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Supernatural Recycling: Strange Things You Never Thought Would Have an Afterlife

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Ah, springtime. The ripest occasion to spruce up your home. But before you go all Art of Tidying Up and toss a lifetime’s worth of clutter in the pale, or in a pile at the swap shop, take a second to sift out the recyclables. There may be more than you think.

Mother Nature will thank you for remembering that reusable goodness. Seriously, the EPA estimates that about three quarters of America’s waste stream is recyclable, but only 30% is recycled—which amounts to $11.4 million down the garbage shoot each year. Remember: One person’s trash is another person’s tote-bag or eco-bottle a year from now.

Here are a few things you can recycle that will elevate your status to out-of-this-world recycling superstar:

1. Batteries: It seems everyone knows they should recycle batteries, but no one actually does. Let’s change that. Energizer has a recycle locator to pinpoint the many area businesses that accept battery waste, including Staples, Office Depot, and RadioShack.

2. Appliances: Working or not, Best Buy, GE, Sears, and most municipalities’ public works departments are required to take old dishwashers, fridges, and laundry machines off your hands. What a great way to free up space!

3. Crayons: Send in your rejected art supplies to Crazy Crayons and they’ll melt ‘em down and recycle them into new crayons, so all that wax won’t harm the earth. (Or, find a children's or women’s center in your area to donate them to. Drawing and coloring can be therapeutic for anyone.)

4. Mattresses: You might not upgrade mattresses too often, but when you do, do it right. Most mattress retailers and secondhand stores will harvest the valuable recyclables inside, like steel and plastic. Check to find a pickup program near you. (Isn't it nice to not have to be that person who leaves a huge mattress on their stoop on trash day?)

And, of course, we encourage you to recycle all your Mother Dirt product bottles and packaging.

Want to take it a step further? Try composting!


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