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GREEN Cleaning with 7 Billion People

March 30, 2011

Chicago science recycle nature

National Geographic is currently promoting a series about Planet Earth, and it is titled: 7 Billion. As our world population approaches 7,000,000,000 human inhabitants, think of our human relation to Planet Earth like bacteria to your body–some are beneficial (Lactobacillus acidophilus helps you digest food), some are damaging (Escherichia coli). These damaging bacteria inhabit your body and begin the process that finds you fatigued, with fever, and a potential trip to the doctor. Let there be no ambiguity, although they are a single-celled organism 1.0 micrometers  in length (that’s 0.001 mm, thinner than spider web) and capable of putting us 6-feet under, we do have a few things in common with them:

  1. We multiply
  2. We consume resources
  3. We generate waste products

Doctors treat infections by limiting reproduction, replenishing consumed resources, & removing waste products. Now go back to our human relationship with Planet Earth. As we multiply and the population soars past 7 Billion, humans will consume more resources and generate an ever-increasing amount of waste products, like a damaging infection. This process will find our planet fatigued (few energy sources), with fever (global warming?), and a potential trip to the doctor (except there is no hospital bed sized for an oblate spheroid weighing 5.98×1024 kg). How do we treat, or prevent, this infection?

There are tangible forms of prophylaxis to prevent bacterial infection (washing hands, wearing a mask, etc.), as well as tangible forms to prevent an infected planet (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). Recycling limits the amount of resources consumed as well as waste products generated. In my previous post, GREEN Cleaning not Spring Cleaning, I provided information to help you find locations to recycle Electronics, C.D.’s, Cell Phones, and Batteries. In this post, I will provide you with information about where and how to recycle Appliances, Stuffed Animals, Books, and Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs. By request, I will also include Shoes and Paint. Stay tuned, in April I will have a special post for Chicago residents. Enjoy, and remember to think of it as GREEN Cleaning, not Spring Cleaning. Thank you Consumer Reports for this information!

Green Cleaning APPLIANCES

green cleaning science chicago

Recycle – these people will haul away your old appliance when you buy a new one, they also accept drop-offs, whether you buy a new one or not. The top 2 participate in the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal Program (click on the names to open a new window to their website):


2. Best Buy -on the right side of the page, there is a link to a list of what they accept and don’t

3. ComEd – You also receive $35

Find out whether your town or county government offers an appliance-recycling program. Locate one at the Steel Recycling Institute’s website,

Reuse by donating: For large & small in good condition, check your local Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and Salvation Army (Locations in the top right corner).



They’re so cute, and cuddly. But they are to dust as The Max was to Zack and Screech. High school is over, its time to get rid of them. There is not much for recycling but…
Reuse by donating to Beanies for Baghdad. They send them to armed services units in war-torn areas and distribute to children. donates to children in war zones, refugee camps, orphanages, and medical facilites.

Green Cleaning BOOKS

recycle books green cleaning

Sure, you like to show off the countless books you’ve read– Catcher in the Rye, Never Get a Real Job, The Idiots Guide to Website Design, etc etc. However, if you haven’t touched it in years, find the nearest box, gather your books, and either sell or donate:

Recycle by selling at these websites: with FREE SHIPPING (an ebay company) compares prices at dozens of book-buying sites

Reuse by donating at these locations:,,,

Don’t forget you can contact a local library, church, day-care center, school, homeless shelter, Goodwill, or Salvation Army.


green cleaning compact fluorescent light bulbs

Tossing CFL’s into the garbage isn’t a bright idea; the bulbs contain small amounts of mercury which can be damaging to the almost 7 Billion people on Planet Earth.

I’m not sure these are recycled, but they are collected at:

Home Depot, Ikea, Lowe’s, and some Ace Hardware stores.

Or go to to find a local program.

Green Cleaning PAINT

nature science chicago recycle

Recommended from Consumer Reports: ask local charities, religious organizations, or high school or college drama departments whether they can use it. Also, you can go to and they will list recycling facilities.

Green Cleaning SHOES

7 billion
I came across a few resources for recycling shoes. Earth911 in partnership with the GAIA Movement will provide you with locations. I found this informative article: Natural Home. But to sum it up here are organizations willing to take your dirty, stinky shoes: – They help the everyday runner and athlete find an alternative solution for his or hers growing number of old running shoes beyond that of the closet or trashcan.
Soles4Souls – They currently are donating 1 pair of shoes every 7 seconds to people who need shoes among the almost 7 Billion on our planet.
Thanks for reading. I hope you participate in GREEN Cleaning, not Spring Cleaning to help Planet Earth support the soon-to-be 7 Billion people. Please take the survey to help me provide you with informational content, and let you be you.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2012 9:15 AM

    Very nice article. I really think that this advocacy to make the earth a better place to live in, considering the huge number of people added to the population everyday, should be promoted more and that projects like recycling should be promulgated more.

    • January 18, 2012 1:01 AM

      Absolutely! Keep spreading the word. Thank you for the comment.

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