Think before you toss your trash- is this something that could still be of use? Instead of having an old chair sitting in a landfill, doesn’t it make much more sense for it to sit in someone’s living room?
Stuff swaps are a great way to exchange items you no longer have use for with something you may be in need of. On campus, Guelph Student’s for Environmental Change manage the stuff swap located in the basement of the Food Bank. The basement holds lots of donated clothes, books, shoes, jewelry and miscellaneous items- free for all! Doesn’t get much better than that.
Another great way to put old items to use is freecycle.com. A website that functions basically as a large online community stuff swap. Groups are formed by location and are open for all to add or take offerings of used items. This site is a great place to find all sorts of goodies from bedroom furniture to craft supplies. And did I mention it’s free?
If you’re not interested in trading goods, donating to second hand stores or charities is always a nice option. You can’t help but feel good knowing your well-loved sweaters are going to someone in need. If your well-loved sweaters are too worn to be reused, think if they can serve another purpose.
Upcycling is great for those who are creative and like to work with their hands. Maybe the fabric from the sweaters could be used to make a new blanket, or reusable bag. Just because something serves an original purpose, it is not limited to that one function.
Swaping old items, donating, and upcycling are easy ways to reduce waste and save money. It’s easy to focus solely on recycling (which don’t get me wrong, is great), but it is important to remember the other two R’s, reduce and reuse!