Quick Recycling Tip: How to Recycle Old Socks

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This post is part of an attempt to do something like 100 recycling tips for damn near anything in something close to, anyway, 100 days. We’ll see how that goes. When the 100 Recycling Tips are all published here on Easy Ways to Go Green, we’ll do a master list so that every link exists on one single page for everyone to be able to link over to, or to use as a reference guide when questions on how to recycle different things in your life inevitably come up.

How to Recycle 100 Common Things: #27 Recycling Disposable Old Socks

How to Recycle Old Socks

There comes a certain special point in everyone’s life when you make enough holes in a pair of socks, and the LAST thing you’re gonna’ do in terms of a solution is to turn it into another sock puppet. Most of us guys will just keep wearing the socks with holes in them, alternating from foot to foot to try to work around the holes. Then they die. Girls are probably better about this, and maybe they also don’t wear socks as much, so this isn’t as much of a concern.

It’s not like recycling plastic when you’re talking about old socks. This can be a difficult task, something extra tough to get one’s mind around how exactly it might get done — more like finding rhinoplasty imaging online instead of merely finding a recycling bin for old clothes. The trash can seems like the obvious place, but in this time of slow moving green revolution, can we do better than that? Can we actually figure out a way to recycle old socks?

Of course there is the arts and crafts route. Of course we are going to provide you with some links to clever articles and websites so you can create an army of sock puppets, or a brand new suite of kitchen rags. And those are important things, to be sure. But what about real life, blue bin, professional recycling action? Can old socks be recycled?

There are a few ideas about working around the recycling angle, taken below from Recycle This UK:

  • Reduce: If you can afford them, buy good quality socks to start with – they’ll last a lot longer – keeping their shape and color – and save money/resources over all. Fix small holes when they appear too – it’s a lot easier and neater to fix smaller ones than big ones.
  • Reuse: Socks are perfect for cleaning rags – slip a old sock over your hand and use it as a duster.
  • Recycle: If they’re clean, they can be shredded and used as stuffing in toys and draft excluders.

But traditional recycling. How ’bout it? Based on our research in places like online sites and forums, it seems that beyond the craft ideas, if you check with your local recycling facility to ensure that they accept cotton or textiles with blended fabrics, you can recycle the socks, which take on a new life and become something more like auto insulation or sound deadening material. Not bad for an object that started its life as a sock.

Helpful Links on Recycling Old Socks:

Search by “Socks” or “Old Socks” and “Your City Name or Zip Code” at Earth 911 and find the closest recycling center near you.

Some great information on crafty ways to recycle and reuse old socks at Wiki-How.

Information on How to recycle Old Socks at A Green Living.

On Recycling Old Socks at Associated Content for Yahoo!

More on Recycling Old Socks over at Green Living Tips.

Check out this Lens on Squidoo for Recycling Old Socks.

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