Holiday Aftermath: Going Green = 3 R’s: Recycling, Reusing, Re-purposing
It’s now 2012 and it’s time to think about all the stuff you got for the holidays. Gifts you got, things you bought for you — or others– to wear. Think hard about this because it’s really a time and money-saver in some ways.
While you got a lot of cool things, did find other things that you 1) didn’t use 2) didn’t need 3) really didn’t work for you — either in the gift category or as you were putting things away that you had been given or using for holiday celebrations?
Call it the 3 R’s: recycle (by giving them to others to use); reuse them (surprising what lurks in the closet that you forget you have. From shoes to tablecloths to kitchen appliances, I found I needed less things than I realized. To repurpose is to giving them to local organizations who truly are in need whether it’s the local shelter, Salvatiion Army or Goodwill. That coat you haven’t worn in 4 years, could be very useful to those people in shelters or any charity right now.
The going green part of this post is how to deal with the ‘excess’ that many of us seem to have.
Goodness knows, I need to deal with the stack of books, but in my family we either give them to others or donate them to our local library (– nice tax deduction there).
While I got a lot of great things for gifts– I mean some astonishingly nice things, I realized I have accumulated many things. So I went on a bit of a binge pulling out things I don’t use or don’t need. I pulled out things I hadn’t worn– and gave select people in my life the opportunity to see if there was anything that worked for them. What was left, got separated into two piles: one for local donation to various charities like American Cancer Society and one for a special donation I make to support a girl’s camp. I found that there were many gifts that I had gotten that were really generous but would serve others in need at homeless shelters or other places better than just sitting in my “regift closet”.
I pared down that regift closet to things I thought would truly work for certain people and the rest are almost completely gone. I like that part. I give things to people in nursing homes and assisted care facilities like books and DVDs so that they have an opportunity to get tremendous use of the largesse that we all seem to accumulate.
If you haven’t taken the time to think about this, you might want to stop and do it now.. (*not this exact second) but check out what is in your closets, cupboards, and drawers– the things that are too big, too small, maybe damaged, maybe unused, maybe something that’s just not right.
If it’s been there for eons (other than china or crystal), you might want to think about recycling, donating, or finding another way for this could be useful to others.
It’s called living with less because you aren’t using what you have– because it’s not doing anything just sitting there in your closets. Some might call it minimalist. I call it giving back because I am lucky enough to have been given so much. (Yet I do know what it like to live with very very little).
Places that could use donations
Local homeless shelters — but call first to see what they might need. Some want just food, other will take gently used coats and bedding. Others — also known as rescue missions– have their own thrift stores. Try googling your area (when I did a search I pulled up several mission from the east coast across the midwest) for rescue missions that have thrift stores and accept donations as well as sell things.
American Cancer Society Discovery Shops (this is the California link. Google this up for your state and see where you can make donations.
Assistance Leagues across the country often have their own thrift stores.
Give back! It’s karma and good for the economy. I spent 2011, editing my closet to give to others– from giving things to my daughter to others who mentioned things and I sent boxes of stuff as well as donating several times through the year. I will be doing more in 2012.
Would love some comments on this post!
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