Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One Person's Trash is Another's Treasure

This Thursday is America Recycles Day. I know you’ve already got your champagne chilling and your streamers ready (made from old magazines and newspapers I’m sure), but just in case you need some incentive to celebrate, I’ve prepared a little tribute to my favorite recycling organization. 

I couldn’t let this special day go by without highlighting my favorite recycling method – freecycle.org. If you haven’t signed on to the freecycle in your area, do it right now. I mean it. You can give away (“recycle”) just about anything – and I mean anything. Everything listed is free and local. How awesome is that?

I listed a big box of broken crayons and had eight takers within hours! Plastic fish-shaped candy molds – gone! VCR/DVD player that only works as a DVD player – too many takers to count.  

Recycling doesn’t always mean sorting your trash. It can also mean giving things away, or acquiring “recycled” items instead of buying new. 

I checked today to see what kind of gems were listed on my local freecycle and here’s a sampling of OFFERS:

 Hospital bed

Brother multi-function printer

Ranger Rick magazines from the late 70’s and early 80’s

Kids wooden play set (you dismantle and haul)

web Christmas lights

breast feeding supplies

white salt and pepper shakers

Danielle Steele books on cassette (now there’s an offer I can’t refuse…)

Golf balls (gotta love a thrifty golfer)

Stanley’s Dinosaur Round Up DVD

Kid’s wagon

Toaster Oven

 And even if you’re embarrassed to list some of the items you’d like to give away, there are people asking for them every day. Here’s a sampling from the WANTED list:

 1 ½ to 2 inch pipes in six foot or longer lengths (it’s good to be specific)

6ft christmas tree (no mention of real or artificial)

Women’s jeans size 4

Items for a cat (they weren’t very specific)

Craft items for kindergarten students (teachers lurk on this site)

Christmas Sweaters (honest – this was posted in the WANTED section!)

Fanny Pack (yes, this was too)

Canning jars (woman after my own heart, wish I’d known about this site before I bought mine!)

Pushable Lawn Sweeper (not sure what this is, but I’m betting if you have one in your garage behind the bags of stuff you keep meaning to drop off at Goodwill, you do)

Arm Sling

Freezer Burn Meat (truly, it says this) 

The WANTED list is how I got one of my best bread makers. I recently asked for Pampered Chef stoneware, but that must have been the limit. Nobody responded to my plea. Freecycle is moderated for sicko people and all posts have to be approved by the moderator before they appear in the feed. I’ve rarely met the people I’ve bequeathed my junk too. Normally we arrange via e-mail for them to pick the items up from my porch.  

When I picked up my breadmaker it was in an unmarked brown paper bag in front of a garage at a house that had no lights on. When we pulled up my husband was sure this was actually a drug deal. Great breadmaker, though. 

So celebrate America Recycles Day and recycle something besides cardboard and aluminum. Get rid of the items that are just taking up space in your life and pass them along to someone who will treasure them (or at least use them).

This is a great project for your kids. Maybe they can list some items to give away and then list an item they’d like to have. I’m sure someone has the Rockem’ Sockem’ robots in their basement or a paint-by-number set that’s never been opened collecting dust in a closet. It’s worth a shot! Freecycle is loaded with kids’ items. 

This is the bike I'm listing on Freecycle this week. Gently (or not
not so gently) loved, some rust, needs handle bars straightened -
great deal for the price! (FREE)
Teach your children how great it feels to give new life to old things. Talk to them about the importance of recycling. There is enough stuff for all of us already on this earth. Any time you have the opportunity to recycle or upcycle or precycle or whatever you want to call it, you’re making a play to preserve our planet. And that’s the most important reason to celebrate recycling on any day!

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