Earth Day Guide to Spring Cleaning

This year, Earth Day will be officially celebrated around the world on April 22nd in more than 193 countries with teach-ins on environmental and climate literacy, marches, and other activities that demonstrate support for environmental protection. After a rough winter, spring has finally sprung in Portland; make a positive impact this Earth Day by following these four green Spring cleaning tips:

1.     Host a Neighborhood Clean-Up Event

The City of Portland promotes and sponsors neighborhood clean-ups. This year, there are over 40 cleanup events scheduled around the city in April and May, that will “prioritize and promote both recycling and reuse,” completely in spirit with the Earth Day celebrations.

Find your neighborhood and get information about your local cleanup >

2.     Collect Your Junk and Bring it to a Local Reuse Organization

We've all heard "one man's trash is another man's treasure." Why not bring your junk to one of these specific organizations that deal with specialty materials and make sure they're going to a good home? Plus, rest assured that your contributions will be of considerable benefit to your community! Whether it's an old bathtub, a box full of zippers, a love seat, or a cell phone, we've got the reuse center hookup for you. 

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Used Building Materials, Cabinets, Appliances, Lighting

ReBuilding Center
3625 N Mississippi Ave
(503) 331-9291

If you want to recycle your old lumber, doors, windows, kitchen cabinets, sinks, toilets, lighting, fixtures, and more, drop them off at the donation area or see if you qualify for their free pick-up service. RBC salvages the region's largest volume of used building and remodeling materials for reuse and supports community-led projects to build a more sustainable and equitable Portland. Acceptance guidelines here >

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Textiles, Wood Scraps, Paper Products

SCRAP PDX
1736 SW Alder St
(503) 294-0769

Donate your wallpaper, art supplies, containers, fabric, decorations, metal, office supplies, wood, paper, and other goods and make them available to your community at incredibly fair prices. SCRAP accepts donations 11am-6pm Tuesday-Saturday and funds educational programs in schools, provides reuse education programs, and donates materials to other nonprofit and educational groups. Find out what they accept and what they don't accept > 

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Used Computers and Electronics

Free Geek Thrift Store
SE 10th Avenue
(503) 232-9350

Free Geek accepts smartphones, tablets, e-readers, video game systems or obsolete gadgets, printers (including extra ink and toner), scanners, routers, UPS, digital cameras, PDAs, cell phones—they don’t have to be in working condition! Volunteers get technology in the hands of people who need it including the disadvantaged, schools, nonprofits, and other community change organizations. View what they take here >

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Vintage Furniture, Household Items, Mattresses

Community Warehouse
3969 NE M L King Blvd
(503) 445-1449

Community warehouse accepts “treasures you no longer treasure.” The store’s ever-changing inventory of antique, vintage, and retro furniture and housewares is fun, funky, and well-priced to keep folks coming back. Pairing up with local social service agencies, the Community Warehouse gets goods to families in need. Check out their acceptance guidelines here > 

3. Create your own DIY cleaning supplies with easy-to-find and more environmentally friendly ingredients.

Learn how to make a baking soda paste to clean your oven chemical-free, create an all-purpose cleaner with only two ingredients, and utilize other environmentally friendly mix-it-yourself cleaners in this Good Housekeeping guide. You can also check out Fix.com's DIY Natural Household Cleaners post that features how to make your own wool dryer ball, homemade vanilla rosemary air freshener (yum!), plus the only all-purpose cleaner recipe you'll ever need.

4.     Be creative and repurpose old items!

Repurpose containers in your fridge, turn old drawers into more storage, or repurpose your tired t-shirts into a multitude of craft projects. There's no end to the possibilities; get creative or use Pinterest for some crafting inspiration.