Living Green

Resources and advice on how to live green in your personal and home life

Cambridge resources

  • Cambridge Department of Public Works Recycling: This page provides a searchable database of local resources to recycle/reuse a wide range of items: from appliances and electronics to paint and propane tanks.

  • Starbucks Grounds for Your Garden program: This program provides free coffee grounds for use as fertilizer. Coffee grounds can be applied as a side dressing in gardens or as green material in compost bins. Ask your local Starbucks store manager for more information.


Local and state resources

Online Reuse Groups

  • Buy Nothing Project: A free online "gift economy" for resusing items, offering or requesting, that is made up of hyper-local neighborhood groups. Group moderators confirm your location from a social media profile and only allow members to join the group in their own neighborhood.

  • Craig's List: A free online community for sharing resources, job listings, pets, rideshares—everything under the sun. The "For Sale" section includes free items as well.

  • Freecycle.org®: An online community for resusing items, offering or requesting, that is made up of local groups. Group membership is free after signing up with email. There are freecyle groups across Massachusetts, including Cambridge, Boston, and Somerville.

  • Freecycle in Cambridge YAHOO! Group: A free online forum for reusing items in Cambridge or adjacent towns. Group membership is free after sending a request to join the group.

Local Charities

State and National resources


back to the top


Neighborhood Reusing

Share resources and goods

  • Create a neighborhood area to exchange unwanted items.

  • Start, join, or become a moderator for your local online reuse group such as Freecycle or Buy Nothing (details on these groups listed above).

  • Collaborate with your neighbors on a multi-family or neighborhood-wide yard sale.

  • Rent, borrow, or share large equipment, snow blowers, lawn mowers, and other large equipment with your neighbors, coworkers, and friends.

  • Contact your town's Department of Public Works to find out if there is a community Swap Shed where residents can bring or pick up household items. If they don't have one, request that they set one up.


back to the top


Recycle specific items

Batteries, Cell Phones, and Electronics

  • Call2Recycle™: A non-profit dedicated to recycling used rechargeable batteries and old cell phones. The website provides a searchable map of convenient locations, such as local retailers and community partners, where these items can be dropped off to be recycled.

  • Electronics Takeback Coalition: A coalition dedicated to promoting green design and responsible recycling in the electronics industry. The website provides resources for donating old electronics as well as a  list of manufacturer's electronic takeback programs.

  • Apple GiveBack and Recycling: Retail stores accept drop-offs of Apple electronics, charging cables, and batteries. Eligible devices (Apple and non-Apple) can be traded in for credit towards a future Apple purchase through the GiveBack program. If the device is not eligible for credit, it is recycled for free.

  • Staples and Best Buy: Retail stores accept drop-offs of electronics as well as ink and toner cartridges.

Fitness Trackers (wearables)

  • RecycleHealth: A 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to collecting fitness trackers and fitness tracker accessories and providing them to underserved ​populations and health-centered research initiatives to help promote healthy behaviors.

Eyeglasses

  • New Eyes for the Needy: A nonprofit organization that distributes donated eyeglasses to people in developing countries.

back to the top