Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Wire hangers are breeding in my garage. While searching for a new home for them and a host of other odds and ends that cannot be picked up at the curb (Pallet, anyone?), I found Earth 911. Don't do your spring cleaning without it.

Hangers could go to a metal recycler or if they're in good condition a dry cleaner might reuse them. The UPS Store can reuse the box of clean packing peanuts I discovered in the rafters. The Styrofoam that came with the computer monitor we bought four years ago looks like it can be recycled nearby. Aveda will take bottle caps and Whole Foods will take the #5 plastic that piles up because I haven't mastered the art of yogurt making and bringing our own containers to the deli isn't a habit yet.

Brian has noticed that throwing stuff away in our house is requiring more and more effort. Good. If more of us were hassled by our waste, manufacturers might respond to consumer demand for minimal packaging that can be recycled or reused. (You can always tell where industry is feeling the pressure by looking at their ad campaigns. See Procter and Gamble Compacts Laundry Detergent to Reduce Packaging). More importantly, letting ourselves be inconvenienced by our discards can wake us up; it can make us be a little more thoughtful about the quality of what we're buying in the first place.

Setting aside a system that essentially subsidizes the marketing campaigns of excessive packaging, my mind goes to organizing with my neighbors. I imagine there would be texting. "Taking inkjet cartridges to recycling for raptors on Saturday."

Earth 911 couldn't help with the jar of rubber bands we have thanks to two newspaper subscriptions. Ditto for the broken coffee pot and the miracle mop that we bought from a State Fair huckster. Maybe I'll find takers on Twin Cities Free Market or Craig's List.

Related Article:
Blaine company's twist on recycling.

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