Don’t waste your money, make money out of your waste!

What a year it’s been...Not only has it affected our mental and physical wellbeing, but it has also traumatized our financial health too. Having had all that free time to ourselves, we’ve realized what’s important in life and have strengthened our values. With this comes the understanding that money is not everything, but it certainly makes life easier when we have it. 

What if I told you that we can combine some really strong values with money-making? One action-two results: Recycling Money! Yes, that’s right. You can help the environment, battle the climate crisis and make cash out of it too. Here are some ways to achieve this:

1. If your bedding is covered in coffee stains from those lovely breakfasts in bed mornings and your tea towels have been used not only to dry yourself but also to maybe clean the oil from your bike, don’t bin them just yet.

Take them to H&M. When you drop off your unwanted textiles at an H&M store (just ask for the garment-collecting box, often located next to the cash desks), you’ll be rewarded with a voucher. At present, this is £5 off when you spend £25.

2. Have a big heart and even a bigger wardrobe? Head to M&S. Take in a bag of old clothes to be donated to Oxfam and you’ll be given a voucher for £5 off when you spend £35.

3. There are several ways of making money from old tech. What is rubbish to one person can literally be gold to another.

Computers, laptops in particular, contain precious metals worth around £25 per device. Thanks to their recycling programmes, tech giant Apple is reported to recover millions in gold which is often used to construct these devices.

Music Magpie will give you money for old phones, games consoles, laptops and more. Just enter the details online to receive an instant offer. You’ll then be sent a freepost envelope for your device and the money for it will be paid into your bank account. For example, an iPhone 5C with 16GB storage can earn you £29 or an old PS2 pays out £19.

Curry’s PC World offers trade-in vouchers/cash.

You can save up to £175 when you trade in your old laptop although the actual trade-in value will vary depending on the device. This offer is only available online and not available in conjunction with any other offer and does not apply to Apple laptops. Trade in your old laptop online and receive cash straight into your bank account to buy something you really want or trade in your old device in-store and get a gift card instantly.


4. If you love having “Me Time” and sometimes spoil yourself with a face mask, you can reward yourself with another treat too. If you use Kiehl’s products, it’s worth keeping the empty bottles. For every bottle you return to a Kiehl’s shop, you’ll get a stamp on a loyalty card and when you’ve got 10 stamps, you’ll receive one free travel-sized product worth up to £9.

Lush does its best to keep packaging to a minimum but where it can’t, it will reward you for recycling. If you return five clean, used Lush black pots to their shops, you’ll get a free, fresh face mask in return.

5. Did you become an aspiring interior designer during the long lockdowns?

Then here’s something that you’ll love:

Ikea has launched its long-awaited furniture buy-back and re-sale scheme in an attempt to become a zero-landfill business. Customers will get vouchers to spend in-store if items they no longer need are returned in good condition. Used products returned in as-new condition with no scratches will be bought for 50% of the original price, while items with minor scratches will be bought for 40%. Furniture that is well used with several scratches will be bought for 30%. The items will be sold in separate areas in Ikea’s stores.

6. The Green Alchemist is the world’s first market for buyers and sellers of recyclable materials. If you have a business that produces recyclable waste, The Green Alchemist will help you to prepare it so that its sorted and free from any contamination, optimizing it for a waste courier collection.

You can then visit the website, enter your postcode and the weight of your sorted recyclable waste and The Green Alchemist will tell how much your waste is worth and will find licensed couriers in your area to offer competitive prices.With sustainable solutions like these, you’ll not only enrich your pocket but also your soul as well as being a good citizen too.

By Svetlana Lungu