You have most likely heard the saying, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure”—who hasn’t? And you’ve also probably heard about the importance of recycling and going green in order to conserve our resources and prevent waste. Well, get this—“going green” by recycling and selling old, unwanted stuff can put more green in your wallet, in a way, literally turning trash into treasure. Here are a few strategies you may or may not have heard of to help you do that.
Have a yard sale
It’s the oldest trick in the book, and everyone knows about it, but have you tried it yet? Take a look around and challenge yourself to find $100 worth of stuff you never use (old lamps, books, gold jewelry) to sell at a yard sale or online on eBay or Craigslist. You’ll do some decluttering and make money at the same time!
Turn free into funds
This is a sister strategy to the one listed above—instead of selling what you already have, you sell items you acquire for free (no, not by theft) or by discount. Have an old dresser from a friend you helped move? Sell it! Some people will post things on Craigslist that they are willing to give away for free (such as scrap metal) which you can acquire and then sell at a profit.
One of the classic ways of turning trash into treasure is by collecting old aluminum cans and glass bottles and selling them to the recycling center. This tactic takes time and effort—after all, you’ve got to collect the cans and then take them down to the recycling center to sell them, usually for about 50 cents a pound, so this may not be the most efficient way to make a few extra dollars, though it is certainly a valid one. You can ask friends and neighbors for their empty cans to speed up the process a bit.Contact your local recycling center for pricing and requirements.
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Sell your recycled creations
This goes above and beyond just collecting cans or bottles and selling them for a few cents each. Add a dash of creativity to turn junk into a unique work of art. Making art and even fashion (dubbed “trashion”) has become quite a trend these days, and there is a global community of artisans who sell their recycled creations through sites like Etsy. Cities and organizations hold trashion refashion shows—check your local listings to find one near you and go find some inspiration. Recycled art includes
- Works of art
- Greeting cards
- And many more!
Not only is turning trash into treasure eco-friendly, but it can also turn into a kind of adventure. In some cases, it may end up as a newfound passion. What kind of cash and new experiences are waiting for you in your junk heap?
Alex Watson is a freelance writer who enjoys researching and writing about personal finance and does his best to take his own advice. He currently writes for the respected cash for gold buyer GoldMaxUSA.com