BEFORE YOU BUY
One key way to practice sustainability is to dispose of the products you currently have to give them a second life or recycle items so that virgin resources will not have to be used. Below are some resources we have gathered to make this process easier.
Terracycle is one of the largest and most notable recycling programs. This is because on its platform you are able to recycle many household items. You just fill a box with qualifying items, print out a shipping label, and send it off to get recycled and turned into new products. This helps offset virgin materials and also helps us be more conscious of the waste we produce.
Not only is Lush committed to practicing sustainability in their creation of products, but they are also committed to getting their packaging out of the waste stream. With their program, you can take your empty pots and as a bonus, with their five pot program, you can take in five of your lush pots to their store and get a free face mask.
Back to MAC
This program is perfect for makeup lovers that have empty M.A.C. products. M.A.C.’s recycling program allows its customers to bring in the M.A.C. products that you no longer need to any M.A.C. store. As a bonus, when you bring in six items you are eligible to get a free lipstick, lipglass, or single eyeshadow of your choice as a thank you for your commitment to the environment.
One of our favorite recycling programs is Origins. This is because Origins allows you to bring in any cosmetic container to their counters. Unlike, the ones prior it is not exclusive to their brand, making it the perfect one stop shop to drop any cosmetic brands. Origins will also reward you for your participation with a free sample sized product
Best Buy Recycling
Best Buy stores have the option for you to recycle your e-waste by providing organized bins. They will take any electronic waste no matter where you bought it or the condition it is in. This recycling program ensures that the hazardous materials in our electronics are disposed of properly and do not end up in our landfills. Check out their website below to see the items that qualify for recycling.
Habitat For Humanity
If you are looking to donate large items like furniture and larger kitchen appliances to smaller household items, Habitat for Humanity accepts these items and even offers free pick up. The items you donate will be resold in their ReStore and the proceeds of your items will go into helping families build stable homes.
Local Thrift Store
You can donate household items to your local thrift store to give them a second home and declutter your space. Many of the thrift stores are linked to charities so you will also be supporting important causes!
Wands for Wildlife
Instead of throwing away old mascara wands you can donate them to Wands for Wildlife. Donations are taken twice a year on February and October. The wands will be used to clean the fur of wild animals and helps give these wands a second life and these animals a better life.
Local Women's Shelter
Women's shelters are always looking for items such as kitchenware, toiletries, clothing, feminine hygiene products, diapers and formula, etc. By donating you are supporting women in your community and contribute to the well-being of others.
If you have a product from any brands such as Dell, Alienware, PC, or Apple. Dell offers you a trade-in price if it is still in working condition which you can use on their site or you could also ship in non-working items and Dell will gladly recycle them for free to you.
If you are looking to upgrade your Apple device, the Apple trade-in program allows you to trade in an eligible device and you will receive credit towards your next purchase. Furthermore, if you are not looking to upgrade, Apple will also take your eligible device and give you an Apple gift card to use in the meantime. This program is amazing if you want to earn back money and responsibly recycle items.
At participating locations, Best Buy offers a convenient way to bring used electronic items and trade it in for Best Buy gift cards. They take items such as video games, gaming hardware, phones, laptops, and streaming media. If your item does not qualify, see the "Best Buy Recycling" section to dispose of unwanted electronics properly. To see if your item qualifies, check the link below.
Online buying/selling Platforms
The above resources act as a convenient middle man if you don't want to go through the hassle of finding a buyer for your usable items. However, you may want to use online buying and selling platforms such as Craigslist, Offer Up, Ebay, LetGo, and Facebook Marketplace to get more value from your items. Moreover, you could also utilize these sites before you buy from traditional means to save money and also save resources.
Composting is a great way that you can utilize food and other organic waste to make nutrient rich soil. Composting can be done in a number of ways depending on the space and items you have.
Before you throw food scraps away, consider regrowing some of them so that you can eat from items you're already growing, divert the plastic of grocery store items, and help save money on your grocery trips.
Refill Ink Cartridges
Ink for us college students is a coveted commodity. To help mitigate the waste from buying new ink cartridges a good option is to refill them yourself (a starter kit is provided on our Sustainability Shop page) or go to a store such as Office Max, Walgreens, Costco, or Fry's to have them do it at a low cost. Both these options help with waste and will also save you money on ink cartridge's.