March Waste Reduction Tips

seattlerewards0113This time of year, winter gives way to, well, more rain, making spring ideal for refreshing your home and renewing your commitment to the environment. As spring crops up, so do more opportunities to reduce your waste. Consider these helpful tips while spring cleaning.

Cleaning Supplies

Repurpose old brushes for cleaning.

Save money and avoid harsh chemicals, hazardous waste and extra packaging by making your own cleaners. With tips on how to make everything from all-purpose cleaner to silver polish, these websites will help you start:


If you must use harsh chemicals, check the inventory at Seattle’s South Transfer Station. Residents of King County may bring and borrow everything from oil-based paint to antifreeze. Learn more.

Use reusable rags, cloths, sponges and brushes instead of paper towels.

Share or borrow cleaning supplies and tools that you seldom use with your neighbors.

Recycling Opportunities

Donate used bicycles and parts to BikeWorks in Columbia City. They also accept donations at the North and South Transfer stations: BikeWorks donations

Host a yard sale or clothing swap with your neighbors. Donate any unwanted items to a local charity.

H&M stores will recycle old clothing in any condition (even torn and stained). Learn more here.

Rebounces re-energizes flat tennis balls. Consider mailing them your flat tennis balls or purchasing their re-energized balls. Learn more at:

The Take Back Your Meds program offers convenient locations throughout Seattle to bring back your unused and expired medications – vitamins, over-the-counter medicine, prescription medication, pet meds, inhalers, samples and liquid medications. Find the closest drop-off here: Take Back Your Meds.

Donate magazines to schools, gyms, day cares and doctors’ offices.

King County’s Take It Back Network offers a few locations to recycle mattresses: Take It Back.

Repurposing, Repairing and Reorganizing

Repurpose shoe boxes and gift boxes for storage. Reuse glass jars to keep nails, screws and other small supplies.

Before throwing a broken appliance away, look up local repair technicians. Many in Seattle can fix everything from furniture to cell phones. If you prefer to replace your broken item, donate it to a local technician for parts.

For a fun, useful and waste-free activity, host a clothing swap, where participants exchange items they no longer wear with other participants. lists blogs specializing in do-it-yourself projects. With these projects, you can repurpose or upgrade what you already have. Get inspired here:


Reduce even more waste by taking care of what you already have.

Sharpen knives.

Care for clothes properly. Type F offers great tips to extend the life of your jeans and other clothes. Type F

Clean home appliances. To prolong appliance life and reduce energy costs, remove dust from your refrigerator coil and freezer and lint from your dryer, furnace and vents.