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We have seen two trends growing over the last few years – minimalism and environmental awareness. In many ways, they go hand-in-hand because if we are more mindful about buying less and avoiding clutter, we automatically become more environmentally friendly.
The big question is, what do you do with the excess items you have cleared out of your home to achieve a clean and clutter-free slate? We are here to help you out with the most eco-friendly way to dispose of five everyday household items.
Your Worn-Out Car
Do you have an old, unroadworthy car that you’ve been holding onto until you get around to doing something with it? Rather than using it as a lawn ornament, it’s time to move it along. Do your research and track down reputable car wreckers in your area that offer cash for cars. You might be able to avoid towing and pick up fees while making a few bucks on the side.
Sending your old furniture to landfill should be a last resort. Try selling it online first. If you don’t get any bites, you can either list it for free or offer it through a local online marketplace. Another reliable method is to pop it out on the front lawn with a sign on it that says “free.” Depending on your neighborhood, it should be gone by the end of the day. Just make sure that you don’t leave any soft furnishings outside in the rain or bad weather, as that will make them much harder to move along.
Traditionally, when you had a wardrobe cleanout, you would bag up all your old clothes and take them to your nearest thrift store to donate (after carting them around in your boot for the obligatory 3-6 months, of course). But recent statistics have shown that only 10-15% of our unwanted clothing makes it onto the secondhand market. The rest, which makes up 21 billion pounds in the US alone, ends up in landfill.
Instead of donating your old threads to charity, try selling them online or giving them to a local fabric recycling outlet. If you’re a creative type, you may even wish to look up “DIY projects with old clothes” on Pinterest. You will find some terrific ideas for things you can make, like bunting, necklaces, and funky cushions.
Batteries often cause confusion when you are clearing out your junk drawer. Can you throw them in the trash or do they need special disposal? The answer depends on the type of battery. Regular alkaline batteries can go straight in with your general household waste. However, rechargeable and button batteries should be recycled or dropped off to your local hazardous waste collection point.
Rechargeable Ni-Cd and SSLA batteries, which are often found in alarms, emergency lighting, and security systems, can be used many times over their lifetime. However, when their life has come to an end, they must be disposed of properly at your local rechargeable battery recycling facility. Otherwise, you risk dangerous chemicals leaking from them, with the potential to cause serious harm to the environment.
Some water-based household cleaning products can be tipped down the drain. Others can be placed in the garbage in their original container. Each container should have instructions relating to its disposal on the side. If you are unsure, be on the safe side and drop your household chemicals and cleaning products off at a household hazardous waste collection event.
With those important eco-friendly disposal tips covered, it’s time to step away from the internet and get back to cleaning!