You can Recycle that!?


More products are becoming recyclable, and we’re doing more with reused and recycled products. It’s coming to a point where I find myself asking, “You can recycle that?”

Shopping for paint recently, I came across recycled paint. This doesn’t mean that some dude at the city dump goes around mixing all the leftovers and reselling them. Recycled paint comes from the manufacturer, produced from leftover paints returned to the factory. It is filtered and sometimes combined with new colors to be distributed and sold again.

The price of recycled paint is much lower than new paint, about 50% less. Most recycled paint is mixed with white, the standard base for new color. These reprocessed paints typically contain at least 50% post-consumer waste. When the paint is 100% recycled, it is labelled reblended.

At this point you may be wondering where can you find this marvel? Some larger home improvement stores are starting to carry recycled paints. I found some at the local Liquidation World, and it was affordable and very good quality. Kelly-Moore’s eCoat is sold through stores in the south and western U.S. There is an online store called Boomerang Recycled Paint that offers a large selection in latex, alkyds, and stains.

Recycled Surfboards

You’re hitting the perfect wave, riding nirvana, and the board splits in half. Bummer! What to do?

Gone are the days of just trashing the board and buying a new one. The green angel on your shoulder is making you think about environmental impacts (she’s fighting the red devil on your other shoulder).

Is there a way to get rid of the board without hurting our environment? Well, as a matter of fact, there is. ReSurf Recycling in Oceanside, CA takes old and broken boards, pulverizes them, and reintroduces the material into concrete and asphalt mixes to used for paving roads as well as lightweight fire-proof roof tiles. Gnarly!

What’s the best way to replace your old faithful surfing buddy? Green Foam Blanks is making new, grade-A blanks (surfboards) out of the stuff that would normally end up in a landfill. Up to now 25% of pre-shaped blanks end up as waste in the manufacturing process. Not anymore.

“We thought about the cradle-to-cradle concept and how we can apply it to surfboards, and right now we’re confident this is the best thing going.” says Joey Santley, one of the masterminds behind Green Foam.

Reused Wine Casks

Satisfy your inner oenophile by sleeping in a giant wine cask. That’s right, in the Dutch town of Stavoren, the De Vrouwe van Stavoren Hotel has converted four 14,500-liter wine vats into cozy hotel rooms for two. The rooms, each with its own bathroom and sitting area, were created from giant Swiss drums that once contained Beaujolais from a French chateau.

For about $180 a night, breakfast included (less off-season), you can sleep surrounded by oak, then wake up refreshed and ready for a bike ride along the Zuiderzee and Ijsselmeer Lake, one of the flattest places on earth.

As you can see there are many ways to recycle and reuse. What have you recycled recently? Please tell! Just so long as it’s not chewing gum from under the seat!”

Here are 50 others you may or may not be aware of:
1. Old bricks, worthless? No, those bricks can be recycled, and are very valuable to some people!

2. Use reclaimed wood for your next project at home. Use your own, or find some on freecycle, Craigslist, at your local transfer station, or

3. There are many places you can exchange or recycle your old electronics.

4. Sell off or post an ad for free metal scrap to be recycled.

5. If you have enough, your old VHS tapes can be recycled

6. Packing tape and stickers cannot be recycled, so use these sparingly in the first place.

7. Tools are very valuable items on eBay. Try selling them in lots to save time, shipping waste, and energy.

8. Empty propane tanks may be able to be taken as scrap metal, or properly disposed of at hazardous waste facilities. Reuse these whenever you can!

9. Even large items like BBQ grills can be recycled as scrap metal once the propane tank has been removed.

10. Kids toys have a new life when they’re donated to thrift stores like Salvation Army or local churches.

11. Recycle your old prescription bottles, they have a million uses.

12. After they’ve been used up, recycle your old batteries.

13. How about other plastic numbers, what do those mean? You may be able to recycle some of them.

14. Flip flops can be recycled and repurposed a number of creative and unique ways.

15. Can’t figure out what to do with your old lamps, wall decor, or knick knacks? If you can’t eBay them, donate them to a thrift store for charity purposes. Craigslist and Kijiji are good alternatives, too.

16. Recycle your shipping styrofoam or reuse it.

17. Window treatments have the chance to live again as you recycle your curtains into pillows.

18. Carpet can be recycled if it is clean and usable.

19. Donate it, sell it, or recycle your television.

20. Stop by an Aveda location to recycle your bottle caps.

21. The rumor has been floating around that aluminum can’t be recycled. While the rules may differ per town, you can still reuse it a few times by giving it a cleaning.

22. Reuse your old jeans in these 25 ingenious methods.

23. Why trash it? Your shower curtain is a great drop cloth or apron.

24. Your ink cartridges are accepted at many different locations online and in person, like Staples.

25. You might be able to trade in your old printer for a credit on a new one. They’ll recycle it for you. There’s always earth911, too.

26. Tires are a must to be recycled, and it’s very easy.

27. Learn how you can recycle your roof shingles to become part of our roads.

28. Make sure when installing a new car battery that the mechanic will recycle it.

29. Cardboard boxes can be taken at your local recycling station, or sent curbside if they’re small enough in most instances.

30. Save your old packing peanuts and recycle them by giving them to your local shipping company. They will gladly take them off your hands.

31. Your gently used clothing can be resold on eBay, or donated.

32. Good news! #5 plastics can be recycled at many Whole Foods locations.

33. Potato chip bags and those other foil packaging that often are used to wrap up junk food can be recycled at

34. Used (many times) ziploc containers and similar disposable plasticware can be recycled usually as #1 plastics.

35. Shaving cream metal cans are accepted in most recycling facilities with other metal cans.

36. Can tabs can be recycled with your cans. Don’t pull them off, that kidney dialysis machine time rumor is false.

37. You couldn’t have enough options to recycle your cellphone

38. Blankets can be recycled by donating them to animal shelters (if clean).

39. Recycle your own scrap wood and furniture by reusing it, or donate it.

40. Save that box and make some Pizza box art, or maybe just recycle it if you follow these instructions.

41. Mattresses, aerosol cans, even washing machines can be recycled.

42. Bread twist ties will be your new best friend after you read these creative uses.

43. Reading glasses can be recycled and donated, and are always in demand.

44. Old books can be sold on Amazon, donated to thrift stores, donated to schools, and to hospitals. There’s always the yard sale option, too.

45. Freecycle your old sports equipment.

46. Did you know your old aluminum siding could be worth a lot of money?

47. Your old greeting cards can even be recycled creatively.

48. Wrapping paper is just paper and has many ways to be reused or recycled.

49. Don’t forget all types of glass bottles can be recycled — wine bottles, jelly jars, colored glass… these are all accepted at most recycling facilities.

50. Your old screened doors have many ways that they can be recycled.

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