Crayola ColorCycle program will even take dried-up markers to keep them from clogging up landfills.
4. Don’t throw out clothes
Clothing is one of the easiest items to recycle. About 16-million tons of textile gets wasted every year in the United States, and that figure seems to be growing every year. This puts a huge strain on both the environment and our landfills. Instead, gather up your clothes and take them to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. You could also sell them to a consignment shop if you would like to make some extra spending money!
5. Keep the plastic grocery bags
Can you believe that we use 100 billion plastic bags per year in the United States? Single-use plastic bags end up in sewage overflows that make their way into the ocean. The worst part is the fact that plastic bags kill hundreds of thousands of marine animals every year. Do your part and find a place you can recycle your bags by clicking on plasticfilmrecycling.org. Many larger grocery chains also set up bins for shoppers to bring back their plastic bags.
6. Upcycle old toothbrushes
If you can, choose an eco-friendly toothbrush made from some type of sustainable material, such as bamboo. But when you need to get rid of old plastic ones, a collaboration between Sam’s Club, TerraCycle, the Kids in Need Foundation, and Colgate will take your toothbrushes and upcycle them into other useful household items for free.