When your moving and going through your old ‘junk’ you want to look for ways to reduce, reuse or recycle. Carrying over that green mentality while getting rid of things that don’t work, or things you don’t want to hold on to during your move, trashing your vacuum is the last thing you’ll want to do. To help you, we came up with a few green alternatives of ways to rid yourself from your vacuum cleaner, which may be good for you, good for someone else, or good for the environment.
- Sell it. If your vacuum cleaner still works and is in decent shape, put an ad on Craigslist. Even if it needs a little repair, you may find someone who is interested in buying it from you or you may even find a vacuum sale and repair shop that would love to take it off your hands.
- Donate it. This is probably the best and most common option people go with when moving. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with the move itself and don’t have a lot of time to devote to figuring out what to do with it, drop it off at Goodwill or Arc. Also, remember that there is usually a tax benefit for donated items, so make sure to check the tax code for details.
- Kick it to the Curb. If your vacuum cleaner still works and is in good shape, you can try leaving it curbside with a sign indicating that it is free and that it does indeed work. The best time to do this is on the weekend and is mostly successful only in urban areas. If it doesn’t get picked up within a few days, make sure to find another way to dispose of it so its presence doesn’t irritate your neighbors.
- Recycle it! In most areas you can find a local recycle station who will gladly accept your vacuum. Most likely, if you call your waste removal service they will be able to help you out. They may even provide free pick up for your recyclable items and appliances and will gladly take your vacuum cleaner off your hands.
For years Styrofoam has been demonized as the world’s poison that we have not been able to kick the habit of using. Although it is still around, green options are being made instead of the toxic alternatives that have been manufactured for years. For instance, environmentally friendly packing peanuts are available that are made out of corn starch and wheat. This allows most of them to dissolve in water and in this case you can simply add these to your compost pile. Traditional packing peanuts are now color coded to indicate the origin of the material they contain. Polystyrene takes hundreds of years to decompose in nature, so recycling is vital. Keep on the look out for green-colored packing peanuts.
However, toxic Styrofoam is still very present in our country. Being that this is the case, make a difference! Use those peanuts for good either in your life and home or properly discard and donate them. There are so many options if you really dig deep into your imagination.
Reuse: Before you throw them away, either post them on Craigslist or find them a good home.
Recycle: Shipping services will often recycle your unneeded donation of peanuts, not to mention stores that ship on a regular basis. More and more recycling programs are accepting packing peanuts, but make sure you put them in a bag or box.
Refuse: If you detest packing peanuts as much as I do, ask mail-order companies if they use them before you agree to place an order, and encourage them to use the new biodegradable variety.
Make ice last longer: Put packaging peanuts in a plastic bag and place on the ice bin—this will allow the life of your ice to last longer and the contents will stay colder longer. Who would of thought?!
Potted plant drainage: Substituting packing peanuts (the non-biodegradable variety) for gravel in the base of potted plants not only provides good drainage, but it makes the containers much lighter and easier to move.
Floating key chain: What a great idea! Take your set of keys and thread them to a bunch of peanuts. This way being out in open water will prevent the keys to your life from sinking into the deep ocean.
The green scene is kicking into full gear and as we enter 2010 we vow to do our job to help our beautiful planet by going a little green ourselves. We used to be greener when we ran biodiesel and veggie oil in trucks, but that actually is not working out so well mechanically, so we’ve backed off of that. BUT – we do use plastic totes for office moves, we re-use boxes for just about every move and we use what are called “speed packs” over and over. These are large boxes on wheels that we can put lots of things into and wheel them rather than carry them. Of course this works best on office moves, however not so good on residential moves.
We pick up boxes and you better believe we use them time and time again! Hopefully, if we are all making moves that are more environmentally friendly we will see a positive effect on mother earth!