Category Archives: Get Paid to Recycle

Lose Stuff!

I’ve been losing stuff lately. And if you just said, “Nao, you’ve been losing your sanity lately,” well, I’ve been losing that for a long time, so that doesn’t count.

When I say stuff, I mean “stuff.” A bread machine, stand mixer, bookcase, chair, tea kettle, clothes, pots and pans, books. The list goes on.

When I first met Eddy, I was struck by his collection of books, or rather by lack thereof. He was an English major, and he owned about 10 books – literally. I think his book collection shrank further since we started going out.

He decided to lose books after he moved several times. Why move heavy books if you aren’t going to read them? In this time and age, if you want to read books, you can always buy or borrow them.

After we met, I sent many of my books to the local library. Eddy and I consolidated our household items, sending unneeded ones to thrift stores. We learned to bake bread without a bread machine, thus selling ours on Craigslist.

Why would we need a tea kettle when we have pots? Why would we need a stand mixer when we have a hand held one?

Losing stuff feels great! It feels empowering to be able to live without many electrical appliances. You use less electricity, too!

Most importantly, though, I feel my mind is less cluttered when we have less stuff. I know where things are, thus wasting less time.

Look around to see what you can live without. Sell unwanted stuff on Craigslist, eBay, or Amazon. Donate stuff to charities, thrift stores, and local libraries. You’ll be amazed at how little we need to live.


Green Your Textbooks & Save Money


Some posts are worth repeating.

Listen up, college students! You can avoid spending so much on textbooks, especially if you major in social sciences or humanities. When I was in college, I spent less than $200 on textbooks each semester. How did I do it? I borrowed them from the library. Do you really have to buy a copy of The Social Contract by Rousseau? Chances are your college library has several copies of it. In fact, I’ve borrowed everything from Machiavelli to Haruki Murakami to an econ textbook. If your college library does not carry a copy of the textbook, check out your local library.

Using a different edition from your classmates makes you nervous? Ask your professor if a different edition would suffice. If not, ask the prof if you can borrow his or her copy. One semester I was so broke that I told my professor that I can’t afford books for his class. He let me borrow his copy and took me out to lunch. Boy, that was a good lunch, especially since I was living on $15 per week with no meal plan.

If your professor doesn’t have an extra copy, ask your classmates if they would be interested in buying textbooks together and sharing. If all else fail, buy used textbooks. Check out local sources such as off-campus bookstores, Craigslist, and Freecycle. If you can’t find them locally, look into websites such as,, or Buying textbooks on eBay may be time consuming, but you might end up saving money. I once bought on eBay an international edition of the book that I needed for a class. It was identical to the edition that was used in the class, and I saved $20.

Before you do anything, though, ask your professors to email you a copy of the syllabus. Earlier the better so that you have time to look around for the books you need. Do not borrow or buy all the required books at the beginning of the semester. Often professors change their syllabi and decide to drop certain books. Avoid getting burned by borrowing or buying only those books that are used earlier in the semester.

Asking your professors for a copy of the syllabus has an added bonus of making you look like an eager student. So go green and become a smarter-looking student with little more cash in the pockets. Borrow books whenever possible and buy used on those that you can’t borrow!

Green Your Office: Recycle Printer Cartridges (and Get Paid!)

recycle-cartridgesSeveral weeks ago I wrote about refilling printer cartridges with ink. If you feel reluctant about refilling cartridges, recycle them! Many area organizations, including the Little Rock Zoo and the Helping Hands for Little Paws, would gladly take them off your hands. Why? Because printer cartridges are worth money. Many websites such as and buy back empty printer cartridges, refill with ink, and sell them again. Some of the small ink cartridge empties are selling for $6.00. Some empty toner cartridges are worth over $20.00. That’s nothing to sneeze at!

Recycling printer cartridges is a great way for a school or community organization to raise funds. Interested but don’t know how? Contact Keep Arkansas Beautiful. Keep Arkansas Beautiful (KAB) has partnered with EcoPhones, a national cell phone and inkjet cartridge recycler, to help Arkansas school or community organization earn cash for every used cell phone and/or empty inkjet cartridges collected. KAB and EcoPhones will support your fundraising drive every step of the way, so contact them today!

If you don’t want to refill your printer cartridges, don’t throw them away! Recycle them by donating to good causes or selling them yourself!

Get Paid to Recycle: Sell Used Books on Amazon


Remember the GreenAR by the Day Giveaways from a few weeks ago? Since there was no taker for my copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I decided to sell it on Amazon. Selling books on Amazon is easy. Here’s what you do:

  1. Hit the “Your Account” button at the top of Amazon’s main page and set up a seller account.
  2. Set your sales price and add your book to the marketplace. Be sure to give the buyers an accurate and detailed description of the condition of your book. 
  3. Amazon will notify you when your book sells and collects the money from your buyer including the amount for shipping. 
  4. Ship your book within 2 days of the sale.
  5. After deducting a flat 99-cent commission and 15% of the sale, Amazon will transfer the remaining balance to your account. 

When selling books on eBay, you have to wait until the auction closes. With Amazon, you simply throw your book out there, and you get notified whenever it sells. Another reason I like selling books on Amazon is because Amazon makes adding your books to the marketplace a BREEZE. You enter your book’s ISBN number, click an add button, and voilà, Amazon fills out the book’s information (i.e.,  title, author, hardcover, softcover, etc.) for you. 

So declutter, make money, and help people buy used! Sell used books on Amazon!

Get Paid to Recycle: Cell for Cash


Did you know that fewer than 20 percent of cell phones are recycled each year? How about that they are full of chemicals that leach into groundwater from landfills? Recycle responsibly and get paid! Log on to Cell for Cash, a site that offers you cash for old cell phones. Here’s how it works. You log on to the website to find make and model of your phone. When you find yours, request a postage-paid box and send it to Cell for Cash with your phone and charger. Once the company verifies the contents, you’ll receive a check. Easy, huh? Cell for Cash refurbishes the phones and sells them in developing countries. FYI… not all phones are worth cash; many older models are listed on the site as “Free Recycling,” which means they have no resale value. If yours has no resale value, drop it off with Pulaski County Regional Solid Waste Management

So de-clutter your house and get paid to recycle your e-waste!