Wednesday, April 6, 2011

‘Give your stuff away’ day coming up in May

I’m not ashamed to admit it—I’m a trash picker. My poor, embarrassed family has witnessed me pulling good stuff out of other people’s trash on the sly and climbing into dumpsters. “It’s for the good of the earth,” I say.

I was looking through the archives of last spring’s columns that I wrote, specifically I was looking for the one about making a new Springtime tradition in Noblesville—Curb Shopping—modeled after the New England origins where towns and villages designate a weekend or two each spring for residents to set unwanted but perfectly useable items at the curb. Then you take a stroll through the neighborhood and come home with some new treasures.

What’s great about this is that items are recycled and not cluttering up landfills and wasting resources. And, they’re free.

It’s good for the pocketbook and the Earth. And, no one needs to risk their life climbing into a dumpster to salvage them.

I got great response from that column. One reader said she regularly sets her kid’s toys out that they have outgrown in a big box with a FREE sign. Another reader said he put out a couch that wasn’t needed. It was gone in two hours.

I put out a call to help organize one of these neighborhood swaps and was met with great enthusiasm. But after my column ran, I learned that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There’s already an organization spreading the word all over the nation for this great cause. The day is called Give Your Stuff Away Day and it happens the second Saturday in May, which is May 14 this year.

The website is and it’s got all of the info you need to know to participate in this. My hope is that this will really catch on and become a re-established tradition. So while you’re doing some spring cleaning this month, set aside items that you don’t want or need and put them out on that day.

PS—as I’m writing this column, a friend ironically posts a photo on facebook of a gorgeous dresser in a dumpster downtown. It’s missing some drawers, but it’s way too good to be thrown away. Put things like that beside the dumpster. Someone wants it. Do them a favor and save them from having to dumpster dive.

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