03/01/2020 at 10:37 am #74611
So I started selling about a year ago as a hobby seller and discovered this forum and have gleaned so much great info from you all this past year. Big thanks to everyone!
I’ve always been a frugal recycler, repurposer, donater, etc. keeping my carbon footprint as low as possible, but since i’ve started ebay selling it has opened my eyes to the amount of good, usable items literally thrown away at the curb! Some discarders will list on CL or FB marketplace and leave stuff easily viewable and assessable to be reused, but many people just put tons of stuff in black garbage bags and pile it for the trash to be picked up and incinerated.
As an aside, we just had our SECOND WINTER with virtually no snow and 60 degree temps in Jan/Feb! Rising temps are hurting my area’s ecosystem and economy drastically.
Someone in my neighborhood just sold their house and seem to be putting their entire belongings into black plastic bags to go in a landfill. I saw them the other day and mentioned that they could either call a local charity to pick up or donate the stuff to Savers a mile down the road and their response was “just take whatever you want.” I just don’t get this mindset.
Anyway, i’ve been picking up bags and dropping them off at Savers the past couple of weeks. This morning I picked up 3 huge trash bags and took a moment to look at what was inside. 6 pairs of different air jordans in their original boxes (worn but VG shape), 15 NWT vintage trademarked ballcaps and a bag of official sports clothing. Easily looking at at least $700 for the sneakers and caps. I”m washing the clothing to take to the local charity thrift.
Anybody else feel overwhelmed by the amount of waste in this country? – Liz
03/01/2020 at 11:22 am #74614
Yep, lots and lots of waste. It’s great for those of us making a living off people willing to throw away valuable items. But is is frustrating because there’s no way any of us can keep more than a tiny fraction out of the landfill.
My hope is that more and more people will realize they can just sell their stuff on Facebook or wherever and made a little bit of money.
We see any item we keep out of the landfill as a win, instead of being dragged down by all the stuff we missed.
03/01/2020 at 12:28 pm #74618
“We see any item we keep out of the landfill as a win, instead of being dragged down by all the stuff we missed.”
Great point Jay. I was so upset by it this week. My husband told me the same thing… you can’t save everything, just do what you can.
03/01/2020 at 3:50 pm #74624
There is also some satisfaction in throwing things away, so long as they’re recycled. I was tasked with culling the (auto) biographies at the thrift shop I volunteer at last week. Most are difficult to sell, and other shops don’t want them. So, into the pulping bag went various footballers, minor celebrities, old politicians, and Boris Johnson’s biography of Churchill, all to be reborn as toilet rolls.
03/01/2020 at 4:10 pm #74631
Jay, I am familiar with garbage finds. Amazing stuff! Seems he lives in a VERY old city… the stuff thrown away that he finds is incredible!
Antique frog… great use of old books. Glad they are being recycled!
03/02/2020 at 2:26 am #74647
Catmom, they’re not old books! I save the books older than the 1970s when I can. These are usually about 5 to 10 years old. The publishing industry is really wasteful. Each hardback book costs a dollar or less to produce, and retails at around 15 to 20 dollars. So they encourage anybody famous for more than ten minutes to write about themselves.
03/02/2020 at 7:23 am #74652
If stuff is recycled then its all good. We’re talking about the stuff that they just throw in a hole in the ground and cover up because people are too lazy to figure out what to do with it.
03/02/2020 at 11:21 am #74668
…but it’s not good when the stuff’s over-produced. Most of the biographies didn’t show signs of having ever been read (well, maybe up to the Noam Chomsky point- page 16!)
Dinosaurs got bigger, and then they became extinct. Cookbooks are following the same evolutionary pattern. Elizabeth David’s classics of the 1950s are small paperbacks. Jamie Oliver’s or Gordon Ramsay’s are hernia inducing.
03/02/2020 at 2:18 pm #74680
Yes! We get hundreds of beautiful (and not so beautiful) cookbooks donated each week at the library where I work. We can’t give them away and they end up getting tossed. I will grab some here and there but how many can I take home? My house already looks like a library.
03/02/2020 at 2:25 pm #74681RobinHoodRaccoonParticipant
- Location: Ohio
I had a similar experience this week. We are remodeling our home, and so we tend to go to the hardware/home store once a week. We decided to take a look in the dumpsters behind these stores and found a treasure trove! They threw away some items with minor damage, several usable tools and at least 10 items that were never used and are entirely undamaged (not boxed). We filled our SUV to the point that we could not properly close the back hatch!
A lot of it will be used on our home, but some will be eBay sales. What a waste….
03/02/2020 at 9:47 pm #74705JasonKParticipant
- Location: Florida
While I agree that people are too quick to throw good stuff away I also feel like companies encourage this behavior by making new things of low quality that can’t be easily repaired. In the computer industry I think ink-jet printers are a prime example of this. They are made super cheap to get people to buy one and start spending money on the enormously overpriced ink. Then, when the printer breaks a year or two later there is no way to get parts and a new is even cheaper so it just gets tossed. I actually have some customers who buy a particular model printer knowing it will only last about a year. Then when it breaks they just buy another one because a “good” printer costs so much more than the cheap junk ones.
03/03/2020 at 6:56 am #74710
JasonK… this is an interesting read – Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale. The author makes the same points you mentioned. Especially how products are produced NOT to be repairable!
We had an expensive toaster break recently and I tried to take it apart to fix it but the cover was GLUED in a strategic place making the simple repair impossible. There was no reason the adhesive was used except to make it unrepairable.
03/03/2020 at 7:50 am #74711tam from Tam’s Vintage & MoreParticipant
I just try to focus on the 3 r’s and how I can apply them in my own life. I don’t understand how people can be so casual about waste but I can’t really change them. Only me.
03/03/2020 at 9:44 am #74726RobinHoodRaccoonParticipant
- Location: Ohio
I agree that you can only change yourself and be aware of your own habits. I think that living by example is the best way to change others.
I’m 100% with you on that, especially for electronic items and appliances. That’s why vintage items can be so much easier to use – they were made to be repaired and luckily you can still find parts online, i.e. eBay!
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