This is a slightly different post theme to my usual frugal hacks and freebie collections. Like a lot of us during any of the lockdowns in the last 12 months I’ve had a bit of a tidy up, rearrange and organise of my house which prompted me to write this post. A few years ago when having a huge deep clear out I came across some items which initially cost me a lot of money such as old prescription glasses, make up products, underwear etc that I didn’t want to throw out but simply didn’t need or use anymore. On a whim I began online research to find out what to do with them as opposed to sending them to landfill. Below I’ve included just a few of the schemes I came across for my items. Nowadays I tend to quickly Google items to find further solutions. Obviously local charity shops are a great option for standard donations, freecycle or Facebook Market Place are other popular choices.
- How To Recycle Your Beauty Empties For Discounts & Freebies To Avoid Them Ending Up In Landfill
- Cheap Or Free Eco Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas – Reusing & Recycling
Ask Your Friends and Family
This is my number one port of call when getting rid of a few bits. For example when tidying I came across some colour depositing hair products that I wouldn’t use again as I didn’t fancy red toned hair anymore. They were 3/4 full and remembered a friend within my social bubble pre-lockdown 3 mentioning colouring theirs so this was re-homed with her. Whilst asking another friend for houseplant advice I realised I had some small empty plastic plant pots and one decorative one that I’d planned to donate to charity but asked if she’d like them instead. I’ve done this in the past with so many things including items of clothing if I’ve decided not to sell them on eBay – if you do decide to sell them a post on my best tips for eBay can be found here.
H&M Textiles Recycling Scheme for worn out fabrics, clothes and textiles
In all H&M stores there are collections for bags of unwanted clothing and a system for all items donated. Some are sold for charity and really old unwearable items are recycled into loft insulation or cleaning cloths etc. I’ve filled at least 5 bags in the last 6 months with old paint stained t shirts, socks with holes in, bobbled jumpers or faded bed sheets. In exchange you will be given a £5 off your next £25 spend voucher with usually a long use by date on. I tend to gift these to friends as I buy the vast majority of my clothes second hand. I like this scheme for being really easily accessible but admit it doesn’t solve the fast fashion problem as the voucher gives an incentive to buy more fast fashion. But for me personally it’s probably saved the equivalent for 3 bin bags of textiles going to landfill with no further purchases which is better than me just chucking them in general household waste.
- Making The Most Of What You’ve Got – How To Cheaply Be More Eco Friendly At Home
- How To Shop Pre Loved: Tips For Thrifting, Charity Shopping & Buying Second Hand.
Clarks x Unicef For Old Shoes in any condition
Clarks have partnered with Unicef since 2008 and use any old shoes you donate by taking to their stores and putting in a collection bin (even including wornout £1 Primark flip flops and holey slippers) to help fund children’s education in poor 3rd world countries. In 2018 they saved nearly 190 tonnes of shoes going to landfill whilst providing “school in a box” kits that turn any space into a learning area for 40 children.
I’ve worn glasses since I was 4 and struggle to adjust from one pair to another meaning I only wear 1 pair at a time and had lots of old prescription frames. My local optician, like many, have a link with The Lion’s Club who send the glasses to 3rd world countries after servicing them. In some African countries the cost of an eye test is the equivalent of one month’s wages. Both charities The Lion’s Club and New Eyes also accept hearing aids as well as glasses for children, men and women. Try your local opticians to see if you can donate the pairs in store or check online for addresses to ship items to a good cause.
Donate Old Bras to help raise money for breast cancer charities and help those less fortunate in 3rd world countries. There are lots of charities online that accept used bras, you simply pop them in the post after paying a small postage fee. Free donation options include Bravissimo stores across the UK who have collection bins that you can drop them off at “in any condition”. The charity Against Breast Cancer also have bra banks where you can donate. Their website has a handy map to find your nearest one.
Duvets, bedding and towels may be collected by local homeless shelters or animal shelters. It’s worth giving them a call to check what they can accept. I once managed to donate lots of towels to a local animal sanctuary to help keep the animals cold in the winter! If they’re really grotty take them to a local textiles recycling bank or use the H&M scheme.
Recycle printer ink cartridges and used postage stamps for charities such as the RSPB. There are lots of recycling options online for these with freepost options so it won’t cost you anything to do so.
Recycle Used Make Up. Garnier have twinned with Terracycle to provide recycling bins in selected Superdrug, Tesco, Sainsbury and Boots stores ensuring that nothing you throw in the bins ends up in landfill. I love that they’ve added these to supermarkets as it meant the scheme can still be accessed even in UK lockdowns. I always hold onto old make up even if I don’t wear it because I’ve always felt bad for just throwing it out and now I have the perfect solution. In some Boots stores there are now bins to recycle products, if you throw in 5 selected items and follow their instructions you receive £5 worth of Boots points.
The Reduce Reuse Recycle website is really helpful for tips on where to send obscure items, upcycling projects etc.