Want to ditch your unwanted possessions and find new treasures, too?
Try the first national Curb Day this Saturday, May 16, when, thanks to the effort of one man with a penchant for trash, people around the country will swap old but useable stuff by leaving it curbside for passersby to pick up, take home, and make their own.
What better way to put into practice the green mantra: Reduce, reuse, recycle?
It may take time for Curb Day to catch on. There's no centralized way to find out if anyone else in your neighborhood is participating. Still, theres no reason why you shouldnt participate: It's as easy as taking out the trash except this time, it will be picked up by interested owners, and not taken away to rot in a landfill.
Organized by Mike Morone, a Rochester, N.Y. man who once dumpster-dived to retrieve the trashed mats from the school gymnasium to give his aspiring gymnast daughters, Curb Day was inspired by his distaste for peoples overconsumption and as a result their waste of perfectly usable goods.
Whether you call it trash digging or practicing freeganism, sifting through your neighbors garbage can does not come naturally to most people. Morone thinks Curb Day can help to dispel some of those awkward feelings by creating an event that encourages people to give away their reusable items for the benefit of their neighbors before the item is tossed in the garbage truck.
A lot of the times, Ill see something on the way to work and think that I can pick it up later. But its never there on the way home. Its in the junk pile already, Monroe said. If everyone knew that this coming weekend was the day to get up and drive around, then we wouldnt have to worry about losing our chance.
Some cities may discourage the practice on non-trash days, so before breaking a sweat taking that couch to the curb, be sure to check with local officials and make sure you're in compliance with local laws. And don't expect anyone to clean up the junk not even your thrifty neighbors want; it's your job to pack it up at the end of Curb Day.
Happy Trash Digging!
1.) Donate: Donating to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other thrift shops is the easiest way to unload after an afternoon of spring cleaning. Whether its from your kitchen, closet, basement, or garage, thrift stores will take almost anything. Check store sites for your nearest drop-off location. Consignment shops thrift stores that buy your unwanted clothing and re-sell it at a profit to them are a great way to gain cash back from last seasons clothes that arent being worn. For a national directory of all registered consignment shops, visit thethriftshopper.com to find locations near you.
2.) Exchange CDs for an iPod: Rid your drawers of old CDs in exchange for an iPod. 150 used CDs (in case) will get you a new 8 gigabyte iPod Nano for free from ipodmeister.com. Your old music collection will then live on in the CD players of people abroad - the company ships 20,000 CDs at a time to re-sell in Eastern European, African, South American, and Caribbean countries.
3.) Leave It Where It Will Be Wanted: Monroe likes to donate straight to the source. If he has a collection of unwanted tools, for example, he places them in an open, accessible corner of the Home Depot parking lot. Visitors to the store assume its there for the taking, and given a few hours, thats exactly what happens: its taken. If you take his advice, do so with caution and tact. This is definitely not a way to rid yourself of anything but the most high quality used items, since you don't want to be accused of dumping.
4.) Connect On the Web: Use the power of the net to connect with people who can use or buy your old stuff. Post what you have to give away onto the free stuff boards on Craigs List, Freecycle, or sell it for a profit on sites like Ebay.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.