Spring marks the perfect time to do a Marie Kondo, but before you drop all your stuff at your local op shop or in the bin, why not take a…
Spring marks the perfect time to do a Marie Kondo, but before you drop all your stuff at your local op shop or in the bin, why not take a moment to look into the most environmentally friendly and charitable ways to declutter? Here are some of our tips to get you started.
Australian charities spend $13 million a year transporting donations that are unfit for use to landfill – that’s 60,000 tonnes of waste. So while it might feel good to drop a garbage bag full of old clothes or household items at the Salvos or Vinnies – it’s worth first considering whether these are donation-worthy. Would you pass these items on to a friend? If the answer is no, your local op shop won’t want them either. (Why not repurpose worn clothes as reusable cleaning cloths instead?)
For items that are donation-worthy, it’s worth ringing up your local op shop to check they accept the items you’re intending to donate.
There are also numerous charities who will gladly accept very specific items for donation; here’s a list of just some of them:
Accepts new and second-hand bras (including maternity bras and mastectomy bras), and donates them to women in disadvantaged communities – in Australia and internationally. Uplift has drop-off points in all states and territories, and donations by post are also accepted.
Based in WA, Fair Game’s Recycle & Donate program accepts second-hand sports equipment, distributing 6,000 items annually to remote and under-serviced Australian communities – including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and CALD (‘culturally and linguistically diverse’) groups. You’ll find the bright blue Fair Game donation bins throughout Perth and WA (Fair Game also has limited storage capacity for high turnover equipment in Sydney – email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire).
Although the program doesn’t accept clothing, it’s currently requesting everything from footballs, soccer balls and basketballs, through to footy boots, team bib sets, cones, boxing gloves, skipping ropes and hula hoops!
Head to their Other Ways To Give platform to find a not-for-profit near you to which you can donate pretty much any pre-loved item under the sun – from bikes, books, boots and clothes, through to electronics, food, furniture, mobile phones and toys.
The Conscious Closet
If you live in Melbourne, this is your go-to op shop for high quality recycled women’s clothing. All proceeds go to Fitted For Work programs and services – designed to help disadvantaged women return to the workforce with confidence, support, and success.
Research your recycling options
Do a search on RecyclingNearYou (a Planet Ark initiative) to find out whether you can or can’t recycle numerous household items – and look up recycling drop-off points for items that can’t go in your home’s recycling bin, but which can be recycled elsewhere – think paint, electronics (more on this below), batteries, printer cartridges, furniture, whitegoods (like dishwashers, microwaves and washing machines), mattresses and more.
Other things you didn’t know you could recycle:
- Plastic cards: post expired credit cards and driver’s licences, membership cards you don’t use etc to Gram Destruction in Victoria for recycling.
- Electronics: turns out you can recycle everything from computers, monitors, printers and mobile phones, through to charging cords and small appliances like kettles and hair dryers. Look up a TechSelect drop off site near you. Mobile Muster has drop off points for mobile phones around Australia.
- Expired or unwanted medicines: can be dropped off at any pharmacy in Australia.
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