Earth Day Ideas from a Professional Organizer
Spring is finally springing up all around us, daffodils are blooming and the forsythia is blossoming into that amazing yellow color.
April is the month of renewal. Easter and Passover are a time of new beginnings. April is also the month we celebrate the earth. Earth Day began in Philadelphia in 1970 (Belmont Plateau anyone?). In the organizing and productivity industry, we consider every day Earth Day! When we work with clients on a home organizing project, we teach our clients about recycling. There is so much that we recycle to help preserve our earth. Here are some of the resources that we use to locate the most appropriate place to donate and recycle in our area.
- Rubbish: Your county, township, and trash hauler are your primary resources – their websites have information on what you need to recycle, how it needs to be prepared and when their hazardous waste and recycling events are (usually in the spring and fall).
- ReSale: Selling things is another form of recycling, Facebook Marketplace and Nextdoor.com are easy and local. You can offer things for FREE on these sights as well.
- Google.com “what you want to recycle+ your zip code” will help you find more resources.
- Earth911 – This is an informative website that also has lists of locations that accept all types of material for recycling by your zip code.
- Freecycle – This is a community board where you can post items that you no longer want and hopefully there is someone out there who is looking for what you want to move on to a better home. I found a woman who needed notebooks, I had tons of notebooks…she came by and picked them up one day! Out of my office! Professional organizer favorite.
- Grocery Stores – are great places to recycle those pesky plastic bags
- Whole Foods -currently has containers for corks, plastic, and cell phones
- Mom’s Organic Market– the most comprehensive in our area has drop off bins for: bar wrappers, Brita filters, cell phones, batteries, drink pouches, food squeeze pouches, glasses, health & beauty packaging, cork, plastic and shoes- they also have other collections for specific items throughout the year, Christmas lights is a popular one
- Staples and Best Buy take most electronic recycling.
- Goodwill– recycles electronics and fabric
- There are shredding events weekly in many locations- check local websites or do an online search for “shredding + your zip code”
- Staples and your local UPS Store have shredding services
- Local Libraries– accept books and other media. Do not give them old text books, encyclopedias or VHS tapes that you recorded from your TV. Call your library to double check.
- Habitat for Humanity -These folks use your donations to raise capital for their projects. I have had them pick up a jacuzzi, doors, furniture and windows. Call your local store because what they accept changes depending on what they have in stock, sometimes they will pick up.
- Clothing and household goods including small furniture can be donated to Goodwill, Green Drop the various veterans groups, your local hospital thrift shops
Local townships and counties regularly hold Hazardous Waste collection events. Check their websites. This is a guide for South Eastern PA. Look carefully at what is accepted.
These organizations will pick up from your home:
The Salvation Army
Consignment stores are an option as well, however currently there is an abundance of stuff that people are getting rid of, they are very picky, so what you try to consign has to be in very good condition.
Finally, there are many auction houses that have niches that may meet your needs. Depending on what you have there is usually an auction house or specialty sale that items can go to. When you sell at auction houses and consignment shops there is a fee usually between 30 and 50%.
Be kind to our earth…