Have you heard that saying, which goes ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’? All over the world, people are looking for items which you may have in your garage or store room, gathering dust. When the urge to have a good clear out hits, have you considered the brilliant schemes for recycling we have out there, instead of simply dumping your stuff in the trash?
Recycling has become cool
Over the past few years, there has been a sociological shift in the way we recycle goods. Whereas once taking secondhand goods from thrift stores was considered to be a little trashy, now even the glossy high-fashion magazines are featuring vintage and retro items with reverence! It’s as if we’re starting to appreciate the practical beauty of recycling, and pausing to think before we throw things away.
I recently got in to gardening for the first time, and was looking online for things to buy to help me along. My neighbours helped out by giving me plant pots that had been lying around in their back yard, and I soon built up a stash of goods to use. I realised that by putting a bit of effort in and sharing my crops and seedlings, I was able to set up a kind of feudal system in my back garden just by swapping things around.
The internet has caught on to this craze for sharing rather than trashing, in a big way. Sites like eBay make it easy for us to hunt out the things we need, and procure them at a low cost. It’s now easy for us to find second-hand items at a fraction of the price they would be originally, and feel a bit smug as we realise we’re not only saving cash, but helping the environment.
The online craze for recycling
Initiatives like www.freecycle.org provide a global network of sites which are dedicated to providing lists of second-hand items that people no longer need, and giving them away or swapping them for something else. In times of economic crisis and recession, this is a superb idea for saving money while reducing environmental impact.
www.Earth911.com is another great site which promotes recycling initiatives, offering a range of goods which people no longer need, and are looking to give away to a good home.
The chances are, if you’re looking for something, someone else has a spare one! Goods ranging from plant pots, clothes, computers, kitchen items, electrical appliances and furniture are all available to a good home if you know where to look. The days of the thrift shop being regarded as trashy are long gone, and it’s now considered hip to share what you have with other people, to reduce manufacturing costs and chemicals.
How can you get in on the action?
Check out your local area for ideas about what you can recycle, and how to do it. Anyone who has done a garage sale understands that there is a good home for absolutely anything you can sell, so it’s worth taking a look at what you have and seeing if you can find it a good home, before popping it in the garbage. Similarly, if you’re looking for a specific item, check out your local recycling centres, thrift stores, charity shops and online resources to see if you can hunt it down second-hand. Have fun!