(updated post from 9/25/08)
"Green" was recently voted one of the top 10 overused words of 2008. It's a word that has been increasingly loaded with political and religious controversy. Not to mention many companies have been found to be printing misleading packaging to get us to buy their product -all in support of this "green theme." My eyes tend to glaze over too.
But despite misuse there is a real concept that we need to not overlook - stewardship. Taking care of what we have and making sure our disposal of our stuff is done in a responsible way.
What's the big deal anyway?
#1) The stuff we are throwing away is causing a health crisis. Our water supply is now said to contain many chemicals including medicines that people are flushing down the drain, cleaners, paint, and electronic waste.
#2) We take our trash to impoverished areas around the world. The poor of the world come into greater contact with contaminants and they and their children are sorting our trash.
REAL SIMPLE (Sept./Oct. 2008) did a great job listing resources to help us recycle the "weird" stuff that seems hard to recycle or reuse.
Here are some highlights:
Recycling center near you: 1-800-Cleanup
Batteries - Office Depot, Radio Shack, Rechargeable Battery Recycling
Carpeting - Carpet America Recovery Effort
Cell phones - library, home office supply store drop-offs, cell phone carriers
Computers - Nextsteprecyling -
Crayons - National Crayon Recycling Program
DVD - Greendisk
Electronics (Stereo and VCR) Earth 911
Eyeglasses - New Eyes for the Needy
Formal Wear- Operation Fairy Dust
Hearing Aids - Starkey Hearing Foundation
Juice bags -Terracycle
Mattress - Earth 911
Paint - Earth 911
Phone books - Yellow pages recycle
Prescription Drugs - The Starfish Project
printer-ink cartridges - Staples get $3 back, or mail free to HP
plastic grocery bags - Plastic Bag Recycling
TV - Office Depot
Video tapes, cassettes, floppy disks - ACT recycling
wheelchairs - Life Nets