I would consider myself a pretty laid back woman overall. I try to go with the flow and take things as they come. When things go poorly I chalk it up to a valuable lesson or an experience that I can grow from. But there is one thing that makes me pretty annoyed is when people are throwing away decent items in the garbage. When I was in my 20's I would go to the dump and I would literally be in tears at the consumption of our country which there led to a huge waste. Perfectly good chairs, books, toys and more were being thrown in the pile of garbage with little care. Even in the UK when we lived in Wales I remember discovering around 30 antique books someone threw away. I couldn't think of a more severe crime than throwing books away at the time. There was a strict rule about not taking anything out of the garbage there so David and I had to sneak these books out in supposedly empty boxes. I felt like such a criminal and angel at the same time. In the collection of books was a beautiful "Jane Eyer" book set that consisted of 2 books so that women could carry one small book at a time in their handbags. I still have this book and look lovingly at them on the bookshelf from time to time, still wondering how someone could compare it to dirty diapers and just throw them away.
Tonight a certain woman and her two young children were spotted going through a dumpster by a certain local thrift store. They were armed with a young boys extended claw to allow them to grab things that they couldn't reach at the top. It certainly wasn't very ladylike to be rummaging in a huge dumpster but the rewards were worth it this evening. Here are two of the many items they "saved" from being in the landfill for years.
A solid wood lazy susan, complete with 4 nestling trays (trays not pictured). The candle holder and candle were a gift from Cerys's teacher when we had her over for dinner a couple weeks ago. It fits perfectly in the center. I was just wishing for a lazy susan on Sunday. I love when things just appear in my life like magic. Especially when they are free.
Keiran spotted this sweet treasure and spent most of the evening riding this lovingly handmade horse, complete with a long yellow handle. Sure, it isn't the classiest of items (for this unmentioned thrift store) but maybe stick it in a free box so a child could play with it. I'm sure this is one toy that Keiran will play with for hours.
Here is a small list of the items a certain mother and her two children found:
-5 new highlighter markers in a box
-2 blank notebooks
-Radio with working cassette and radio (CD is broken but will be perfect for the basement to play old 80's hand recorded tapes with Bruce Springfield on them)
-Hand crafted Pottery Bowl
-60's pottery bowl
-modern travel book on trails
-Wooden Lazy Susan
-Newspaper (to use in woodstove-how can people not recycle these days when it is easy around here)
-2 small standing dolls that someone picked up overseas
- Salt shaker with cut glass and possibly a sterling lid
-Lacrosse racket (or whatever they call them-not up to date on my lacrosse terminology)
-Fisher Price Village (modern)
-2 Brass Candle sticks/1 Brass pitcher
That's all "they" can remember for now. Most of the items were left in the car as they made a mad dash to put the chickens away before the raccoons came to eat them. The plan is to go through the items and give away what they don't need to friends, thrift stores or to a recycling center.
What do you do when you have something that just has to be thrown away? I try to take items apart and save any hardware that can be reused like screws or bolts. If any of the metal can be recycled I store it in my metal recycling bin until we go to the dump. Any paper I try to recycle it, same with plastic. Can this thrift store do anything differently? Should they? I must say that I'm hesitate to donate to this certain store knowing that they throw perfectly good items away. Do all the stores do this? Who gets to decide what is worth selling and what is worth throwing away. What I appreciate about Goodwill is the fact that even unattractive items get a second life when they go to the Outlet store. I often buy partly felted sweaters or moth chewed sweaters because I will felt them at home and reuse them. I'll buy women's dress shirts and make aprons out of them. From what I have researched, after some items like cotton clothing leave the outlet, they head to a cotton recycling plant and make the clothing into something brand new.
I love the cycle of items when they are dealt with in a conscious manner. For now, the children and I feel good about doing our part, even if it is saving a few items from the landfill. If anything we get a buzz from our thrifting trip free style.