Recycle Your Legos, Markers and Contacts

We all try to recycle and some of us over-achievers even try to compost. Despite our best efforts, there are still typical household items contributing to the ever growing, rolling mounds at Rumpke. Recently, I have found a couple awesome, creative options for recycling those items that do not fit the normal recycling protocol.

Legos

After our kids have outgrown Legos and our feet are tired of stepping on them, they may need a home. Although the Lego site says you can recycle the bricks, many other sites claim due to the plastic type, you cannot. Below are a few places your old legos could find a new home with no controversy.

Play Well Africa was started from an idea a six-year-old boy had when his father told him that he did not need a new Lego set; that children all over did not have any Legos to play with.  Fast forward a few years and Play Well Africa was formed.  Visit the site to see the various places Lego bricks can be donated and given a life to children who would never be able to experience the joy of building with Legos.

Bricks for a Cure is a non-profit that collects used legos, sanitizes them and then resells them to kids who maybe cannot buy the full, new set at Target. The proceeds then are used to help fight cancer.

Finally, ReplayBricks will buy old Legos from kids. Basically, you register your legos, get a quote, ship it to the center and then they send you money for your bricks.  Their site is currently under construction but once it is up, this would be an easy way to get earn back some of the college fund that was spent on tiny pieces of plastic.

Markers

Crayola has developed a program called ColorCycle. This program works with the PTO/PTA in your school to set up a marker recycling station. After the kids drop off all brands of marker, Crayola or not, the school sends them back to Crayola to recycle. FedEx picks up the box and Crayola pays for the shipping. If you are interested in this, contact your PTA/PTO and work together to set up a marker recycling station at your school!

Contacts

At some point in contact wearing, a person starts to wonder how much waste throwing away contacts and packages daily adds up to. In fact, a recent study concluded that about 20% of contact wearers flush their contacts, which adds up to some 28,000 lbs of contacts ending up in the sewage system, eventually harming the environment. 

The Bausch + Lomb ONE by ONE Recycling Program pondered this and developed a way to make recycling of contacts and the plastic/foil they come in.  Bausch + Lomb has made it easy for contact wears of any brand to feel better about not generating the waste they once did.  

Although these are just some ways you can recycle our everyday items, there are more. A used pair of shoes and a quick google search will reveal a program Zappos has. This year, my goal is to find new ways to teach my kids that just because we are done with an item, does not mean it is done being used.  If you know of any other fantastic and unique ways to recycle everyday items, feel free to list them below for our readers.

And honestly, anything that helps us moms not step on one more discarded Lego is worth looking into.

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