Do you recycle?
Recycling allows us to reuse materials, which in turn conserves natural resources. It also saves water and energy, improves air and water quality, lowers pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and preserves landfill space. The national recycling rate has increased every year for the past 30 years. The current recycling rate is about 34.7%. We can certainly do better!
There are many creative ways to improve our recycling statistics. Here are a few surprising things that we can all try to recycle.
Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe Program
Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program takes old running shoes that would otherwise end up in a landfill and grinds them down to create a new material called Nike Grind, which is used to make high-quality sports surfaces including courts, turf fields, tracks and more. Since 1990, they’ve transformed 28 million pairs of shoes and 36,000 tons of scrap material into Nike Grind for use in more than 450,000 locations around the world. You can drop off athletic shoes of any brand for recycling at a Nike or Converse retail store (call before coming) or mail them directly to the recycling center.
One World Running
One World Running is an international program promoting an awareness of health, fitness and nutrition by providing running shoes to those in need in the United States and around the world. These are the shoes that aren’t quite ready for the landfill. Check HERE to find a drop-off location near you.
If you drink a lot of wine start saving those wine corks. Recork wants your old corks to recycle. Recork is North America’s largest cork recycling initiative. They take our corks and turn them into footwear or other upcycled products while also planting new cork trees. I just typed in my zip code and found a local drop off location.
What should I do with old batteries? I’m asked this question constantly. My response: don’t throw them in the trash. Single-use batteries contain materials that are both recyclable and considered hazardous. You can drop them off at a household hazardous waste (HHW) facility in your area or participate in the many mail-in or take-back programs that are available.
OK. Time to dig through those drawers and recycle your old bras. The Bra Recyclers, an organization based in Arizona, finds your gently-used bras a second home overseas. You can drop off or mail in your gently used bras and prevent them from ending up in a landfill.
Blue Jeans Go Green is a denim recycling program that converts collected denim into housing insulation for communities in need. Blue Jeans Go Green™ has diverted more than 600 tons of waste out of landfills and generated approximately 2 million square feet of UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation to assist with building efforts in communities in need. You can contribute your old jeans by mail or at participating retailers.
Stuffed into almost ever drawer in our house are a few crayons. We also have a big bin of crayons tucked into our art supplies. There are times when I’m tempted to dump a few crayons into the trash, but there’s good news- National Crayon Recycle Program operated by Crazy Crayons, LLC. The recycling program has diverted more than 47,000 pounds of crayons from landfills by taking old crayons and turning them into new crayons. Ship your unwanted crayons directly to Crazy Crayons or find a drop-off location in your area!
What strange or surprising things have you recycled? Share your tips!
photo credit: Rafa from Brazil via photopin cc