But what about some other items around the house, such as batteries and paint?
On "The Early Show," Renee Loux, author of "Easy Green Living," told how to unload toxic items easily without harming Mother Earth.
According to Loux:
We average almost four-and-a-half of waste a day. Reducing that is ideal. It's a matter of disposing properly, safely and efficiently. Recycle as much as possible. It's a matter of figuring out how to dispose of non-papers, plasti.cs and glass.
--Throwing out lead-acid batteries is illegal (examples: car battery, camcorder battery)
--Many retailers take them back free of charge
--Fewer options for single use batteries (it is important to not throw them away: Heavy metals go into landfills)
--More and more places to recycle them are popping up
--Best option is buying rechargable batteries: better payoff, better for environment, and I'm actually hearing from sound technicians who use them in things like microphones
ELECTRONICS, SUCH AS OLD CELL PHONES
--All those old cell phones, ipods, cameras, etc. break or got outdated. And they just sit around or you end up throwing them in the normal trash
--But don't! Every retailer that takes back rechargable batteries also takes mobile phones, as do most wireless providers
--Some have a trade-in program through which you can receive store credit
--But one of the best things to do with a cell phone that still works is donate it. Cell Phones for Soliders is a great organization you can send your phone too. It will even send you a free postage label. And it turns the money it makes selling the phones into calling cards for soldiers overseas, so they can talk to their families.
BE REALLY CAREFUL WITH COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHT BULBS
--Contain small amounts of mercury that can leak if broken
--Home Depot and Ikea take them back
--If you have to throw them out, the Environmental Protection Agency suggests sealing them in two plastic bags before disposing of them
OLD MEDICATIONs: DON'T FLUSH THEM
--They'd then wind up in water supplies
--Find local program that is taking unused medication
--Also, just ask your pharmacy about disposal
--If you have to throw them in the trash, remove all the personal info. And crush your pills to make them unusable in case someone does end up with them.
--Boxes are easier to recycle, but things like bubble wrap and peanuts shouldn't really be thrown away but are tough to recycle in normal bins
--If you're going to a mailing center, take them with you and give them to the center. If you have a lot, try giving them away on craigslist or something
--Also, what I like to do when I place an order online is, in the comments section, write and ask them to send as little packaging as possible. You can also do this when you order takeout if you don't need all the fork and napkin kits that they usually send.
--Wal-Mart, AutoZone, JiffyLube all recycle motor oil. If you use a different shop, just ask if they recycle it. If they don't, maybe they'll start!
--Also, you can ask these places to take back your old filters to recycle.
--This is one of the hardest things to dispose of.
--First, try to make sure it gets used. Give to a friend. Use it for primer. Donate to charity like a school theater group or Habitat for Humanity.
--Also, search and see if you can recycle anywhere in your area. If not, you might need to throw it away.
--For latex paint, take the lid off and let it dry until its completely hard.
--Take oil-based paints directly to your household hazardous waste center.