Finally, a little kickback for saving the planet.
Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: While on vacation in Michigan, I found out about a fantastic recycling program called RecycleBank -- information can be found on their website. It is currently being used in 20 states. If your city or municipality decides to participate, it purchases special recycling bins that contain computer chips. The chips are coded to your address and keep track of your recycling. Individual households earn points for recycling, and the points can be redeemed for gift cards at various retailers. Some cities report that their recycling rates went from 3 percent to over 50 percent!
Businesses can also sign up to use RecycleBank. My city doesn't have it, but I think it sounds so great, I plan to go to a city council meeting and bring it up. I could take my recyclables to a recycling center myself, but honestly, I generally don't. I do regular curbside recycling, which doesn't earn any money for me, but is revenue for my city and, of course, good for the environment.
Also, my husband is spearheading a recycling effort at my kids' school. All the bottles and cans the kids presently bring in add up to a little over $100 a month, which will end up being about $1,000 at the end of the school year. It's so nice when doing something good for the earth can benefit others (and yourself) as well!
A former state deputy attorney general and current stay-at-home mom, Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla has three kids and ten years of experience stretching one salary to cover the necessities and more. She's all about saving money whenever you can, so you have it to spend on whatever you want!