Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts tagged Recycling

Recently we were visiting our son and his wife in Washington, DC. It was trash day and I looked out at the street lined with identical green garbage cans issued by the city. It was a strange sight to me. They all seemed so tiny by Midwest standards. I checked and each can was 32 […]

One of the things I’ve learned about letting go of stuff over the past 1½ years is that choosing what to give away is easier than figuring out how to give it away. Knowing who or where to take it to, carting it there or waiting for someone to pick it up, or repairing/recycling is […]

I’ve been saving this give-away for last because of weather, I couldn’t get anyone to take it, and I had moral qualms about giving it away anyway. You may recognize that the object in the photo was once a baby crib. I have now re-purposed it as a couch. Here’s the story. All four of […]

So let’s talk about recycling. Now that I’ve faced the demon of recycling electronics, what about all the more normal recycling we do. You know – the paper, glass, plastic, and cans. Recycling these things doesn’t feel as virtuous as giving a needy family clothes, dishes, or toys. Technically, it’s not really giving something away […]

I knew I would have to get to electronics sooner or later. First, I surveyed our house for things that ran on electricity or batteries that we were not currently using. We have two unused TVs (a 33” monster and a 13” black and white). Since the 33” is being stored for one of our […]

This is the last week I’m going to devote to books and we have eight more bookcases in our house. It’s not as bad as it sounds though since 2 hold my professional books, 2 are for Jim’s work, and 4 are our kid’s bookcases. In the interest of family harmony, I’m not going to […]

It’s book week #3 and I’m now evaluating the bookcases in the dining room. Technically this room has three bookcases but two of them are actually display shelves with stuff we’ve collected from various countries. One bookcase has books related to the continent of Asia, the second has books on Africa. Most of these are […]

As we close out the year I thought it would be fun to survey all the useless stuff I still have hanging around the house. Should I just trash these items or could there really be a use for some of them. It all started when I found a box of 124 floppy discs. On […]

Some weeks I give away a lot of things; some weeks only seven small items. The most satisfying times, however, are when I can find just the right person or place to give an item to. This past week I was happy to give our son’s trumpet from marching band back to the school for […]

I don’t’ think it’s fair to count our kids’ elementary and high school trophies and plaques as things to give away since they are of no use to anyone else. Still, I counted 22 trophies and 30 award plaques stored in a cedar chest that could be put to better use. (Trophies take up a […]

All this giving away has created a surplus of hangers in our house. I’ve used the pretty plastic left over hangers as far as they would go, so here are the ugly wire ones and a few pants/skirts hangers. Should I just throw them away? Is there a way to recycle them? They are a […]

No, we’re not giving away the house but, as I’ve reflected on why it’s been relatively easy so far for me to find many things to give away, it’s partly because we’ve lived in the same house for over 25 years. It’s also because I’m both a pack-rat and a good organizer so I can […]

Lupus is a serious disease – not a person, but it solved my storage problem brought on by plastering our stairwell. A few days ago, I got an unsolicited call saying that the Lupus Foundation would have a truck in our neighborhood next Thursday. Did I have anything to contribute? I assume it was just […]

The stuff I’ve chosen to give away had swamped the corner of the house I’ve been storing it in until I could take it to St. Vincent de Paul or Goodwill. I decided to try Freecycle (a service like “Craig’s List” but everything is free). It was amazing! Once I learned the mechanics of how […]

I’ve been waiting for April 24 for a long time. Apparently, so have a lot of other people in my neighborhood. It’s the day N. Kentucky finally sponsored a Hazardous Materials Disposal Day. I not only felt virtuous loading up an old computer, printer, and monitor, I also safely got rid of radios, lamps, light […]

In addition to those collection agencies that I mentioned yesterday, other ways for your goods and money to find a good home are: Free cycle It works like Craig’s list but no money is exchanged. Charity Navigator Evaluates the health and ratio of proceeds actually going to the needy for over 5,400 of America’s largest […]

Now that I’m committed to giving away at least some possessions, who should I give them to? My first thought was Goodwill since that’s where I’ve carted a lot of my stuff in the past. Good, but inconvenient. Recently I’ve been getting calls from Vietnam Veterans of America which has a van that comes right […]