Friday, November 09, 2007

Moving Green - Saving Money & Reducing Waste By Freecycling

Over the past week or so, the sub-prime mortgage mess hit Suzanne and I, as our landlord - on the verge of foreclosure - put our rental home on the market. This forced us to quickly scramble to find a new place (no easy task for a dog owner). We are both happy and grateful to report that we not only found a nicer house, but that it is in a much more peaceful, greener location than our previous one. It is within walking and biking distance of the BART, some nice cafe's, an organic grocer, and just about anything we need. Now that we are settled in, I finally have a chance to get back to posting more than just daily news headlines.

The thing that felt best about moving is that we freecycled a whole lot of stuff that we really just didn't need anymore. Chairs, Couches, Lighting fixtures, tapes, skis, TV, computer screen - we put it all outside with a "FREE" sign, and it was gone with wonderful rapidity. A lot of other stuff - mainly clothing, some small appliances, and a bunch of books - we dropped off at Goodwill, who was more than happy to take it. It sure feels good to have lightened our load of belongings considerably - and both raised money for charity (for which we will receive a nice tax deduction) and made other people very happy in the process!

The one unfortunate thing about all this was that our landlord thought our freecycle set-up in front of the house was messy-looking and just wanted to just take it to the dump. We objected and asked him to please give us just a little time - that there was no reason to let all this perfectly good stuff take up landfill space for the next fifteen thousand years. In the end, his patience paid off, as our greener approach saved him a good $200 in dumping fees!

It seems that a lot of people just love the dump. Something in the house they don't want? First thought: bring it to the dump. What will it take to get the message ingrained into the public consciousness that people can save themselves money, save landfill space, conserve resources, reduce waste, and make other people happy by freecycling and dropping off unwanted belongings at the thrift shop? The good news - it seems that we are headed in the right direction...

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