Is it Easy Being Green?

My daily adventures in attempting an environmentally-friendly lifestyle

Summer Recycling To-Do List July 25, 2013

My closets have been a little more difficult to close lately. I have to do a delicate dance of stuffing things in and closing the door super quickly. When opening a closet, I anticipate anything tumbling out and inuring me, or a curious cat. I need to do some purging this summer, and I’m starting with some recyclables that have been piling up.These aren’t cans and newspapers; it’s those I’m-not-sure-what-to-do-with-but-I’m-sure-these-can-be-recycled items. So, they sit in the closet. And sit. And sit. Until finally, I get motivated enough to figure out what to do with them. Sometimes there’s a second stage of sitting in my car for potentially months as well, but I’m determined to skip over this step this time.

It’s a mixed blessing to live in a small apartment with very limited storage. There’s no way to just forget about things and let them pile up in a garage, basement or attic. We use most everything we have, and there’s a place for everything. Or at least that’s how it should be. For, well, months or even years now (hard to admit) I’ve let a few things go ignored. It’s time to free up a little closet space and find a good home for these items. So I’ve made a list (you know how I love lists):

1. CDs — These are burning blunders, unneeded how-to instructions, promotional CDs, etc. My go-to reuse of these as coasters isn’t cutting it anymore (although it’s still a great idea), and I’m hoping I can recycle them. Awhile back I heard about a scrap metal recycling facility that accepts CDs and DVDs, so I’ll be looking into that shortly.


2. Batteries — This one is easy and a no-brainer. Any household hazardous waste facility will take these, and I even know where it is! So it’s just a matter of remembering, and coordinating with their odd hours.

3. Corks — Ok, we have a lot of corks. Like a ton. Like so many that I’m worried an intervention will be staged after friends and family see this photo. But the truth is, this is several years worth of corks. I think these go back as long as we’ve been in our current apartment, which is more than five years. So that’s not too bad, right? I could try to do a cork craft project or reuse them creatively, but if my goal right now is purging, that’s what I should do. Besides, there’s always more where these came from.

Corks, with aforementioned curious cat.

Corks, with aforementioned curious cat.

4. Plastic bags — Now these haven’t been piling up for years; unfortunately there’s just too much to be able to do this. Even with using durable grocery bags and produce bags and otherwise trying to avoid plastic, that pesky plastic piles up. It’s the pasta packaging, the bread bags, etc. that are hard to avoid. Added to my summer list is a drop-off at my local grocery store’s plastic bag recycling bin.

5. Caps — A few years ago I was so excited to find out about Aveda’s cap recycling program. Not sure why, but they discontinued the program. The problem is, I haven’t stopped saving the caps. There may not be a happy ending for this, but I’m going to see if there’s any hope for all of those caps or if they’ll have to be (sigh) trashed.

caps 7-13

6. Ink cartridges — I have a nice little (messy) bag full of several printer ink cartridges. My usual drop-off of choice is Office Depot, where they give you a gift card (I think $3) for recycling cartridges there. I plan to stop by and see if they’re still running this program, and pick up some recycled paper while I’m there.

Ok, I think that will do for now. I know I (and my closets) will feel great to finally deal with all of this stuff!