New year, new you?! In case you haven’t noticed (we barely did), January is almost over and it’s about time for those New Year’s resolutions to either kick into gear or to be kicked to the curb. Either way, we’re not judging! We want to help provide solutions. If you’re not happy with how your current resolutions are panning out, we don’t think it’s too late to come up with new ones – ones we KNOW you’ll keep because they’re easy, they’ll help the environment AND they’ll help you!
All you have to do is… recycle! That’s it. Many of you probably already recycle, right? And you probably already know what common items you can and can’t recycle. Here’s a quick reminder:
- You CAN recycle: • paper/ cardboard • aluminum • glass bottles, food containers or jars • hard plastic containers and bottles
- You CAN’T recycle: • plastic shopping bags • polystyrene foam cups or containers • wax paper • food or liquid soiled items
But, what about all those miscellaneous items that you’re not sure about? The odds and ends that wind up in your garbage or on your curb where you hope someone will pick it up and take it off your hands? Guess what! Many of those you can recycle as well! Here’s a list of items you probably didn’t know you could recycle and how to do so:
- CDs/DVDs: Since the age of CDs and DVDs is coming to an end, many people need an environmentally friendly way to get rid of them! Check out this link to find out how: cdrecyclingcenter.org.
- Eyeglasses: You can get rid of your old glasses and help a good cause at the same time! Send your glasses here: new-eyes.org and they’ll be sent to those who need them in a developing nation.
- Mattresses: You’ve got a few options here! If you’re buying a new mattress, find out if the store where you’re purchasing it will recycle your old one for you. You can also see if your local recycling program or Goodwill or Salvation Army does bulk waste collection.
- Oil filters: If you change your own oil and filter, they can and should be recycled! Most service stations or auto shops will accept them as well as Household Hazardous Waste Centers. Use this link to find a place near you: calrecycle.ca.gov/UsedOil/Filters.
- Paint: Enter your address at this link: paintcare.org to find a location where you can recycle paint! You can also learn about greener paint options and how to make stored paint last longer before you have to get rid of it.
- Mercury-added thermostats: As one of our own projects, in 2017, SGA helped the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC) increase mercury-added thermostat recycling in California by about 20%! Through our outreach efforts to consumers, wholesalers, Household Hazardous Waste Centers, school districts, property managers, and many more audiences, we have been able to collect these toxic items and dispose of them in a responsible, safe way! For a limited time, If you have a mercury thermostat, your local utility company is promoting TRC’s $5 rebate for recycling it! Follow this link: recyclehomethermostats.org/california for the rebate form and to find a drop-off location near you.
Now, next time someone asks how your New Year’s resolution is going, you’ll be able to tell them how you’re succeeding, not only for yourself but for the environment as well!