A couple of weeks ago someone gave me a bunch of items they no longer wanted, knowing that I could find homes for them, choosing Good Neighbors over Goodwill. One of the items was a set of nesting trunks that I am picturing here. They were scuffed on the outside but sturdy.

I have known for a long time that most of us are overwhelmed with our abundance of stuff. In part, that is the assumption on which GNG was founded. GNG helps people re-home some of the STUFF they no longer need to others who appreciate it. What I hadn’t thought as much about is how overwhelmed non-profits we support can also be.

Along with some other things, I brought these nesting trunks to one of my favorite non-profits for their monthly yard sale. A few days later, while bringing some other things, I saw these trunks marked for the trash. With the large number of volunteers this nonprofit engages, it is hard to train everyone on what to do with certain items. I have to be careful not to get caught up in the small details when the organization does an amazing amount of good on a regular basis. However, I did feel a little offended. Had the organization not wanted the item for the yard sale, it could have been shared with Lutheran Mission for their thrift store or Value Village (an AmVets thrift store) for theirs. These organizations and others are regular pipelines for unused items.

I took the trunks home and posted them on the free section of Craigslist and receive no less than 10 responses from interested people. I followed up with each, so I could determine what people intended for their usage. A few answered: two were going to use the trunks for decoration in their homes, one was going to refinish it to look like a chest from a video game he plays, and a few were going to use them for a Medieval Live Action Role Playing (LARP) game. In fact, there are many people looking for trunks, as well as wooden cups/plates/bowls, canvas tents, camping supplies and medieval clothing and fabric. Who knew?

I can’t stop the car every time I see someone throwing away something I know shouldn’t clutter the landfill – believe me I live with that temptation, but I can tell you MY landfill would be a lot smaller than the one we have.

Help make landfills smaller by making your best effort to find a new home for an item you can’t use, one of the organizations listed above, a friend, family member or neighbor or even Craigslist. Remember, your trash is someone else’s treasure.

Learn more about where to donate your items here.


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