New Ideas for Old Things

KIWI Magazine

Clearing out the clutter for a fresh spring start? Here’s what to do with your family’s outgrown clothes, old computers, and more.

Too-small clothes and shoes
If the start of a new season has you eyeing (and sighing over) a mountain of stuff your kid’s outgrown, rally your troops and gives those clothes and shoes a second life. All U.S. Nike stores accept sneakers of any brand (up to 10 pairs at a time!) and recycle them into a material used for creating athletic surfaces (find one near you at nikereuseashoe.com). To make a clothing donation from home, schedule a pick-up that helps support programs for veterans, such as the Vietnam Veterans of America and American Veterans National Foundation. Feeling ambitious? Gather some fellow parents for a garage sale and donate the proceeds to a charity of your choice.

Computers and electronics
Congrats, you got a new computer! So what should you do with the old one—and those other out-of-date tech toys you no longer use? Most big electronics retailers and brands, like Best Buy and Sony, offer free recycling and trade-in programs. Search “donate electronic products” at epa.gov for a full list of programs.

Old phone books
It’s been buried in your desk drawer forever (thank you, Internet!), but throwing out your phonebook still feels like a big, green no-no. Sure you can toss the whole thing in the recycling bin, but you can also let your family’s eco-conscious creativity thing through: You and your kids can tear out the pages to use as packing materials, papier-mâché strips, campfire starters, or garden mulch. And if you want to be rid of paper phone books for good, take yourself off the distribution list at yellowpagesgoesgreen.org.

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