CHEERS to people who dispose of unwanted furniture, toys and household items by giving them away.
It’s not as obvious as you think. Plenty of people just toss something they don’t use anymore into the trash and send it off to the landfill.
But we know that landfills are not bottomless pits and have learned that the more we can avoid depositing under the skin of the Earth, the better for the life of our planet.
That’s why we have laws meant to encourage recycling and reduce the use of disposable plastics. (Vermont has even banned food scraps from trash, encouraging composting instead, in order to cut down on garbage.)
So what do you do with your old set of kitchen chairs when you buy new ones? Or the toys that your children have outgrown? The vases and knickknacks that have become clutter to you?
Garage sales are a traditional option, though they were discouraged this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But some people don’t want to put in all the effort required to hold a garage sale – and it is work. Or they don’t need the money, just want to see a long-used piece of furniture or once-special toy find a new home.
There are plenty of places to donate clean, good-condition used clothing. The large bins placed in sites around the North Country earn money for the nonprofits whose names are written on them. But fewer sites take household goods.
Thrift shops often accept them, but some of the local stores have closed for good and others curtailed operations during the pandemic.
In the City of Plattsburgh, the Salvation Army Thrift Shop on Montcalm Avenue had shut down well before COVID-19 hit.
But Our Lady of Victory Thrift Shop, located at the church’s Parish Center off South Catherine Street, has reopened. It accepts clothing and household goods, with drop-off hours on Wednesdays and Fridays.
And the two Plattsburgh shops that help homeless animals are back open and accepting donations. Rescued Treasures at 37 Clinton St. earns money for Elmore SPCA, and The Cat’s Meow at 90 Bridge St. benefits the efforts of Animal Rescue and Welfare.
Those, and operations like them around the region, are fine places to donate goods from your home. And they provide a low-cost shopping option for young families starting out, first-time apartment dwellers and low-income residents.
Another easy, effective way to recycle is to place items curbside with a “Free” sign on them. North Country residents use this method to put things they don’t want anymore into the hands of others who do. (Watch the weather, so you don’t leave a couch or books out to get soaked by rain.)
Yes, there are scavengers who grab some of the free items up with the intention of reselling them. Likely not what the givers had in mind.
But most free items are picked up by people passing through the neighborhood who are thrilled to find a little “treasure.”
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World news – US – Cheers and Jeers: Sept. 21, 2020