Sell or Donating Goods Instead of Throwing Them Out Tired it may be, but the old saying “One man’s trash is another’s treasure” still holds true. When you are finished using something, its potential for use may remain for some time.
Reuse is the highest form of recycling, causing the least drain on resources for the maximum benefit. This is particularly true when the item is reused locally. There are many alternatives for donating and selling useable items. The following are a few ideas:
Check With Friends to see if Anyone Wants it
This takes minimal effort! Put the word out and see what happens.
Put it on the Curb in Front of Your House (or a Friend’s)
People know that large and bulky items at the curb in front of a house are up for grabs, and grab them they will. Some personal items, like mattresses, are not appropriate for this tactic. Be sure to cover items in the event of rain and appropriately dispose of items that remain after a couple of days.
Donate it to a Local Charitable Organization
There are many local charities that accept clothing and household goods.
Sell it via Newspaper or Bulletin Board
The local papers (including the UMass Daily Collegian) all have classified ads you can utilize. The Hampshire Gazette even has Aunt Clara’s Closet, a free classified section for items selling for $25 or less.
Sell it at a Garage Sale
If you aren’t interested in holding 1 on your own, join with a friend or neighbor or connect with a civic organization (a neighborhood, school, or sports team) that is organizing a sale.
Find it a New Home on Freecycle
The Freecycle Network™ (www.freecycle.com) is a grassroots nonprofit organization comprised of people who give (and get) stuff for free in their own towns. Membership is free and a local volunteer moderates each local group.
When you want to find a new home for something, you simply send an email offering it to members of the local Freecycle group. Responding to another member’s offer might net you something you want. Everything posted must be free, legal, and appropriate for all ages.
Donate Home Improvement Materials
Springfield’s EcoBuilding Bargains accepts donations of unwanted but quality home improvement materials and sells them to the public at low prices in a convenient retail setting. Items are accepted from homeowners, contractors, manufacturers, retailers, and municipal collection centers.
When you visit the ReStore you’ll find used and salvaged materials and surplus building industry stock. Their website provides helpful links to other regional reuse stores.
Sell it at an Online Auction Site
This works best for specialty and high-demand items. You can take care of the sale yourself, or there are businesses that will take care of the sale process for you. Please note that shipping items out of the local area uses non-renewable resources and generates greenhouse gases. The most environmentally friendly option is to sell items locally.
Find Another Reuse Alternative at ReDO ReDO is a non-profit organization dedicated to the issue of reuse. Their mission is to promote reuse as an environmentally sound, socially beneficial, and economical means for managing surplus and discarded materials.