Bras, markers, and shoes — don’t throw them away!

If you’re anything like me, you do your best to keep things out of landfills, but sometimes you come across items that you’re not sure what to do with. Can you donate it somewhere? Is it truly trash?

This week, I’m sharing some not-so-common donation and recycling options to help you carry out your mission of saving the planet. If your item isn’t on the list, a quick internet search will likely find you several options for keeping it out of the garbage.

SHOES: Help someone step out of poverty by donating your gently-worn shoes. Through the organization Soles4Souls, you can drop off your shoes at a local store such as DSW or mail them for free through Zappos. For more information, visit soles4souls.org/get-involved/give-shoes/dropoff-locator/.

BRAS: Yes, old bras can be donated instead of being added to the 21 billion pounds of textile waste currently in landfills. Through the Bosom Buddies Program, used bras can be shipped to local shelters or redistributed through exporters to women in developing nations. For more information, visit brarecycling.com/.

EYEGLASSES: Give the gift of sight to the underserved populations at home and abroad. Most optical shops have a Lions Club donation box where you can leave your old glasses for donation. You can also find them at many libraries, community centers, and churches. Alternatively, you can check out https://new-eyes.org/.

MARKERS: If you have dying or dried up markers laying around, Crayola will happily take them off your hands. ColorCycle is a program started by Crayola to not only recycle used markers, but also teach children about the importance of taking good care of the environment.

You simply box up your markers, print out the free shipping label, and send it off with FedEx. For more information, visit crayola.com/colorcycle.aspx.

CORKS: If you’re tired of looking at all of those wine corks in your decorative vase or bowl, reCORK would love to take them off your hands. After grinding them down, the material is used in the manufacturing of various products, replacing environmentally-harmful plastics. For more information, visit https://recork.com/.

COMPUTERS and ELECTRONICS: E-waste can be toxic and difficult to properly break down so best to leave it to the pros. Printers, hard drives, computer monitors, and more can be dropped off at your local Best Buy or Staples stores. Alternatively, you can check out E-Stewards for more information and options. Visit http://e-stewards.org/.

GIVE BACK BOX: With all the online shopping happening these days, there’s a good chance you have some boxes hanging around — or you have some on their way to you. Did you know you could use that box to fill with clothing, shoes, and household goods and ship them to local charities using a free label provided by Give Back Box. For more information, visit givebackbox.com/works.

There are lots of organizations working hard to help you do your part. While it may mean an extra step or two for you, our precious planet is worth it.

Now I’d love to hear from you! What items will you keep out of the trash? Join the conversation in the comments.

2 replies
  1. Erika Sutus
    Erika Sutus says:

    Hi Kerri,

    I live in the UK. I frequently donated glasses for bigger Boots opticians to their glasses recycling scheme, but other opticians also accept donations. Or at https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/donate/recycle-spectacles

    I’ve just found out that broken or unwanted watches, jewelleries can be donated to Barnardos Children Charity barnardos.org.uk

    Used, but clean sleeping bags with unbroken zip and tents could be donated to calaisdonations@helprefugees.org

    I’m just about to visit Ace of Clubs homeless shelter in south London SW4 7AS, as I’ve found out from the internet that they accept unused or unwanted toiletries, also they are happy to take part used products as well. The overall organiser is toiletriesamnesty.org Ace of Clubs is just the nearest option to me.

    To recycle bras I either use Bravissimo.com or Marks & Spencer shwopping scheme. Nearly at each M&S store there is a container marked SHWOP. https://www.marksandspencer.com/s/plan-a-shwopping

    Kerri, I love your work and listen to your program on HayHouse regularly.
    Thank you for all the great work that you do!

    Kind regards
    Erika

    Reply

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