I’ve been on a bit of a kick recently to de-clutter my life, which is a kick that I go through probably every three to six months. (Hey, I live in a one-bedroom apartment.) I’m not someone who tolerates clutter particularly well: having more stuff than I need laying around makes me cranky. I end up sifting through piles of things that I don’t need, moving stuff from one place to another, opening drawers, and generally being frustrated – until I find the one thing I do need.
The problem is that I also dislike throwing things away. You know that around here, we’re kind of partial to recycling. But you can’t recycle everything, right?
Enter TerraCycle. Honestly, this has got to be one of the neatest recycling programs I’ve seen in a long time. The concept is simple: you pick a type of waste, gather it up into a box, and ship it to them. They make it into new stuff. They accept all waste shipments, since the goal is elimination of waste, but they also have a neat team-oriented approach: you can join a ‘brigade’ for a particular type of waste (everything from a certain brand of packaging to beauty and personal care items to keyboards and electronics), collect as much of it as you want, and get points for the shipments you send it. This means – if you’re affiliated with a school, a big office, a team at work, or any other type of organization, you can band together and start recycling.
The full list of brigades can be found here, and I seriously urge you to check it out. There’s some stuff on there that I’d given up hope on completely, and others that seem pretty obscure (graphing calculators? corks?)
They even had a brigade specifically set up for….red solo cups. Win.