Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Instead of looking at ways to use scraps or repurpose items for quilting and other sewing projects, I thought it would be interesting to talk about recycling unusual items. We all know about recycling paper, aluminum, glass and plastic, but what about other stuff we want or need to get rid of?

If you have a formal dress like that tangerine bridesmaid’s dress or that cocktail dress that’s too big/too small or that you will never wear again taking up space in your closet, there are a lot of local groups who collect them for girls who can’t afford to buy a prom dress. If there’s not one in your town, check out http://www.operationfairydust.org/ or http://www.catherinescloset.org/.

You can benefit the environment and a worthy cause at the same time by recycling gadgets like PDA’s, MP3 players thru groups like http://www.recycleforbreastcancer.org/. This organization will send you prepaid shipping labels, recycle your items and donate the proceeds to breast cancer charities. According to their site they will even take big items like TV’s and computers.

Don’t you wish you had a better way to dispose of holiday cards than putting them in the recycle bin? Well, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children (http://www.stjudesranch.org/) runs a holiday card reuse program in which the kids cut off the front covers, glue them onto new cards and sell the results. This earns them money and confidence. Isn’t that a good cause? And check out their site for more ways you can help out the kids.

And what about all those juice bags? Because they are a combo of plastic and aluminum, they aren’t recyclable. A company called TerraCycle offers 2 cents for each Honest Kids, Capri Sun and Kool-Aid Drink pouch and 1 cent for any other brand and will send it to the charity of your choice. TerraCycle turns the pouches into purses, totes and pencil cases that are sold at Target and Walgreens stores. They also pay for candy and cookie wrappers and lots of other items. The even provide shipping bags/boxes to send the items to them. Do check out their website to see all the products they make from recycled things. Really cool! Go to www.terracycle.net/brigades.

Metal eyeglass frames can be recycled with other scrap metal, but plastic ones cannot. A better use is to donate them to http://www.neweyesfortheneedy.com/. They will also take sunglasses and plastic frames in good condition. You can drop off old pairs of glasses at LensCrafters, Target Optical or other participating stores and doctor’s offices, too. They will send them to http://www.givethegiftofsight.org/. They have a store locator on their site so you can find a place close to you to drop off the used eyewear. I know I have several pair that I need to take in.

So it seems that even if something isn’t “recyclable” there’s someone out there who can recycle or repurpose whatever it is and keep it out of the landfill. Many organizations do this and benefit people in need at the same time. Now isn’t that just the best thing you’ve ever heard?

1 comment:

  1. Great ideas, and links to the sites! Good job! But the letters appeared in yellow and couldn't read it well, so had to highlight and scroll down...mmhhh??