Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
Many people know about organizations like Goodwill and Salvation Army, but here are some other ways to donate or recycle:
Just About Anything: Freecycle, a grassroots non-profit with over 8 million members, reduces waste by connecting trash-bound household items (bikes, coffee tables, moving boxes, appliances, birthday party decor, and more) with local people who want them.
Books — The Children’s Book Project helps build literacy by providing free, new and gently used books to children who need them. They have helped thousands of disadvantaged children learn to read by giving more than 1.5 million books to schools, homeless shelters, and community centers.
Building Materials: Planet Reuse reclaims salvaged building materials, such as wood and metal, for other builders and homeowners to reuse in eco-friendly construction projects.
Garden Produce: If your green thumb produces more than you and your family can consume this year, donate the excess through ampleharvest.org, which connects backyard gardeners to food pantries in their area.
Magazines: Many local hospitals stock their waiting rooms with magazines donated by members of the community.
Shoes: Soles4Souls has given away over 13 million pairs of shoes to people in need in over 125 countries. Donations can be left in the organization’s numerous drop boxes nationwide or shipped to any of its three warehouses.
Technology: If you have compiled a collection of mysterious pc cables, CD-ROMs, and old mice, check out GreenDisk, which safely recycles all your old or unwanted technological stuff, including DVDs, VHS tapes, cassettes, and more.
Toiletries: Clean the World will deliver toiletries to areas beset with widespread (and life threatening) communicable diseases, most of which can easily be contained through frequent hand washing.
Things You Never Knew Were Art Materials: Creative reuse centers collect unexpected art supplies—like old VHS tapes, cardboard tubing, wire hangers, paper scraps—and distribute them to artists. Google “creative reuse center” to find one near you.
Used Clothing: Many organizations will accept used clothing, but Vietnam Veterans of America resells it to fund programs for veterans and will pick up your donation.