Think Before You Throw: 4 Benefits of Recycling

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

Environmental consciousness is important to both preserving and caring for the planet as well as for you and future generations. While there will always be waste, there are some things we all throw away which could be either recycled or revived, often to benefit ourselves as well as those who are less fortunate. Here are five benefits of making recycling a part of your lifestyle.

Recycling benefits the planet, the environment, and your personal health & safety. Everyone knows that recycling keeps more waste out of landfills, creating a less ‘trashy’ environment for everyone, but we don’t often think about the trickle-down effect of keeping unnecessary toxins and chemicals from gradually seeping into our air, water, and food supply. The cleaner we keep our planet, the better our health and well-being.

Recycling worn-out or unused items can benefit those in need. You might be surprised to discover there are many charity organizations that utilize recycled products. Here are a few items commonly collected.

  • Bikes. Bikes for the World is an organization which collects unused bicycles (an estimated 15 million are thrown out each year) and matches them up with people who need cheap transportation.
  • Shoes. Athletes, particularly runners, go through a lot of shoes, an item which is normally thrown away. Organizations such as Recycled Runners collect and donate shoes to those, especially in third-world countries, who need footwear. Another more recent trend is the actual recycling of used shoes into new footwear by organizations like Reuse-a-Shoe.
  • Eyeglasses. Your old eyeglasses can vitally improve the lives of the needy who can’t afford to buy them. Donate them to organizations such as The Lions Club, New Eyes for the Needy, or OneSight.
  • Old Bedding. Consider donating old rags, towels and blankets to animal shelters, which are in constant need of animal bedding.

Hosting or participating in swap organizations or events can be inexpensive and mutually beneficial. Items you’ve failed to sell or aren’t sure where to donate can often be exchanged through local swap meets or online organizations such as FreeCycle. Your trash is often another man’s treasure. What’s more, you may find items you’ve been wanting for free.

Recycling can pay, literally. In some areas of the country, recycling is taking on a new level. Participants who sign up for the RecycleBank program receive a bar-coded bin for their weekly recycling. Recycling earns you points which are translated into purchasing power at participating retailers such as Target, Whole Foods, Starbucks, and more. The more you recycle, the greater your spending power. Although this program is currently limited to areas of the East Coast, it’s popularity indicates it will probably expand quickly throughout the rest of the U.S.

Putting a little extra effort into recycling or finding new homes for your unwanted possessions is well worth the reward of a cleaner and safer environment, helping the needy, and potentially furthering your spending ability. Hopefully these tips will help you begin or expand your recycling practices and begin to see the benefits.

Bonus Tip:

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