When most people go shopping, they don’t think about taking items with them to the store. They think about which items they will bring home from the store! Stores that repurpose, stores that recycle and stores that collect used items are the ones who will get my dollars and my loyalty. It means that their efforts are genuine, and not some fake marketing ploy. Our wallets are our leverage when it comes to showing companies what matters most. For me, that means supporting quality brands that give back.
Companies with corporate social responsibility initiatives that include using reducing their carbon footprint (such as stores that repurpose products) are among my favorites. So before you head to the store or shopping mall, check to see if you have these items to drop off for repurposing, recycling, or donating to those in need.
Here are some well known stores that repurpose, recycle and collect used items:
Domestic violence survivors often arrive at shelters with just the clothes on their back. These brave women must rely on donated items for a change of clothes and an opportunity to move forward. Soma aims to make a difference by collecting new or gently worn bras. In partnership with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), the bras they collect and distributed bras to women in need. Donations can be made in store or by mail. For more information, go to the Soma.com website.
H&M is the first fashion brand to launch a garment collection initiative. The overwhelming majority of textiles that people throw away every year could be re-worn or recycled. Hand in clothes you no longer want at an H&M retailer, and give your old items a new life. Clothing that can be re-worn will be sold second hand. Everything else is turned into textile fibers, turned into insulation, used as cleaning cloths, or re-used in another way. Any profit that H&M makes from this initiative is used for social responsibility projects. Learn more at http://about.hm.com/en/about/sustainability/.
Whether you work at home or in an office, chances are that you go through numerous ink and toner cartridges. If you purchase them at Staples, you can bring them back there too. Staples Rewards members can recycle any ink or toner, (up to 10 per calendar month) and get $2 back per cartridge. The cartridges can be recycled in-store or online. Simply present your card to get your rewards. To qualify, you must spend at least $30 on ink or toner at Staples in the past 180 days. Get more information at http://www.staples.com/.
Best Buy accepts residential electronics products and rechargeable batteries brought to the store for recycling, up to three items per household per day. They will also haul away televisions and major appliances from your home for a small fee when a replacement product is delivered by Geek Squad® or Best Buy Home Delivery. You can also recycle your old ink or toner cartridges at your local Best Buy store and save $2 on your next in-store purchase of $40 or more. Learn more at http://www.bestbuy.com/.
If you have an outdated iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC computer, you can turn it into something brand new. If your device qualifies for reuse, its monetary value will be applied to an Apple Store Gift Card, can be used for purchases at any Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store. If your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC doesn’t qualify for reuse, they will recycle it responsibly at no cost to you.
Bring your old iPod to an Apple Retail Store and receive a discount on the purchase of a new iPod. That sure is a pretty good deal!
You can also bring your old Mac batteries to an Apple Retail Store near you for recycling, which is SO MUCH better for the environment than putting them in the garbage. And if all you want is to dispose of your unwanted computers and displays, (regardless of brand) Apple can do that too. You can find out more at http://www.apple.com/recycling/.
Whole Foods Market recycles several items as part of its Green Mission program. Take your batteries with you to stores such as Whole Foods for recycling instead of putting them in a landfill where they can leak contaminants into the soil, air, and water supply.
Whole Foods is also one of the many stores that recycle plastic bags. It takes roughly 1,000 years for ONE plastic bag to break down in a landfill. Think about how many plastic bags your family alone uses in the course of a year, and you may grasp just how detrimental this convenience is to the environment. Don’t use plastic bags for items you can carry, and take reusable bags to the store when possible. Take the plastic bags in your home to Whole Foods on your next shopping trip for recycling.
Whole Foods Market has partnered with an organization called Cork Reharvest in its effort to recycle cork, a renewable, recyclable material that doesn’t belong in a landfill. The recycled corks are turned into recyclable wine shippers, floor tiles, or made into post-consumer products.
Many towns don’t accept #5 plastics in their recycling program. (Some common #5 plastics are yogurt cups and Brita filters.) However, you can drop them at Whole Foods Market stores. The recycled materials are used to create items such as razors, food storage containers, and more. See more at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/tricky-recycling-made-easy.
Many municipal facilities don’t accept cosmetic containers and packaging, so Origins created the beauty industry’s first recycling program for cosmetic packaging in 2009. They recycle customer’s empty cosmetics containers from any brand in their effort to help reduce landfill waste. Bring your empties to any Origins cosmetics counter near you. Go to the Origins website for more information.
You can bring back any Aveda packaging and accessories not accepted by municipal curbside recycling programs to an Aveda Experience Center. The packaging collected will be recycled into reusable material, with the goal of making it into new Aveda packaging or accessories. (By the way, Aveda also offers free samples at checkout with every online order!)So before you head to the mall, make sure to bring your Aveda makeup brushes, bottles, jars, tubes and pumps with you! Get more information at http://www.aveda.com/discover/index.tmpl#section=be_the_change.
For two decades, Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe and Nike Grind programs have been collecting worn out shoes bound for the landfill and turning them into sports courts, playgrounds, and other products. Find a store for donating your worn out shoes at http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/better-world.
At Patagonia, all of their products are accepted for recycling. While they encourage you to find a new home for any garments that are still useable, any Patagonia product that has reached the end of its useful life may be sent back to us to be recycled or repurposed. Simply wash the items first and mail them to the Patagonia Service Center or drop them off at a Patagonia Retail Store near you. Go to http://www.patagonia.com/ for more information.
Guys, let’s be honest. There are dress shirts in your closet you don’t wear. They sit in the back of your closet and take up space. So why not donate them to someone in need?
When you order from Twillory, there will be a pre-paid mailer bag inside your package to make it easy to recycle your shirts. Simply replace the items you’ve purchased with your gently used garments. Seal the bag and leave it for your mail carrier. They will inspect, launder and repackage your donated goods for distribution to those in need. Learn more at http://www.twillory.com/repurpose/.
Here’s to the stores that repurpose and recycle items, trying to reduce our carbon footprint. What will you bring to the store with you today?
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