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Reuse Before You Recycle

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Ready to be Sold on Not Selling Your Stuff?


Remember George Carlin’s classic routine, “We all need a place for our stuff?” It’s more relevant than ever. In fact, our places are so cluttered with stuff, there’s now a mass effort to get rid of it. Fortunately, while most of us have an overwhelming amount of things, there are an unprecedented number of ways to get rid of them. Even George Carlin would be impressed. Is there a single best way to unload stuff? Should you sell it? Have it carted away? Or should you opt for the more socially conscious route and give it away? Selling is always tempting – especially in these tough economic times. It’s hard to argue against putting stuff up for sale in order to raise cash. All it takes is a newspaper ad or garage sale, or any one of a growing number of sites like eBay or Craigslist. Another viable option is to contact collectors who will bargain for your “junk”. Or consider the alternatives to “stuff for profit”: Local sanitation rubbish removal, independent carting and dumpster rental companies, or cleaning companies like 1-800-got-junk. Just keep in mind that with these approaches, you’re spending money, not making it. But even worse, you’re not doing the environment any favors. Which brings us to what many, including top environmental experts, are saying is the best option of all – a very “green” grass roots movement that’s growing by the day. It’s called reusing – a socially conscious, environmentally sensitive, community-minded approach to “stuff elimination”. In contrast to other approaches, it’s the most direct route to a less cluttered, more livable world. Reusing not only helps us reduce our stuff, it extends its life. Things we no longer need are literally being “reused”, so nothing is wasted and no new waste is created. No valuable resources are diminished either. And reusing creates less air and water pollution than producing new items or recycling. On a social level, reusing contributes things of great value to individuals, families, businesses and organizations that might otherwise be unable to afford them. For a perfect example of how reusing works, visit a new, very user-friendly website called takemeimFREE.com. After joining its online community, you can donate items you don’t need and take items you can use. All for free. Nothing is bought or sold and no money changes hands. In addition, takemeimFREE.com gives you helpful budget-stretching tips along with green living ones. Something truly special happens on takemeimFREE. It starts with feeling good about decluttering your life and donating to others. Getting things you need for free doesn’t hurt either. It’s all very reciprocal. You give away what you don’t need, get what you do need. No money is made, but on the other hand, everyone can afford it. At the end of the day, the true lasting value here is about something much bigger: By reusing, you’re contributing to the greater good. In fact, you’re contributing to the creation of a far greener, better world and, ultimately, to saving our planet.

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