Welcome to Green Boot Camp

Welcome to Green Boot Camp blog, a 52-week program to help you become a greener you in 2008. This is the companion blog to The Lean Green Family (formerly Suddenly Frugal).

Friday, June 6, 2008

Week Twenty--Give Away What You Would Normally Throw Away

Recently, I renewed my love affair with Freecycle. Earlier this week I wrote in my Lean Green Family blog about how I turned to Freecycle as a way to find landscaping plants without having to spend any money doing so. Truth is, I was saving money, and I was saving plants for getting tossed in a dumpster.

Four tiger lily plants, one lilac bush, one Rose-of-Sharon tree and one St. John's wort shrub later, I've got all the plants that I can fit in my front garden until we move some other stuff around to make a second flower bed. In the meantime I helped out one family that needed shrubs removed so they could install a fence, and I saved two plants from their imminent demise in the trash. This person had gone on a Home Depot shopping spree but never got around to planting these two flowers I took off of her hands. Unbeknownst to her, they were slowly choking to death in their pots. You should have seen the roots when I transplanted them!

Getting back in the Freecycle mode inspired me to do some cleaning out of my basement to see if there were any items I might have stored down there that I could bless someone else with by giving it away to free. Boy, did I.

I found enough bubble wrap to fill three large garbage bags, and gave it a way to a fellow Freecycler yesterday. Today I'm waiting on another Freecycler to pick up seven flattened moving boxes that I've got left over from my move last year. If she doesn't show up, I've got two other Freecyclers on a "waiting list" for the boxes.

I'm due to thin my magazine collection, so this weekend I plan to tackle that pile. And, instead of just tossing the magazines in my recycling bin, I'm going to post something on Freecycle and see if there's a magazine junkie out there that might enjoy reading these magazines.

What this is all leading up to is this week's task for Green Boot Camp (even though I'm posting at the end of the week and a week late--sorry!). I want you to take some time and figure out items that you normally would toss in the trash or put in recycling, and see if you can't give them away to someone else. You can join your local Freecycle group, put up a posting on Craigslist or just send out a mass email to the people you know through the parent-teacher group at your kid's school. The idea here is to keep these items out of the waste- and recycling-stream for as long as possible.

Maybe you want to go on a hunt in your basement like I did or look through your book collection and see if you might have some titles to donate to your local library. Let me know what you come up with and what you were able to give away--and how.


Daisy said...

Magazines? Ask your children's teachers. I use magazines for cut-outs and art projects. If they're children's magazines, offer to donate them to the school library. I just applied for (and got!) a grant to buy age-appropriate magazines for my class in the fall.

S. said...

Ah, those magazines. I'm wrestling with 4 years of back issues at the moment. A food bank in our town accepts them to pass along to clients, which I think is a great idea.