The eco-thrifty housewife in me loves that there is now a holiday all about getting rid of junk you don’t need by giving it to someone who might. I’ve been a long time lover of all things thrift, starting when I was 15 years old and sported pre-grunge styles best purchased at church rummage sales (not every teenager from the 80s had big hair and neon legwarmers; my crowd preferred plaid flannel, black trenchocoats and gas station attendant shirts, worn ironically, of course).
As a stay-at-home mom 10 years ago I discovered that the key to keeping my house somewhat tidy was to get rid of all the junk we didn’t need…and as a born and bred stingy person I’ve found that my local thrift shops are the best places to buy clothes for me and my family. In Chatham County, NC, where I live, we are lucky enough to have several brilliant second-hand and thrift shops operated by the PTA, Habitat for Humanity, and our local battered women’s shelter. If you go often enough and wait long enough you can literally find anything you need.
Naturally, National Curb Day has great appeal to me! Here’s how it works:
The first Curb Day will be on Saturday, May 16, 2009. On that day, or the night before, people are encouraged to take their valuable (but unwanted) items to their curbs. Because this is a weekend, it will not interfere with normal trash pickup. There will be treasures on neighborhood curbs all over the country. People will be out en masse picking up these free items. Kind of like Halloween!
I live in a fairly rural area and while there’s trash pick-up and curbs in the closest town (of 2500), there’s none on my road nor on the roads of the majority of people in our county. Some people pay for a trash removal service to come around and get their garbage, but my lovely husband takes our trash to the dump. So for me (and probably tons of other people around the country) Curb Day will have to be modified.
Here are some ideas for Curb Day for those of us who don’t have curbs:
- take your unwanted items to a central location as a freecycle event. No trading allowed – simply put it on display as ‘free for the taking.’ This would take some organization, but I can’t see why it couldn’t be done for next year’s Curb Day. (Note to self: in your free time organize this!)
- take your unwanteds to your local thrift shop. The items won’t be free once they enter the shop, but it’s better than throwing them into the trash
- investigate what your community has in place for unwanted(but still decent) items. Our dump/recycling center has a swap shop area, where people can leave items that are in decent shape. I have a friend who finds tons of clothes at the swap shop – no lie! If you always get your trash picked up, either by the town or by a service, you might not realize that something like this exists.
I think this is a brilliant idea and I hope it catches on. A big thanks to Mike Morone, the guy who invented it! We are of like minds, you and I.