By Marilynne Rudick
Despite the urgency of saving the planet, recycling and reusing can feel like flossing, something you know you should do, but it’s not much fun. Take heart. The web offers a treasure trove of resources that make saving the planet more chic than chore. And you can even save money doing it.
1. Sell on eBay or Craigslist
It often seems simpler to throw something in the trash than to figure out how to recycle it. Selling your castoffs on eBay or Craigslist offers a way to not only reduce landfills, but also make money. While selling on eBay requires some effort, selling on Craiglist is a snap, and you can post a classified for free. Remember that you also help the environment by buying on eBay and Craigslist.
2. Sell on BuyMyTronics.com
Get cash for your old (but not ancient) cell phones, iPods, game consoles and just about any Apple product. BuyMyTronics will buy your old electronics, regardless of condition. What’s more, they’ll pay for you to ship it to them if you live in the US. To find out how much your old “tronic” is worth, enter the name of the device in the search box. Describe its condition, then click sell. If your tronic is more than 5 years old, BuyMyTronics probably won’t purchase it. But they will recycle it for you if you ship it to them.
3. Freecycle It
If you’ve got stuff you aren’t using, you can find a good home for it on Freecycle, a network of almost 5000 neighborhood recycling groups. What’s more, you can also get free stuff through Freecycle. Once you join, you can list your give-aways and respond to listings for items others are freecycling. Go to Freecycle’s website to find a group in your community. It’s free to join.
4. Buy Eco-artware: New Products Made from Castoffs
If you think that products made from recycled materials are ugly and costly, take a look at Eco-artware.com for imaginative and well-designed environmentally-friendly products. Among my favorites: jewelry from typewriter keys and baskets made from recycled chopsticks. Subscribe to Recycling Rag to learn about artists who invent new uses for throwaways, like Ingrid Goldbloom Bloch, who makes bras out of soda cans.
5. Live an Ecofabulous Life
And finally, a website that proves that stylish and sustainable are not mutually exclusive. Ecofabulous makes an eco-lifestyle chic. How about Margaritas made from organic tequila and easy-on-the-environment fashion finds you’ll love to wear? Take a look at the show house featuring soup-to-nuts sustainable products.
- What’s your effect on the environment? Use the Nature Conservancy’s carbon footprint calculator to measure your impact.
About the Author: Marilynne Rudick writes about web tools and technologies in her WebOver50 blog. She believes the web is wasted on the young, and her blog explains web apps– social networking, blogging, YouTube, and the treasure trove of new web tools—for people like herself: an over50 history major.