Clear Your Draw Junk And Make Some Cash

I have been on a huge mission to declutter our home. It’s been a long process but slowly we are getting there. I want to minimise what we own to make our waste-free / plastic-free lifestyle easier to achieve.

I am a self-confessed hoarder of junk, living with the phrase “I may need it one day” rolling around in the back of my head. I only keep stuff that is useful and still has life left in it, to attempt to be less wasteful. I don’t want to fill my black bin with useful stuff. My ‘useful junk’ draw features 32 batteries (AA,AAA, button batteries… we ain’t short of power!), cable ties, plastic bags, BlueTac, Sugru, Allen keys, a Lego man’s head (??) and Duck Tape are just a few items.  Almost sounds like a good night out 😉

But, I have a confession… In my draw of ‘useful’ bits, I do have some very much ‘dead’ items too. Two iPhones lay buried and forgotten. But why? I have no use for them. I have had my current phone for nearly 2 years. There are no photo’s on those phones and one has a smashed screen. I doubt I shall ever use them again! In fact, I am not even sure I even have the chargers for them anymore!

Most mobile phone owners will be aware that you can sell your phone to a recycling brand for half decent cash. There are so many of these pages to sell to (ie: Music Magpie, webuyanyphone.com, SimplyDrop- to name a few) but how do you know you’re really getting the best price for your phone? Luckily in a world of comparison sites, there is even one for your mobile phone! SellCompare is a comparison site to help you find the best price for your mobile phones or tablets- whatever the spec, if it’s working or not, and even takes into account things like ‘minor damage’.

Did you know that you shouldn’t just throw your old mobile phone in the bin? Around 125 million mobile phones are treated as trash in the UK every year! Mobile phones should never be thrown into your black bin, and the consequences of doing so are rather scary. The glass on a mobile phone contains mercury and the body contains fire retardants which are environmentally damaging. A typical mobile phone contains arsenic and bromine, as well as the Lithium-Ion or Nickel-Cadmium battery. None of which should just be tossed in the trash! A slightly unnerving thought that we keep these items so close to our bodies. *

Mobile phone recycling is certainly the most sensible thing to do, and you may as well make some cash from it! Some phones contain gold… so you literally could be sat on a (small) goldmine! Check out SellCompare for more information about how and why you should recycle your phone and find the best buyer for your old phone!

So quick, join me in cleaning out and decluttering that ‘Useful Junk’ draw, and if you get a good deal- the drinks are on you!

 

*Facts from RecycleForLondon

This post was a collaboration with SellCompare.

 

4 Ways To Make Your Family Accounting Greener

Anyone with even half an eye on what’s happening with the environment and climate can’t help but realise our attitude to disposable goods is a big part of the problem.

Finding ways to complete mundane tasks in a greener way often makes small improvements that can turn into big ones when enough people also make changes.

Eco-Friendly Cloud Accounting

We do so much with cloud computing without thinking about it that running family accounts in the cloud will be an easy switch for most people. If you have an Internet account, you likely have free cloud storage through your provider, and you can use this for far more than family photos.

Alternatives to the data storage space that comes from your ISP include Dropbox or Google Drive. The advantage of using one of these services is that they stay the same even if your Internet provider changes.

You can:

  • Scan or photograph receipts you want to keep and upload the digital files instead.
  • Use Excel or Google Sheets to keep tabs on daily spending.
  • Start a subscription with online accounting software (Freeagent or Quickbooks are two examples and there are several more) if your accounting needs are more complex than simple income and expenses.

Mobile banking apps and the ability to easily move money between accounts all make staying on top of the family budget easier, without resorting to using more paper or adding to landfill.

Greener Tax Returns

Anyone who runs a business or who has income that doesn’t come from straight employment where all tax and national insurance is dealt with by their employer, needs to file a tax return.

That invariably means lots of paperwork, storage and endless numbers of receipts and invoices. Aside from business accounts, you might also have income that comes from investments, dividends, inheritances or stocks and bonds that you need to inform HMRC about.

If you find you’re faced with a mass of paperwork every time you come to file a return, switch to doing it online. The online submission process is very streamlined and easy these days, and you can even include digital files for some documentation if you need to back up your claims.

For those who do have more complicated accounting, bookkeepers and accountants can save more than they cost in the long run. They can advise you how to set up your accounts so you minimise your physical paper and have a more organised system.

A Green Home Office

Adopting a greener lifestyle not only means generating less waste, it also means finding ways to use fewer resources in the first place. The two go hand in hand.

  • Install solar window coatings. They can help conserve or reduce heat, keeping rooms more comfortable and energy efficient. There are also window films that increase privacy and safety, as well as reducing fading from sunlight, so your furniture and carpets look fresh for longer too.
  • Use energy efficient bulbs in desk and overhead lamps. It’s also a good idea to install motion sensors so lights turn off when they’re no longer needed.
  • Shun filing cabinets in favour of digital document storage.

Going Paperless

If the companies you deal with offer digital versions of documents, take them up on the offer. Examples could include getting your bank statements online, opting for PDF, print on demand versions of car and other insurances, or switching magazine subscriptions to email versions rather than paper ones.

We’re not quite at the stage yet where the office (or home) is completely paperless, but we’re getting there. The more of us who reject paper documents in favour of digital versions, the more the companies we deal with will also reduce their paper usage and that will be good for all of us, and the environment.