Green your spring cleaning
When winter is over (will it be over? Ha ha!) do you like to spring clean your home? Many people enjoy clearing stuff out of their home in the spring and giving it a good cleaning before summer arrives. I want to offer suggestions that will help you dispose of unwanted items in an environmentally friendly way.
The No. 1 thing you should think about when wanting to get rid of things is if they are in good enough condition for donating. Donating used items keeps them out of the landfill, and also helps people with limited means. When looking to get rid of used clothing, toys, furniture, housewares, shoes, books, small appliances, etc., please make sure you donate what you can. There are many services that will come pick up your items from your house, such as AMVETS, Easter Seals and Volunteers of America. It is easy to Google these organizations and check their websites for how to set up a pick-up at your home. Donations are also tax-deductible so keep track of how many bags you are donating and their estimated value.
Another great way to get rid of items in an environmentally friendly way is to use the Bay Village Freecycle Facebook page. This is a Facebook page that gives you an opportunity to sell or give away pretty much anything, and it’s super easy to use. It is a private group, so you have to request to join. On the page at any given time you can find items such as T-shirts, shoes, strollers, furniture, flooring, and even appliances (and everything in between).
Different from the Bay Village Freecycle Facebook page is The Freecycle Network (www.freecycle.org). The Freecycle Network is a world-wide nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping stuff out of landfills by offering an outlet for people to give (and get) things for free. You can go on the website and register, and then you are able to see what’s available in your area and post items you no longer want. A few years ago we had some work done on our home and I had some doors and windows that we did not have use for anymore. I posted them on freecycle.org and everything was picked up. I just left the stuff on my front porch for pick-up. If you have something that you are not able to get rid of using the Bay Village Freecycle Facebook page, I guarantee you can find a place for them using Freecycle.org.
Are you remodeling or replacing windows? Habitat for Humanity ReStore will accept many different items such as building supplies, trash containers, furniture, windows, doors, cabinets, light fixtures, sinks, tubs, showers, plumbing/electric/HVAC, lumber, and full rolls of wallpaper. Please do not bring mattresses, paint or clothing. For a full list of what is accepted, please check clevelandhabitat.org/restore/donations. To make this even easier for you, you can drop these items off on Saturday, April 21, at the Bay Village Police Station between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. as Habitat for Humanity will be there accepting donations.
As I wrote about last time, if you are looking to get rid of sensitive documents, you can also bring these on Saturday, April 21, to the Bay Village Police Station between 9 a.m. and noon for shredding. There is no limit to the amount of paper you can bring. If you already have shredded paper at home you are not sure what to do with, you can bring it in a paper bag for recycling to the Paper Retriever bins located around town (such as the ones across the street from Huntington Beach). Shredded paper is not recyclable curbside.
Do you have things that you think are not worthy of donating or selling, such as socks with holes or very worn clothing? Broken toys? Worn backpacks or a broken coffeemaker? Shoes that are falling apart? Yes, there is a place for these and it’s not the trash! Residents of Bay Village and Westlake are able to place all of these unwanted items in their Simple Recycling bags that have been provided to every household. It is estimated that 85 percent of clothing does not get donated or recycled, it gets trashed. Simple Recycling helps us keep these items out of landfills. If you do not know where your bags are or would like a full listing of what Simple Recycling will take, please visit simplerecycling.com. Personally, I keep a Simple Recycling bag in my hall closet at all times, so when I find items in my house that are no longer wanted (such as the socks with holes, etc.), I place them in the bag. When the bag is full, I put it out on the tree lawn on trash pick-up days.
Lastly, there are many other ways to keeps things out of the trash, such as selling them on Craigslist, having a yard/garage sale, and dropping off at Goodwill or Salvation Army. Anything you do that keeps stuff out of the landfill makes a big difference for keeping our world beautiful! Each of us makes a difference.