Things You Forgot to Recycle

You’re freaking awesome. You are a dedicated friend of the Earth, self-appointed conservationist and a total advocate for natural living. You recycle (obviously!), and it was your idea to start the neighborhood swap shop.

But it’s possible that you forgot to recycle some things. Well, not forgot, exactly. More like, didn’t think you could, or didn’t think of it at all. That’s okay, nobody’s perfect. Here’s a list of things you might not have thought to recycle, as well as some ideas for repurposing before you recycle!

STYROFOAM PEANUTS

These little peanuts are both a nuisance for the Earth and a blessing for people who like to online shop. People give away free bags full of Styrofoam peanuts on Craigslist because no one’s quite sure what to do with them.

To Recycle: Enter the Plastic Loose Fill Council (yes, this is a real thing). Go online and enter your state and zip code, and you’ll get a list of shipping services stores near you that will gladly accept your Styrofoam peanuts and make sure they are reused or recycled appropriately.

To Repurpose: Does your youngster have any home economics projects coming up? Her schoolteacher may appreciate a donation of Styrofoam peanuts for the kids to stuff handmade beanbag chairs, teddy bears or other soft craft projects.

BROKEN CRAYONS

If you’re a parent, chances are there’s a shoebox somewhere in your house filled with broken crayons that “certain people” refuse to use. When every gift occasion includes a fresh new box of Crayolas, how can you expect Timothy to use the broken crayons first?

To Recycle: Local charities might be interested in taking your broken crayons off your hands. Look for after-school programs, half-way houses and women’s shelters, each of which is bound to have access to needy children who would love to use those crayons, broken or not. If you are still at a loss, mail them in to Crazy Crayons, an organization that will recycle the crayons for you.

To Repurpose: Melt the crayon wax down and make homemade votive-style candles, like these DIY color block crayon candles.

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