ATLANTA – 7/15/2015 — When you look at your trash, there’s something someone wants. Here’s 15 ways you can help the planet while making someone happy:
- Plastic bags – Take your plastic grocery bags to the recycling bins at your local Publix to help eliminate the use of wood – plastic pallets are durable, easy to clean, and encourage recycling. For states where Publix does not exist (yet), check your local stores to see if they recycle plastic bags to give to pallet-makers.
- Metal cans – give your cans to a neighbor in need who collects metal for scrap.
- Aluminum soda pop cans – schools have bins for these and the school gets paid when the cans are picked up.
- Magazines and newspapers – same as No. 3; local schools might have bins for paper.
- Old clothes, gently used – places like Goodwill sell the clothes at great prices, create jobs in doing this, and enable workers desperate for an interview outfit to get one.
- Old, tattered jeans and shirts – call your local dry cleaners and ask if their seamstresses need “patching pants” – this is material that is used to sew under a torn area to provide strength and stability to a weakened or torn area. Shirts supply needed buttons.
- Old comforters – homeless shelters and other places that serve the homeless will hand out comforters or sleeping bags to the homeless in wintertime.
- Food scraps – the animals are hungry, and so are the worms – in Atlanta, there are urban farms that will accept compost material, and on your own land, you can begin a compost bin. Also, neighbors that garden might accept food scraps for their compost.
- Coupons – some churches run “coupon ministries” where crowd-sourced coupons can help needy families stretch their food budgets and make meals at a discount.
- All those free samples – homeless shelters, some churches, and maybe a neighbor in need can use products that you receive in the mail or at conventions or giveaways.
- Pictures – glue or tape pictures onto card stock paper and send someone an interesting greeting card that they cannot get anywhere else.
- Kids’ books and gently used toys – therapists who work with children go through toys and books and might appreciate the call offering a donation. Also, your county may have a child abuse help center in need of toys and books. Your local Facebook neighborhood group surely has a mom or two in need of toys and books.
- Business cards – if you cannot or will not use someone’s services, ask for their permission to put their card into one of those weekly drawings for free catering or free coffee at local shops (if they are local) and give them the gift of a chance at a contest.
- Old computers / tablets – your local community college is another (often overlooked) place that can might be able to use your old computer or tablet into a tool for students to practice installing operating systems on. Needy students can use the tablets.
- Hearing aids – upgrading? Local audiologists might know of a patient in need who might not qualify to receive a free hearing aid from government-sponsored sources.
These 15 tips apply all year round, and THANK YOU if you give to others <3