Last week we talked about using secondhand sources for items new to you. This week we’re going to now talk about the other side of the equation – Donating or Giving Away Something You No Longer Need. To truly break away from the take-make-waste cycle we need to put things we no longer need or want back into the cycle so others can use them.
What Can Be Donated?
When we initially think of donating items, our first inclination may be to think of items such as clothing, toys, furniture, pots and pans, and other household items.
One thing to remember is that donating items you no longer need doesn’t necessarily have to refer to actual purchased items (what you would purchase at a thrift store). When you are done with a yogurt container and realize it can’t be recycled, instead of throwing it away consider where it could be used. Maybe your local school’s art class could use some for projects or water pots to rinse paintbrushes in? Or maybe the box your Amazon purchase showed up in could be used by someone who needs boxes for moving? And everyone knows that toilet paper rolls make a great place to plant seeds, right!? The main reason for doing this is to keep the materials in our economy and out of our environment (i.e. use the yogurt cup for a pot to rinse paintbrushes in instead of purchasing new pots to use).
Donating items has multiple benefits. For example,
1) Donating to a local thrift or secondhand store helps the organizations running them continue with the important work they are doing in the community.
2) It reduces the amount of waste making its way to our landfills.
3) It helps others find low- to no-cost items they need but can’t afford.
4) It minimizes the amount of natural resources needed to make new products.
I know this is a brief introduction on donating but I feel that the weeks leading up to this have already given us a wonderful introduction to the topic. Follow us on Facebook to keep up with the discussion as we talk about different ways we can donate or give away items we no longer need this week!