Pillows

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CMD CMD
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Pillows

So, how do you recycle these suckers? My recycling center doesn't have any options.

And then...which type of pillow is a better alternative? Specifically, when it's totally trashed and gross, is there a type you can compost?
Jay Jay
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Re: Pillows

I have a pillow made of shredded latex, that I assume will be compostable. Feathers are of course, great option. Problem is lots folks allergic to either or both since they are organic. Go for a natural material cover, if possible.
Maybe just repurpose if synthetic pillow/filling???? Might make great padding for fragiles in car, shipping. Maybe the local animal shelter could use it?
Good Question!
CMD CMD
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See, my issue is...at some point SOMEONE is going to throw away the pillows (if they are synthetic) once they outlive their usefulness. If I ship something with the stuffing, that person's going to throw the stuffing away once the package is received. So, it seems to be defeating the purpose. You know what I mean? I'm thinking just washing them and donating them, but they will get thrown out at some point, too.

I'm wondering about those buckwheat pillows moving forward, as a possible compostable option.
Jay Jay
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You're right, synthetics will some day end up in the dump. The best you can hope for is that every bit of usefulness has been squeezed out of it before that happens. I don't think fiberfill can be recycled; I did a Google search and found that fiberfill is now being made from recycled PET; however the pillows and others made from similar material seem to be potentially a big waste issue.
http://www.greenlivingtips.com/articles/294/1/Recycling-pillows.html  has a few ideas: not a way to reprocess, rather reuse.

Had a really nice buckwheat pillow until it started leaking hulls everywhere, so make sure the seams are strong!
CMD CMD
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Re: Pillows

Feathers don't bother me, so if my recycling place confirms feathers are recyclable, I'm going to go with them. But this is driving me nuts. Need to ask about buckwheat as well (thanks for the tip).
Jay Jay
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That's a plan! The things we have to think about.
Old days, after they'd reused the feathers with a new cover a zillion times, they'd probably take the old feather pillow out into a field and shake. The crows, whatever, would salvage and use the feathers for their nests.
Let us know what you find out.
CMD CMD
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My recycling service has confirmed that feathers/down inside pillows can be composted in their bins. I just have to be 100% sure that the filling is 100% feathers/down. Otherwise, it's a big no-no. I guess there can be mixed filling. Waiting to hear about buckwheat hulls. But...yea! :)
CMD CMD
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It's affirmative...buckwheat hull-filled pillows can be composted (the filling at least) by my recycling center. I'm thinking the same would go for backyard compost bin!
Sandra Sandra
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Thanks for the info on the pillows! If you're not allergic to feathers, the down pillows are a really great option for both the environment and your wallet. I've owned my down pillow for over twelve years, including a yearly wash in the washing machine, and it's still going strong. I'd recommend buying cotton pillow protectors so you won't have to wash the pillow itself quite as often. Now if only I could find a mattress that is completely recyclable/compostable...
Jay Jay
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Futons! Traditional ones are all organic.  

Good to know 'bout the pillows, thanks. Thought provoking thread.
SAK SAK
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In reply to this post by CMD
Hello, I was just reading your chain of thoughts and questions.  My husband and I found a mattress that is all wool and organic cotton through our local futon store, called Naturally Organic, hand crafted in Canada with finest organic fibers.  I have MCS (Mult. Chem Sensitivities) and could not handle Organic Natural Rubber.    We also purchased an organic futon to create a modern couch that could be used as a guest bed.  The organic futon we purchased is softer than regular futons which seem to be packed denser.  We have both.  But we didn't want to buy more than what we needed so for our bolster (back of the couch/futon side) we took our 1970's mummy bag sleeping bag and stuffed it with old pillows that we washed and sundried as well as any winter jackets we do not use but have on hand for out of town guest in a pinch (Minnesota winters) But we enjoy the added storage space and the ability to use the jackets that would otherwise be stored in a closet.  Also we no longer get rid of our old clothing but rather shred it and use it for stuffing for our throws, some times we turn our handmade wool sweaters into pillows and the bulky sleeves turned inside the body of the sweater creates part of the stuffing.  Stitch the sides with yarn and they are soft and cozy.  Best, Susan  
Alina Alina
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In reply to this post by CMD
If it is synthetic, take a look at what a lingerie company (Intimissimi) does: they recycle old bras to make soundproof insulating panels. Just an idea
Heike Heike
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In reply to this post by CMD
There is a type you can compost! I love using mine since years, as I often have problems with a stiff neck and headaches (e.g. from gardening in a bent over position or also once a month right before my period). Therefore I love my sturdy spelts pillow filled with dinkel wheat husks (grain removed). It holds my head in a nice round pit without giving in too much. I buy the refill spelzs bags at my German organice food store for 10 Euros. In Germany banana shaped nursing pillows are often filled with spelts, too. The pillow case is washable and reusable, made of tightly woven fabric to keep worn off pieces inside, and it has a zipper. The old spelts are tossed into the compost and I renew them about once a year. I have at least two aditional pillow cases around my pillow to have more protection and hygiene. You need to get used to a bit of a sizzling sound of the spelts inside it, but the airy pillow adds to my overall wellness. I use a smaller one for travelling, as I do not want to part with this my head support. Perhaps you can find a source of spelts in your country, too?
coldswim coldswim
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In reply to this post by CMD
I save old *clean* pillows and linens for the homeless people around my neighborhood. They collect stuff out of the recycle bins the night before trash day so I can leave pillows and blankets on top of my bins and they are gone by morning.  

Animal shelters might take them but call first, because sometimes they are overwhelmed with donations.