National News from ABC

Eco-friendly ways to declutter your life

kumacore/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — With a new year comes new beginnings, and for many that may mean decluttering a house of miscellaneous goods that inharmoniously prevents an organized and aesthetic home.

However, if done without conscience, the productive act of tidying can be inefficient for both the environment and the wallet.

The magnitude of waste around decluttering is large. A United Nations global e-waste monitor report conducted in 2020, found that the United States generates 46 pounds of e-waste per person each year. Furthermore, the EPA found that 81.5 pounds of textiles are thrown away per person every year in the United States.

“When we declutter a lot of us don’t think about what happens to all of that stuff,” said Anna Robertson, co-founder of The Cool Down, an online guide that helps people reduce pollution in smart ways.

“It’s never been better to declutter responsibly and even profitably, there are literally hundreds of companies that will take your old stuff and give you store credit or even cash in some cases.”

The case for efficient decluttering is simple, according to Robertson.

“When we declutter a lot of us don’t think about what happens to all of that stuff,” said Anna Robertson, The Cool Down.

The Cool Down shared some ways to recycle with the environment in mind:

1. Send in old shoes for upcycling

Services like Got Sneakers offer the opportunity to send in shoes, free of shipping costs, after which the shoes will be upcycled, and occasionally allow for the participant to collect cash on their contribution.

2. Trade in old electronics

For electronic goods, large retailers like Best Buy, Staples, Walmart, Apple and Costco offer trade-in or recycling services for your old gadgets.

3. Turn in old clothes for rewards

Fashion brands like Patagonia, Levis, Madewell and Lululemon offer gift certificates for returned clothing after use.

4. Re-sell old sports gear or musical instruments

For individuals with sports gear laying around the garage, Play It Again Sports will take it for re-sale, and organizations like Music Go Round will do the same for loose instruments.

5. Arts and crafts supplies and costumes

Arts and crafts supplies can be donated to schools and churches, while costumes can be sold online or donated to charities like Ween Dream.

6. Donating and re-selling old books

Books no longer in use can be donated back to libraries and sold or swapped online with services like Paperback Swap.

7. Use online marketplaces to off-load old goods

Facebook, eBay and Craigslist as online marketplaces are useful for off-loading old goods.


Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

On Air Now

Now Playing On X101

Download The X101 App


Site Designed & Hosted by Eves Digital