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How to Recycle Bras and Other Tips on Going Green

These recycling oddities might surprise you.

Go beyond cans, bottles and cardboard to get creative with recycling.

Nonprofits and some do-it-yourself hints can help keep items out of landfills while helping others. Here are five items that you may not have considered recycling and tips on how to make it happen.

Running Shoes

Runners can log a lot of miles. Shoes wear out after about 500 miles, but don't toss them in the trash when they do. Several programs recycle used running shoes.

Some ship lesser-used kicks to Third World countries, while companies including Nike will deconstruct the shoe and recycle the materials. Learn about the process at www.nikereuseashoe.com.

You can drop off your used running shoes at the following nearby locations:

Out of The Closet Thrift Store
214 Lincoln Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
310-664-9036

Discovery Shop
920 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90402
310-458-4490

Step Up On Second
1328 Second St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310-394-6889

Bras

Bras aren't exactly biodegradable, but gently used lingerie is a welcome donation for The Bra Recyclers. So long as the clasps and straps work, just wash the bra, fill out a form and send it off.

Slivers of Soap

Some hotels save partially-used bars of soap to re-purpose and donate them to the needy. You can also keep your own soap slivers and put them into the foot of an old pantyhose to create a DIY a soap-on-a-rope.

Hair

Let your hair grow out, then get chop it off and make a donation to Locks of Love. The nonprofit provides hairpieces to children younger than 21 who suffer from a long-term illness that affects their hair growth.

CDs

For those who still have CDs, re-purpose them outdoors. Their mirror-like properties are a great deterrent for birds, so hang them around a garden or fruit trees to deter pilfering. Old CDs also make great decor for trees, so save a stack for the holiday season.

Glenn E Grab March 12, 2013 at 11:02 PM
what a joke...
Glenn E Grab March 12, 2013 at 11:03 PM
I don't want a shoe made out of an old shoe that someone else wore...
Brenda Barnes March 25, 2013 at 11:47 PM
So don't buy there, Glenn. Some people, however, don't have the choice, so it's nice to recycle our things for them, right? I don't consider recycling a joke at all. My husband got really excited about it by going to six weeks at the library of Sustainable Works green living workshop. Since then we've been a lot more conscious of what we do with what we use to call trash. There is, after all, no "away" when you throw anything away. It goes somewhere, and there is a cost to that. So we recycle all the paper we used to take to the recycling center hit-or-miss. Now we have compost for our garden from it, after we use the unused side for scratch pads. Little things, but after all, all the little things we do make the problem, so why not contribute to the solution? I don't make it a crusade, but I do my part.
Glenn E Grab March 26, 2013 at 12:37 AM
bras could be made into slingshots, for underprivileged kids...

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