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Turning Your Trash into Someone Else's Treasure

If you can't reuse something, can't find anyone who wants it, and can't recycle it, take the eco-friendly route and think of ways to give it away or sell it before you throw it out. Your trash may be someone else's treasure. Some of the more easily moved items include the following:

  • Books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs: The market for these items is huge, and they can go on and on being reused.

  • Clothes: Used and vintage clothes are fashionable, and someone else may be able to make good use of good-quality clothing even though you never want to wear it — or see it — again. Sort through your wardrobe and drawers and pull out things to give away, swap, sell, or turn into rags.

  • Furniture: Whether it's old or relatively new, valuable or not, in good shape or has seen better days, someone out there will take furniture you want to get rid of. All sorts of home clearance firms buy furniture; auctions sell antiques and less valuable furniture and household items; and charities often want furniture of all sorts to help furnish homes for those less fortunate.

  • Electronics: Other people may be able to get old computers, appliances and cell phones in running order either for themselves or for charity.

  • Household items such as dishes, knickknacks, and storage containers: If these items are in reasonably good shape (not chipped or cracked, for example), there's no reason why they can't be used by someone else who may find their patterns more attractive than you do. Charity stores often accept such household items.

Set up a "find a new home for this" box for items to sell or give away. When a box of books or movies is full, offer it to your local secondhand book or music shop; if you don't get a sale, offer it to a local charity or nonprofit.

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