The weather is warming up in a lot of places, and with that comes the annual purge of spring cleaning. As you’re cleaning your home though, it’s important to consider the impact your cleaning has on the environment, specifically the amount of stuff you’re sending to the landfill. Below are some ideas and resources for responsibly getting rid of junk and clutter around your home.
Clothing and Household items
The most common spring cleaning purge involves clothing and small household items. It’s good for you to get rid of items you don’t need, but don’t send them to a landfill. Donate unwanted items in good/fair condition to a thrift store, or have a yard sale.
As far as items that aren’t in good condition, you still have options other than throwing them away. Ripped and dirty old clothes can be turned into rags. Have broken figurines or dishes? Turn them into a mosaic or jewelry. There is a crafty use for almost everything. If you have a particularly challenging item, look on Pinterest- chances are you’ll find an idea.
Are you replacing a washer or dryer? Finally upgrading to an energy efficient refrigerator? It’s always a pain getting rid of old appliances. Don’t worry, there are companies that will take your appliances for you. You don’t have to lift them, or even move them if you don’t want to. Some will even clean-up the dust and gunk that seems to accumulate behind and under every large appliance.
Hiring someone for appliance disposal not only saves you some work, but it also ensures that hazardous elements are removed from the appliances. This prevents the release of PCBs, mercury, and used oil. It also increases the likelihood that metal and plastic parts will be reused and recycled, rather than thrown in a landfill.
As technology evolves quicker and quicker every year, more outdated devices get tossed by the wayside. It’s common to upgrade phones, computers, and gaming systems before their lifespan is complete. Combine this with the devices that have a purposefully short lifespan, and you have millions of tons of electronic waste in American landfills every year.
Why is electronic waste so important? Well, most of these devices contain aluminum, copper, mercury, cadmium, plastic, beryllium, and silver. If not properly disposed of, these hazardous materials can seep into the ground, entering the local water supply.
So if you’ve got a pile of electronics (or even one device) that is leaving your home as part of spring cleaning, make sure you dispose of it properly. Most cities have electronic recycling centers that make sure the electronics that work are sold or donated to schools and other non-profit organizations. Unusable devices can be recycled and turned into new products.
These are just a few ways you can make sure your spring cleaning doesn’t have a negative effect on the environment. Happy Cleaning!
Contact: Jeriann Watkins
Email: [email protected]