Tag Archives: recycle

Recycle your ink = Earn money

This image shows a canon S520 ink jet printer.

I am always trying to find new ways to throw out less and either recycle, reuse, or give away items. For ink, I used to order prepaid envelopes or find a school that recycled ink as a fundraiser. Now OfficeMax has expanded their recycling program to include all ink and toner cartridges. They previously only accepted specific kinds.

Now you can recycle any types and get money in return. You will earn $2 MaxPerks Rewards for each cartridge you recycle. You can get rewards for up to 10 cartridges a calendar month, but you can recycle as many as you want. Your rewards can be used for in-store, online, and phone purchases the following quarter after you earn them.

I love the MaxPerks program and have earned so many great rewards and coupons through it. Even if you don’t have a business, there are plenty of great products for home, families, and gifts at OfficeMax. They also have an affordable copy center. They frequently mail coupons to their MaxPerks members, offer bag discounts in the Sunday paper, and even sometimes have coupons in their sale fliers (like last week)!

For other ways to earn rewards for shopping, see my posts “Get rewarded for shopping – updated!” and “Get rewarded for shopping = Part 2.”


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What are you doing for Earth Day?

The Earth flag is not an official flag, since ...

Earth Day is April 22 and cities around the world are sponsoring volunteer efforts, fairs, festivals, and speakers. To find out what is going on in your town, here are a few resources. If you cannot find a listing for your town, you may need to do a Google search for your city and “Earth Day.”

Earth Day Network:

This organization “works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement.” You can search for events in your area, find actions you can take, and more.

Environmental Protection Agency’s Earth Day website:

Includes search tool to find EPA events in your area, a video, pledges and actions to take, a Greenquest game, and a daily email list with tips.

St. Louis Earth Day:

If you live here in St. Louis, check out all the events and resources on the St. Louis Earth Day website. Note that at the Recycling Extravaganza you can recycle medicines, as I mentioned in my post “Recycle your unused medicines.”

* If you haven’t already begun to take small actions to protect our Earth, see my post “Countdown to Earth Day.”

Related articles:


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Countdown to Earth Day

Crystal earth recycle icon

Earth Day is on April 22. However, I truly believe that every day should be Earth Day. I have already written about it in many of my previous posts.

To guide you in undertaking simple things for our Earth, check out the ideas and links below. Fortunately, protecting the environment often results in money savings, too. See “How much your green habits really save” from Earth 911.


∞ packaging by buying in bulk.

See my post on “Bulk discounts.”

∞ waste by bringing your own bags to the grocery store.

See my post on “Reusable shopping bags = savings.”

∞ waste by finding new uses for old things or repairing things when you can.

See my posts “Don’t throw it out,” “Revamp and wear again!” and “Quick fixes without a repair call.”

∞ trash by making homemade whenever you can instead of buying store-bought items.

See my post on “(More) Make your own…”

∞ electricity usage by installing compact fluorescents in your home.

See my post on “Brighter savings.”

∞ water usage by making some small changes in your home.

See my post on “Not just a drop in the bucket!”

∞ energy usage by purchasing energy-efficient appliances.

See my post “Cash back for protecting Mother Earth.”

∞ energy usage through ways you prepare for Shabbos.

See my post on “Saving money and energy on Shabbos.”


∞ books by swapping books you no longer want with others.

See my post on “My favorite find – swapping books.”

∞ a plastic or stainless steel water bottle every day for work, day trips, your kids’ lunches.

∞ cloth napkins for meals.

See my post on “Switch over your disposables.”

∞ your coffee filters and use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.

See my post on “Filter and fluff without waste.”


∞ find ways to recycle everything you can!

See my post on “Recycle, recycle, recycle” for how to get started or for resources on where to recycle various items.

∞ items in your home that you are done with by giving them away to others in need.

See my posts “Declutter responsibly,” “Finding a home for used stuffed animals,” “Give your old shoes a new life,” and “Spring cleaning for a good cause.”

∞ old medications by disposing of them properly or taking them to places that can recycle them.

See my post on “Recycle your unused medicines.”


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Spring cleaning for a good cause

Different types of stuffed toys

As much as I know it adds to my cleaning time, I cannot help but spring clean/declutter when I am cleaning for Pesach. It makes me feel good to get rid of things in our home that we no longer need or use. I just cannot throw things away if they might be able to be used or recycled, though! For those of you like me, I wanted to refer you to some older posts with information on putting your unwanted items to use for others (or repairing or recycling them if appropriate).

Happy decluttering and Pesach cleaning!


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Shaloch Manos Gallery 2012

Sorry to post this so late, but I wanted to share with you the great ideas that some of our friends and family came up with for shaloch manos this year.


Breakfast or lunch foods: This year several of our friends did breakfast shaloch manos with things like cereal, juice boxes, muffins, instant coffee, creamer, etc.

Outdoor/fitness: My friends Lori and Larry used a frisbee and covered it with a sports drink, a Clif bar, squeezable applesauce, and hamantashen. They even painted the outside of the frisbee with chalkboard paint and included chalk so you could draw on it! What a clever idea!

Movie night: My friend Wendy used a popcorn box and then included microwave popcorn, a can of soda and a Hershey’s chocolate bar.

Poem: My friend Shari included a Purim poem and then included certain foods that matched words from the poem. Another set of friends, Sara and Hyim, did a similar thing with a different poem. Our friends Michelle and Ephraim used the Red Solo cup song and included hamantashen, a small Rum bottle, Coke, and one other item in a red Solo cup.

Food person: My friend Vicki adhered her food items together to form a man. The head was a single serve applesauce, the arms – Laffy Taffy, the body – a juicebox, and the feet – boxes of raisins. The result was very cute!

Other themes I have seen in past years:
– items of only a certain color
– a rainbow poem and then items of each color of the rainbow
– foods all from a particular country (like Chinese food, all Italian, or all Israeli products)
– foods all including a certain ingredient (my friend Gilat made homemade chocolate sauce and included other chocolate items last year) 


Our friends Bella and Yosef and Stacy and Michael always include a family picture on their labels. It makes a nice touch and I love to save them for my scrapbook.

Great containers:

As you know, I am very conscientious about recycling and reusing. I always try to find a container or bag that can be reused. Some examples of containers I have used in the past have included: cloth drawstring bags, plastic containers (like Gladware), and soft plastic square boxes (from Garden Ridge). This year we used plastic cups from the dollar store.

Mid-way through filling the cups.

My cousin Sharone used a bandana for her shaloch manos this year. It looked great and can be reused easily!

Our neighbors Charlotte and Joseph used a pretty Spring basket. I think it will look great on the table with napkins or benchers!

My friend Wendy used a white paper bag. With ribbon tied at the top and a pretty label, she turned this simple container into something beautiful!

Other ideas that I have seen in past years include:
– handmade bags made of fabric
– dollar store baskets of all kinds
– wire baskets

I love anything I can reuse for decoration, serving food, or giving with a gift later!

Please keep in mind that using any of these ideas will depend on your budget, how many shaloch manos you are making, and what items you want to include.

Please share any ideas you have seen or created in the Comments section.


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Recycle your unused medicines


Have you ever wondered what to do with your leftover medications? I hate to throw out anything that might have another use or can be recycled. I’ve never wanted to throw old medicine for fear that an animal might eat it at a landfill and get sick. If I flush them, I worry about polluting our water sources. So what do you do?

There are several choices depending on the type of medication. Some can be thrown out in your regular trash (following special instructions), a small few can be flushed, and others should be sent to organizations that will dispose of them properly. I keep a bag in my bathroom closet, so that when I am decluttering, I can save those expired medicines to get rid of later. 

Here are a few resources to help you do the right thing with your old medications:

How to dispose of unused medicines (from the FDA)

Recycling mystery: Medication (from Earth 911)

Disposal of unused medicines: What you should know (from the FDA) – Medications that should be flushed

National Take-Back Initiativecoming up April 28, 2012

All CVS stores now recycle unwanted meds (from Earth 911)

Smarxt Disposal

For more information on recycling, see my posts “Recycle, recycle, recycle” and “Declutter responsibly.”


Posted by on March 2, 2012 in Protecting the environment


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Give your old shoes a new life

What do you do with those shoes that cannot be repaired or donated for someone else to use? Here are a few ideas to give your old shoes a new purpose in life! 

For shoes that can be worn again:

Give them to a friend or community member. We have been fortunate to get hand-me-down shoes from several people. We appreciate them so much!

Good Will or Salvation Army – Find the nearest drop off site and drop off these and other items.

UsAgain – Donate your used clothing, shoes, and household textiles to these bins that can often be found at local recycling centers and schools. Check their website for locations. The items are then distributed and sold around the world.

Soles4Souls – this program distributes shoes to needy people, including victims of natural disasters. They have given shoes to people in more than 127 countries.

Share your souls – This is another program that donates shoes to impoverished people all over the world.

For shoes that CANNOT be repaired or worn again:

Nike Reuse-a-Shoe – I have mentioned this program before. They take old athletic shoes and turn them into various athletic surfaces.

Donating your old shoes to a good cause does not directly save you money. However, it does help you declutter in a meaningful way. It also helps you work on developing habits of living with only what you need and thinking of others. For more information on decluttering and donating, see my post “Declutter responsibly.”


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