The top New Year’s resolutions are predictable, and there are even studies that confirm it. Eat right, lose weight, join a gym and get fit. But after we’ve all whipped ourselves into shape, how about getting the rest of life organized? Decluttering ranks high amid resolutions for 2019, but for many people, there’s a stumbling block. Where do you take the things you know shouldn’t be thrown out but should be recycled? What to do with that old phone? Here are hints to help get rid of those stubborn things that linger long after we love them.
You won’t find wire hangers ideal for sweaters or shirts because using them over time will stretch clothes out of shape. You can recycle them along with other metals such as washed pie tins and foil, metal bottle caps and, scrap metal. Or you can re-purpose them for other household uses. Unclog a drain by simply unwinding the neck and fold the hook tighter to create a slim snake that gets the gunk out. Turn one into a “trellis” to support a limp plant by unwinding and inserting into the dirt. Use one as the foundation of a DIY wreath.
Plastic storage containers are just like socks. You’re going to lose either the lid or the container and wind up with assorted sizes of lidless containers and container-less lids. Cut down on the loss by regarding the dishwasher with caution.
Don’t toss your containers into the dishwasher with your dinner plates unless the manufacturer’s label says they’re “dishwasher safe”. Unless the label says the plastic container can take the heat of the dishwasher, chances are good the lids will no longer seal tightly.
Plastic Grocery Bags
You have good intentions and you know to keep them out of the earth’s landfills. So those plastic grocery bags balloon into an ever-larger pile in the back of your pantry. Return them to the grocery store’s recycling bins. If you can never remember to take them along on your next grocery run, find a place that will recycle them for you along with the rest of your recyclables. Better yet, break the plastic grocery bag habit and try reusable shopping bags. Yours may be one of the groceries that will give you a small credit for bring in reusable bags.
The junk drawer is full of batteries, but which are the dead ones you pulled out of the remote and threw in with the others so you’d know what replacement size to buy? But you didn’t label them and you haven’t replaced them so you waste a lot of time trying them all. Stop the madness. You know you need to recycle them. Here’s how.
Each state has its own recycling regulations, so find out what your state requires. Start local by checking out your town’s website under the “other types” of recycling list. Both Earth911 and Call2Recycle offer online resources to help you find where to dispose of batteries. Enter your ZIP code in the Earth911 Recycling Locator for help in finding the nearest battery recycling center for all types of batteries.
Batteries will need to be removed and recycled separately from your old cell phone. Once you’ve deleted all of your personal information, check out the EPA’s website for a list of retailers that can help. They provide recycling options such as in-store drop-off or mail-in recycling.