With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.
The average American produces more than 4 pounds of waste every day. And while we know recycling and reuse can cut this figure down to size, sometimes the whole thing can seem like a lot of trouble.
Sure, if you have access to curbside recycling, depositing those bottles, cans and cardboard boxes is easy as can be. But what about items that aren't recovered curbside? Recycling things like household items, clothing and electronics usually means loading up the car, driving to a drop-off location, and often suffering other indignities like annoying forms or waiting in long lines with the great unwashed.
The good news is: A growing number of retailers feel your pain. And they're responding by not only making the recycling and reuse process downright pleasant, but also by sweetening the deal with discounts, free gifts and other rewards. Read on for 10 retailers that reward you for recycling, and start cleaning out those closets this weekend.
As part of its efforts to cut down on waste, H&M now operates one of the retail industry's leading recycling programs. Bring used clothing of any brand to an H&M store for recycling, and you'll receive a coupon for your next purchase for every bag. And those duds are actually put to good use: This year, H&M launched its first line of products made from the fibers of collected garments.
For starters, you can snag a $2 coupon for every empty ink cartridge you recycle at Best Buy, and when it's time to replace your printer, you'll receive 15 percent off a new model if you recycle your old one in the store. The retailer often offers rotating recycling rewards for certain items, so keep an eye out.
But the reuse train doesn't stop there. Through its Green Eileen program, the company sells those gently-used garments to other shoppers looking to save some cash or reduce environmental impact. For the largest selection of Green Eileen offerings, head to the company's Seattle or Yonkers retail locations.
MAC was one of the first cosmetics companies to offer a take-back program for its packaging through the Back to MAC program -- and years later, the program is still going strong. To sweeten the deal, you can snag the free MAC lipstick of your choice by recycling six packaging items (such as empty compacts or lotion bottles) at a MAC retail counter or via mail-back.
It was reassuring to learn that the tech giant does indeed recycle larger items -- and you may even get rewarded for it. Turn in any large device (ranging from an iPhone or other branded smartphone to an iPad, Macbook or even a PC), and if the item is determined to have value, you'll receive an Apple gift card in exchange. Older items like iPods aren't eligible for rewards, but you can still recycle them responsibly via Apple's mail-back program.
Did we forget your favorite retail recycling program? Tell us about it in the comments section!
Image credit: Madewell via Instagram
Mary Mazzoni has reported on sustainability in business for over a decade and now serves as managing editor of TriplePundit. She is also the general manager of TriplePundit's Brand Studio, which has worked with dozens of brands and organizations on sustainability storytelling. Along with 3p, Mary's recent work can be found in publications like Conscious Company, Salon and Vice's Motherboard. She also works with nonprofits on media projects, including the women's entrepreneurship coaching organization Street Business School. She is an alumna of Temple University in Philadelphia and lives in the city with her partner and two spoiled dogs.