Posts tagged reuse

The Freegan Establishment

I’m still amazed by the freegan movement and the lengths that people go through to avoid consumerism.  I found this article very interesting.  It’s about people deeply involved in freegansim.  There are some good points, but being a mother, I don’t agree with going all the way.  There is a limit to the free stuff.  What do you think?


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Summer’s here and so is the good free stuff!

Although I’m pregnant and ready to give birth (just about), I’ve still been out, on a quest for free goodies.  I get such a rush when I find awesome things.  I imagine it’s similar to the “high” people get when using drugs….my habit is healthier though.

Last night, I went to two curb alerts.  The first included a random mix of items.  The original ad was posted hours earlier on Craigslist and I was happy about that.  It gave me time to get there and possibly beat others.  I got there shortly before 7pm and was the first there.  I caught the guy putting out stuff so I had first pick.  I tried picking through the bags, but wanted the majority of items, so I took them.  There was also a nice CD/DVD shelf made of sturdy wood.  I grabbed that too.  The street was a one way and a neighbor across the street asked me to move because I was “creating a train”.  I obliged and circled around the block.  He was putting out books and I took a few, then left.  When I got home, I looked through the items.  There were cute wine glasses, an unopened bottle of sparkling apple cider, baby items, and other misc household items.

Hours later, a curb alert for sidewalk sale leftovers was posted.  It was late enough that there was still a good amount of stuff left.  Because of the location, it looked like the homeless/transient people had gotten first pick, but they didn’t take much.  I, however found a cute wooden chair with lots of character, sheets, pillow cases, a duvet cover, and other cool household items.  I also got a modem and router that are compatible with my internet service.

Today was the best day of all.  I found an ad on craigslist for a house clean-out.  The home was located in a suburban neighborhood and the individuals posting the listing were hired to get rid of EVERYTHING.  They had an estate sale and whatever was left over was given away.  I was like a kid in a candy store.  My sister who is visiting accompanied me.  I got beautiful wall art, a beautiful comforter complete with pillows both functional and decorative, a computer, a cute little footstool that is more classic than modern, and other little things.  It was a first come, first served and you could take whatever you could carry.  It was an early Christmas for me and the other people taking things were so polite.  A nice couple offered to take a few things downstairs for me so I wouldn’t miss out.

I was surprised at the number of things that people didn’t take.  There was another computer, 2 monitors, a laser printer, textiles, glassware, art, and pretty much anything else you could think of.  Someone else made out with a beautiful armoire.  It must have cost hundreds of dollars brand new.  It looked very gently used.

Thanks to these curb alerts, I will be doing a little redecorating in my bedroom.  Everything from the sheets and comforter to curtains and I will probably add in a cute rug.  I’m so excited.  Re-decorating for free is so fun!

I’d like to do some curb hunting soon.  I’ve gone out a couple of times but didn’t find much.  It seems that this once looked down upon activity is gaining more attention.  More and more people are realizing that taking stuff from the “trash” is not what they previously thought it was.  I’d like to keep an open mind and say there is enough to go around, but I feel like one of my favorite activities is getting harder and harder because of the attention it is getting :(.

Hope your finds make you excited like mine do!

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Awaiting warmer weather

Now that Winter has departed and Spring has arrived, I can’t wait for the warm days without rain.  I’ll be able to do more curbing and diving as the weather improves.  Just today, I was checking out craigslist and found that many people were putting items out.  I wasn’t feeling well, so I didn’t go out and get anything, but the thought of finding treasures that other people think of junk excites me!

This past winter was so slow for these activities that I’ve kinda gotten out of the groove.  I’ve taken to answering ads on craigslist for those giving things away.  I’ve gotten some cool things that way, but there’s something about rummaging through others unwanted items/trash that brings joy.  Can anyone relate?

Just today, I did get a free camcorder.  With all of the new technology, it seems like things like these are becoming almost extinct.  The camcorder takes mini tapes, but I like it.  Call me old school, but I don’t care for the newer digital video recorders that are surfacing on the market.  I don’t own a fancy cell phone with extrodinary video capabilities either.  With the upcoming birth of the new addition to my family quickly approaching, I thought this was the perfect item.

I also scored some baby clothes.  To my surprise, everything was brand new, with tags still attached.  This was also a great find, even though I didn’t obtain it the normal way.

Rain, rain, go away….and don’t come back!

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Missing My Trash Picking

It’s been awhile (about a week and a half) since I’ve gone trash picking.  I’m sick with regret.  All of the stuff I am probably missing…I need to go out.  I haven’t because I have my living room full of crap that we’ve rescued and haven’t done a thing with.  I don’t want to create clutter, but I want to find some treasures.  What is a girl to do??

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Back At It

My partner and I decided to take a break for about a week.  Last Sunday when we went out, there were tons of people in our special area.  I’m not sure where the influx of people came from, but it was annoying.  Then we decided that we had a lot that we need to fogure out what to do with, so we opted for sleep instead of hunting for trash.

While we didn’t see a lot of people out last night, we didn’t see a lot of trash either.  I guess there wasn’t much to be thrown out.  We left our special area and went to another area that we’ve only been to once.  I was almost ready to leave when we stumbled upon a large slew of items.  Someone apparently had a yard sale and threw out the items they didn’t want.  Many people in our area will post an ad on craigslist for a “curb alert” when they throw out yeard sale items.  I guess these people didn’t because among other things, we found a Dell Inspiron 6000 (laptop).  It looks older, but who cares…it was free.  I’m going to get a charger for it and see if we can use it.

There were also cd’s, dvd’s, home decorations, beach chairs, household items and more.  The people that it belonged to came out and looked at us.  They weren’t rude but wanted to see who was trash picking.  Overall, it was a wonderful night.

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TV’s, Flooring, and MORE

The last few nights have been super exciting.  We’ve been able to rescue many items.  Thanks to our curbside recycling efforts, I have a like new bed set.  This includes a comfy brown comforter, blue satin sheets with 2 pillow cases, a mattress cover and a comfortable foam type pillow with a cover.

One night, we went to an area we don’t normally go to.  We were found an almost new looking Sony Grand Wega 50″ rear projection tv.  We hurried home to test it to see if it worked.  It didn’t.  The good news is that it only needs a $200 lamp.  The tv retails for over $2,000 brand new.  We decided to keep it and buy the part.  You can’t beat a beautiful TV for $200.  In the end, even if we don’t fix it, it can still be sold on my favorite website, craigslist.

Last night, we went to a ritzy part of our favorite area.  We found a full to queen sized blow up bed.  It’s so cool because the air pump is attached to it.  We also rescued a Krups Coffee/Espresso Maker.  The person wrapped it very neatly, as if they were hoping someone would take it.  Imagine, if we didn’t pickup these items, they would be dumped into our landfills and hurting our earth.

The only dilemma I find with our efforts is what to do with all of this stuff?  To be honest, I keep what I can use, sell what I can’t, and donate the rest of the useful items to a thrift store.  I don’t see why things should go to waste.  Some people that engage in this activity believe in only taking what you can use and leaving the rest for others.  My next thought is what will happen if no one else picks up the items? They will go into the landfill.  So, when we are out, we take what we find.  As long as it is recycled, it shouldn’t be an issue.

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Everything in your house is FREE?!?!?!

While I didn’t get a chance to hit any curb alerts today, I went to a free house sale.  Similar to a yard sale, a house sale occurs when an owner/tenant decides to get rid of most of the items in their home.  I happened to find an ad on Craigslist advertising a house sale where everything was FREE.  My partner and I got up very early so we would be there at the start time.  We traveled 40 minutes each way.  It was definitely worth it!  10 minutes before the start time, there had to be at least 20 people waiting.

5 minutes after the start time, a woman arrived and let us in.  Everything left in the house was free, with a few exceptions (such as air conditioners and blinds).  I was like a kid in a candy store.  I found everything from plastic storage bins, to bottled water and furniture.  There was even a free working refrigerator, pet items and clothes.

The woman’s generosity amazed me.  She told me that she had never heard of Craigslist until she told a coworker that she had a bunch of stuff she wanted to get rid of.  The coworker suggested the Craigslist free section and it was all history from there.

What a way to recycle and help others at the same time.

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