Move towards zero waste: five common household items to recycle

Living with zero or minimal waste doesn’t have to happen overnight. At My Green Space, we believe that you can do anything (including growing your own food!), but breaking down the process into bite-sized pieces makes change more palatable and easy to implement.

This week, we’ve made a list of common household items that can be recycled through your district or some very innovative ventures. We’ve included links to organizations who will either accept your used items or collect them straight from your home or business, as well as some DIY ideas on how to give these materials new life in your home.

Note: Some of these recycling organizations and instructions are specific to Vancouver, BC. If you’re in a different city, use your favourite search engine to see if there’s an equivalent service there. Let us know in the comments any roadblocks you come across!

Soft Plastics:

Did you know you can recycle your granola bar wrappers?! I didn’t until a friend told me recently. From grocery bags to bubble wrap, most varieties of soft plastics can be reused. For more information, visit Urban Impact, Westcoast Plastic Recycling and UBC Risk Management

Aluminum Foil:

As a metal, aluminum can be recycled almost indefinitely. After you’ve finished with your foil, put it in your blue bin along with other items in the mixed containers category. If you have a sizeable amount of scrap metal, check out Capital Salvage.


If you’ve worn pantyhose at all (and you’re anything like me), you’ll know that sometimes, they just can’t hold up. According to No nonsense, a hosiery retailer and recycling program, these stockings take 30-40 years to decompose in a landfill. The organization takes your discarded pantyhose and turns it into items like running tracks and insulation for vehicles.

Want to turn your pantyhose into useful items for your home? This list from Apartment Therapy has great ideas.

Soap Scraps:

Clean the World partners with select businesses to collect soap remnants and other hygiene products, which are then repurposed into new products. These new products are then distributed to global areas facing hygiene-related deaths with the mission to prevent the spread of disease. As an individual, you can organize a soap drive to support Clean the World.

If you have a soap at home that you want to repurpose on your own, take a look at this tutorial from

Writing Instruments (pens, pencils, markers, etc.):

Donate your old writing utensils with Terracycle’s Writing Instruments Recycling Program. Ship your pens and caps, mechanical pencils, markers and caps (including permanent markers) and highlighters and caps for free to the organization, who will then create new products with them!

This list is by no means even close to the number of items that can be spared from landfills. If you have other pointers, we’d love to hear them. Feel free to write your advice in the comments below or reach out to

Happy recycling!


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1 comment

  • Angela

    Nononsense’s Twitter says they no longer have the recycling program. But don’t trash your hose, they can still be recycled through Recycled Crafts. Email for info.

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