Saturday, August 23, 2008

Save It Saturday: Give It Away

We have all come across something we own that we no longer need or maybe it just is not in the condition we want it to be in. What do we do with those things? If you are like me, you will set it aside to deal with later, either by selling it at a yardsale or attempting to repair it. Occasionally, I will simply throw the item away, or at least I used to. Today I am going to share some resources I have found that will help you declutter those items without filling up the landfiill.

Books and current (within 2-3 months) magazines are greatly appreciated by nursing homes and hospitals for the patients to use. Clothes and blankets are also often needed by homeless shelters and battered women's shelters. Also, some elementary schools also keep a stash of kids clothes in the nurse's office for when students have "accidents". A quick call to the nurse's office will let you know if that is an option. Many places also have thrift stores (check for Goodwill, Salvation Army, Deseret Industries, etc) that will gladly take your donations.

Two other options I have discovered are Freecycle and ReUse It. Both groups work in generally the same way: people post items they no longer want and those who can use those items respond, the original owner can then choose who to give it to, all transactions must be 100% free and legal. Another option through both groups is for a member to post something that they need and another member may contact them if they have that item and are willing to part with it for free. Both groups have the same idea of keeping stuff out of the trash and keeping usable goods in circulation as long as possible, reducing the need to use more energy to produce new items. Craigslist also has a free section that you can post items on without joining a group. All three groups are free to all participants.

Aside from keeping trash out of the landfills, donating/giving away unwanted items benefits mankind in general and conserves energy. It is also a great way to declutter your home without feeling bad about items being wasted.

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