Having been passionate about sustainability, and of course, recycling, long before these terms were mainstream and fashionable, some issues still stump me.  Years of knowledge do not always provide enough capacity to come up with a solution.  The strength in being an advocate, or even an “expert,” is that one admits that he or she does not know everything.

Example: I have no idea what to do with our old pillows.

We recently replaced all of our pillows in our house.  The truth is that we probably used our pillows longer than the pillow-industrial mafia complex would have liked us to use them, so it was time to switch them out.  They are “vegan pillows" (as in, no feathers as I am allergic), and they are now a mound in the man-cave section of the house.  For something so fluffy, they sure take a lot of room.

I have been told they can be sent to an animal shelter, but none has returned my call (let’s face it, they are understaffed, and I do not want to drive there with a trunk full of pillow contraband and be turned away).  Homeless shelters? I doubt it. The down and out deserve better than these giant fluffballs of uselessness. The pillows Wikipedia section was not helpful, by the way.

Repurposing them is an issue, too. Like other textile products, they cannot be placed in the blue recycling bin. Perhaps I could take them to Out of the Closet or Goodwill, as I assume they sell unwanted items to companies that reprocess them and render them into new products, but I do not want to surprise those folks as those stores are also understaffed.

The pillows have got to leave the house.  The dogs already have bedding, and this is California, where our houses are small, not the Carolinas, where people live in real houses. I would love to hear what can be done about this pillow problem.  Please leave your comments and suggestions below.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.