Posts tagged recycling

Now I know what to do with my old cell phone…

Last Fall I was doing some organizing around the house and found three or four old cell phones.  I knew I shouldn’t put them in the trash, but really wasn’t sure what else to do with them.  I had heard that you could donate them to charities but wasn’t sure how to do that.   A few weeks later, a friend sent me a link to the Women’s Funding Network, a group that connects over 130 organizations that fund women’s initiatives globally.  Areas covered are include health, human rights and education.

The group has a list of online actions that people can take to help the cause of women and girls across the globe.  One of these actions is donating your old cell phones.  Great!  I went to the page where you can request a mailer and filled in my information.  Within a few days a self-addressed, postage paid box was delivered to my door.  Now I had to find enough cell phones to fill it!

I had a few cell phones of my own, but that was not nearly enough to fill the box.  I spoke to the IT department at work.  They were in the process of upgrading Blackberries, and were able to contribute several additional phone to the box.  It’s been a few months and my collection efforts have stalled a bit.  I’ve decided to pack up what I have and sent it off tomorrow.  A dozen phones saved from the landfill are better than none!

If you decide to request a mailer, I would suggest the envelope rather than the box, unless you have a huge amount of phones to donate.  I have about 12 in the box and it is not even close to being full.  Happy recycling!

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Cultural Differences

I kind of take it for granted that in this day and age everyone recycles.  I take the time to separate out all of my glass, plastic, paper and aluminum.  I even compost.  However, it’s become very clear to me recently that not everyone does.  It seems that there are what can only be described as “cultural differences.”

This became abundantly clear to me in regards to the women who clean my house.  Over the time that they have worked for me, I have noticed more than once that my recycling has ended up in a trash bag and left neatly by the door for me to take out to the trash cans outside.  When I catch the error, I take the recycling out of the trash bag and put it back in the recycling bin.  I’m rarely home when they come to clean, so there is little opportunity to talk to them about it in person and even if I did I’m not sure I could convey my point effectively because English is not their first language, and it is the only language I speak .  Instead, I remain vigilant and rescue the recycling whenever possible.

The situation reached a new level of ridiculousness last week.  I (finally) purchased a counter-top compost container, lined it with a biodegradable plastic bag, and diligently collected my food scraps to be taken out to the compost bin in the backyard. I forgot that the cleaning people were coming that day, and so therefore didn’t take out the compost before they got there.  When I was cooking dinner later that night I went to put some food scraps in the compost container and realized that it had been emptied and in place of my food scraps was a fresh, bio-bag.  Ughh!  Then the search began.  I opened the trash bag left neatly next to the door to find all of my compost scraps neatly tied  up in their bio-bag.  I pulled  them out and took them straight to the compost bin in the backyard.  Ordinarily I don’t like picking through the trash, but this time it was fine since the only other “trash” in the bag was my paper recycling!

I can only imagine how this must all appear to the cleaning ladies.  They probably think I am so lazy that I can’t be bothered to put the trash in the trash can, even though it is right next to the recycling bin.  Either that, or they think I have some strange hoarding disorder where I must compulsively stack all of the wire hangers in a little caddy (to be returned to the dry cleaner, and yes this has ended up in the trash bag, too).

A friend suggested that I put labels in their native language on the recycling and compost, asking the cleaning people not to touch them.  I think that’s a great idea.  A simple, yet brilliant solution that I wish I had thought of myself.  We’ll see if that helps to  overcome our cultural differences!

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