Tuesday, March 18, 2008

more on spring cleaning

Just because we are spring cleaning our living space does not mean we have to dump our trash elsewhere... so going beyond those green bins for paper, glass, plastic, and aluminum, here is a list of places that will accept specific kinds of waste and recyclables, to lighten our environmental footprint.

Crayons to Computers is a free store for teachers of needy students in the Cincinnati area. They accept gently used children's books and office supplies. A great place to drop off used but usable computer hardware. Call (513) 482-3290.

According to a story on NPR, in 2005 the United States produced 2.2 MILLION TONS of electronic waste.... sounds unbelievable, but think about the fast turnover of technology and how cell phones are now a disposable commodity. And along with that, toxins such as mercury and lead seeping into the soil and water.

The Cincinnati Computer Cooperative is a great place to drop off used but usable computer hardware.Call (513) 771-3262.

Hamilton County Environmental Services offers a free computer recycling drop-off. Acceptable materials include monitors, CPUs, hard drives, mice, keyboards, laptops, docking stations, back-up batteries, power cords, speakers, modems, external hard drives, memory chips, storage chips, cell phones, printers, scanners, and desktop fax machines. Hard drives are swiped with Department of Defense approved software. They can also disassemble and recycle computers, or rebuild them and donate them to non-profit organizations and/or schools. Call (513) 946-7766.

Hamilton County also offers a free household hazardous waste collection program from March through November. This is a great time to dispose of paint, chemicals, household and auto batteries, and more. Even prescription drugs are considered hazardous waste. CNN came out with a news story about traces of prescription drugs in water. Scary stuff. Don't flush those meds down the toilet! Call (513) 946-7700.

Please note that many of these centers have specific drop-off times during the week, so call or visit the websites for more information.

Let's face it, many times we are driven by rewards. Aside from the usual Goodwill and Freestore for other items, here are a few places that can accept gently used clothing, accessories, and even furniture for consignment. The reward: you get 50% of the profit for your items that get sold!

Snooty Fox has locations in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. For a minimal fee, you can open an account so that they can start selling your items. You get 50% of the profit. You can also find great bargains for gently used clothing -- another great way to lighten our footprint on the earth. I've found good jeans and tops here for less than $10! Some Snooty Fox locations accept furniture.

The Mustard Seed on Ludlow Avenue in Clifton (close to IGA) is another resale and consignment shop for clothes and accessories. There is no cost to open an account, and you also get 50% of the profit for your items that get sold. This store also sells handmade jewelry and original notecards by local artists. Call (513) 221-4022.

Julie's Inspiration is a consignment store located in the charming Mainstrasse, Covington, Northern Kentucky. This store accepts clothing, accessories, jewelry, art, and other collectibles. The bonus? It's a few doors down from interesting art galleries and coffee shops with a neighborhood feel. Next time you decide to do the Mainstrasse Final Friday Gallery Hop, stop in at Julie's! Call (513) 291-8200.

Remember that many of these places accept clothes seasonally; if I am not mistaken, they accept spring and summer items beginning in February, and fall and winter items beginning in August.

Are your running shoes no longer giving you any support? The Running Spot accepts used athletic shoes. Honestly, I'm not exactly sure what they do with them. Store locations are O'Bryonville and Glendale. Call (513) 321-3006.

Got way too much grocery store plastic bags? Take them to Bigg's supermarkets. There's a bin for plastic bags right as you walk through the door.

Hope this list gets you in the mood for a greener spring cleaning!

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