The best option for keeping our environment clean is always to avoid the clutter. However, when we have used up things and no longer need them, there are ways to remove them from your home without having them land in a landfill.
Goodwill or other charity organizations are always a good place to start for clothes that don't qualify for consignment stores. For items that are no longer in a condition to be sold at all, there are many retails stores and drop boxes that will sell textiles to be recycled into other products. Check out the Mass.gov website for more info.
Hanging on to old clothes can often bring back a flood of memories related to the owner or the event. These items can be repurposed into things like quilts or pillows rather than staying stuck in an old box to get moldy and moth eaten.
Do you tend to collect more books than you have time to read? Or maybe you've actually read them all and no longer want to keep them around. Books can also be donated to Goodwill but you might also consider donating them to homeless shelters, women's shelters, prisons or community centers. The extra space you'll gain from just donating your books can be very freeing.
Repurposing Magazines, Fabric Scraps and Left Over Crafts
While you may have used up as much as you can from those craft items, teachers LOVE to get these kinds of odds and ends. Donate your left over magazines, fabric scraps and craft items to schools or churches in your area for them to use in classroom projects. It saves them money and keeps the stuff out of the landfills.
Recycling and Repurposing Electronics
Admit it, are you still hanging on to that old VCR to watch the family movies that you still have on tape? Step 1 is to have all those tapes converted to DVD. There are many places both local and online that will convert your tapes for as little as $20 per tape. Once you no longer need the VCR, donate it and all of your other electronic devices to Goodwill or another organization. These places often find new homes for your devices and recycle that which no longer works. Find a list at Mass.gov for more options.
By recycling, repurposing and donating items, we are doing our part to help save the planet. When our stuff ends up in the landfill, it pollutes the soil and water as the items break down. Remember, just because it no longer has a place in your home, doesn't mean it's new home is a place in the landfill.
Celebrate Earth Day this year by decluttering your home in an earth friendly way.