Green Living Tips for Living Life

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Recycling is a buzz word in green circles.  If you have been wondering what to do with your old newspapers, car tires, and old mattresses, there’s a lot you can do about the stuff.  Old newspapers can be sold and recycled for packaging purposes, car tires can be sold to dealers who sell to companies making rubber roofing, and old mattresses will find new life as flame retardants and carpet underlay.

Don’t Throw Away those Old Mattresses

Think of the many uses from that old mattress.  If you don’t want it, there is somebody who wants it.  Donate it or give it away.  Just don’t dump it anywhere.  You can sell it to junk shops buying recyclable items.  The wooden frames can still be salvaged and used as fuel, the springs can be converted and the cotton still has practical uses in industrial applications.

Dumping it improperly poses hazards to the environment because mattresses are loaded with flame retardant chemicals.  These chemicals can seep into the ground, poisoning the soil and the waterways.  Imagine a landfill with millions of old mattresses; that should be enough to jolt you awake to the hidden dangers of improper disposal of mattresses.

Recycling programs can help you with your old mattress.  In the US, try Earth911.org; in Australia, there is the Dreamsafe Recycling Program, and in Canada, they have MattCanada.  To dispose your old mattress you have to pay a small fee – this is nothing compared to what you can do save the planet.  If you are living outside of these places, Google the recycling programs in your country.

Old Tires

Look around for recycling programs in your area and sell them your old tires.  Old tires are transformed to flower pots, building blocks, and roofing.  A car tire yields four liters of oil, and a kilogram of steel and reusable combustible gas.

Paints

Avoid spilling left-over paint on the ground.  Paint is loaded with lead that poisons the soil and the chemicals eventually reach water sources deep down in the soil.  Paint brushes should not be washed in the sink, these should be treated correctly.  You can ask your recycling program center what to do with your paint.  Call the manufacturer; these companies have recycling programs to recycle or reuse paint.  If you have a clump of paint, wrap it and throw it to your trash without putting the lid back on.

Batteries

Used batteries are considered hazardous waste.  Once your batteries lose power, wrap it.  Don’t place it in your bag because it may rupture and leak.  Oftentimes there are no drop-off points for old batteries.  Write to the manufacturer and inquire about their disposal program.  They can advise you and this information must be passed on to your friends and to the community.

Button batteries for hearing aids, watches and greeting cards, batteries for video cameras, wheelchairs and power tools, vehicles, metal detectors, and cameras are classified as hazardous waste and must be disposed of properly.

Knowing what to do with your old stuff can help you help the environment and that is what matters most in these environmentally critical times.

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