The easiest $60 I’ve ever made

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Hello. It’s summertime. I mean it’s going to be AUGUST tomorrow. The weather is hot as heckkk and I just want to sit inside, in the shade, with a cold drink. Believe it or not, I’ve recently had to spend the last couple of nights without air conditioning because… I moved! And I have to wait for a super to come install my air conditioning unit. The joys of being back in Manhattan am I right.

Like most millennials, I find myself moving (whether it’s cities, apartments, streets, etc) every year. That’s been the case since I graduated college. And let’s face it – I think we can all agree it is up there with one of the most dreaded days.

I’ve found though, that with each move comes some sort of cleanse. You find yourself cleaning out your closet for clothes that you no longer wear. Make up in your drawers that you no longer use. Shoes in your containers that went out of style. A journal from years ago that makes you happy, sad, nostalgic. A white sweater that…just isn’t really white anymore. Batteries just lying in random drawers that are dead.

I feel so bad – staring at my piles of trash and waste. No matter how hard I try to reuse some things are just plain old “junk.”

I found myself attempting to be a bit more proactive this year. Rather than just literally tossing everything the few nights before my move because I have no time to donate it, or properly research how and where to recycle it, I tried something new a few weeks ahead of time.

Here’s what I did: 

  1. A month before the move I placed a little basket in my kitchen for electronics. As the cleaning (cleanse?) went on, any chargers, old phones, ear buds that died I placed in there. This seriously accumulated by the middle of July to about over 9 different electronic items. 
  2. I also remembered that Madewell took denim jeans of any brand, any size for recycling. I remembered that they provided some sort of reward. I made another little basket box for jeans that I no longer wanted (just a few pairs that either had minor rips in them or no longer fit)

Before I knew it I had two baskets ready to go for at least some sort of reuse and recycling effort. I signed up for SoulCycle the week before leaving, entered my baskets into my bag and hit the following stores before class.

Where to recycle your electronics

  • Staples: Bring in anything to Staples that is old or used electronics (wires, ear buds, cables, etc) and they will recycle it for free. There is no special section of the store to drop these – the register works perfectly fine.
  • Mom’s Organic (Philadelphia + South Jersey Only): Mom’s the when it comes to easy recycling. You just have to know what they accept. In this case, they have special drop offs for cell phones, cell phone chargers and batteries. That’s what I brought here. They also recycle wine corks, shoes and a variety of other objects that might not find a second home anywhere else.


Where to recycle your denim and claim some $$$

Here’s where we get to the good stuff. That cash money that we all desperately could use for our fall wardrobe. I took three pairs of jeans into Madewell and they handed me back $60 worth of gift card credits. WHAT!!!! I almost hugged the associate!


You heard me right!

Madewell will give you $20 for each pair of used denim that you bring in. They can be any brand, any size and any number of years old. 

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Any pair. Any size. Any age. 
I walked out with these bad boys…$20 each card!

Guess how they reuse them? They repurpose them into housing insulation and donate them to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.

A couple of caveats: (I mean still a great deal) 

  • The credits can not be stacked. Meaning, you can’t use all three credits on one pair of jeans. You can use up to $20 on one pair of true fit denim.
  • You can only use the credit on a full price pair of denim jeans from Madewell.

Here’s a little video from Madewell to summarize the program: 

And there you have it! If you find yourself moving and are doing a couple of things to be proactive when it comes to recycling and waste – I’d love to hear about it.


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The Sustennial

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