All of us are guilty of a stashing away outdated items that we just don’t know what to do with. It could be VHS tapes or ancient electronics. Or, it could be expired medicine or a phone book from the 1980’s. Here are ‘Terri’s Top 5 Ways to Get Rid of Outdated Items’. That way you can get rid of all that stuff – the right way.
1) VHS Tapes and Cassette Tapes
When is the last time you popped in a VHS or cassette tape? Probably years and years ago. GreenDisk can help you out. They will accept VHS and cassette tapes (along with a long list of other techno trash) and recycle it responsibly. Portions that can’t be recycled will be disposed of correctly. There is a small shipping fee. Other options are to check with your local library or Goodwill to see if they have a need for any of your tapes.
2) Old Electronics
If you’re holding on to a massive old computer monitor or a cell phone that’s 10 years old – it’s time to get rid of it. The metals they contain are valuable and can pollute the environment if dumped in a landfill. Instead, check out many online trade-in websites such as Gazelle.com and NextWorth which pay you for the working ones. Apple also has a recycling program where you could earn a gift card for your old electronics. You can also bring used electronics to a Goodwill collection center where the electronics will be refurbished or recycled.
Don’t trash those outdated shoes or ones you just don’t wear anymore. Soles4Souls is a charity which wants all gently worn shoes. You can find drop off locations close to where you live and they will be sent to people in need around the world. If you have athletic shoes that have seen their better days, one option is Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe Program where they are ground up and turned into running tracks, basketball and tennis courts, and even playgrounds. Any brand of athletic shoe is accepted.
4) Phone Books
There’s no longer a need to have or get phone books these days. However, hundreds of millions of them are delivered to homes each year. You can put the entire phone book in your recycling bin but it’s smart to also go the extra mile and stop them from being delivered to you. Call your telephone company directly or go to YellowPagesGoesGreen.org and they’ll do the work for you.
5) Old Medicine
If you have medication you are no longer taking or is past it’s expiration date it’s not a good idea to flush it or trash it because it can get into our water supply. CVS is now offering their TakeAway Environmental Return System at more than 7,000 locations. Customers buy a postage-paid envelope for $3.99 and then fill it with unwanted medications. It’s then sent to a facility which disposes of it safely. Also, consider taking part in National Prescription Drug Take-Back day which will be held on October 29, 2011.
Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, syndicated columnist and author, and founder of DoYourPart, everyday green living ideas that are better for you and the planet. Send questions to [email protected] and follow DoYourPart on Facebook and Twitter. Terri’s new book “Do Your Part: A practical guide for everyday green living” is now available at DoYourPart.com.
© 2011 Terri Bennett Enterprises, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.