Hardly a housewife: Trash picking with purpose

1 6

A  dining room table we scored in Tucson from A Vermont woman we met at the dog park. We ended up driving her dog 3,000 miles home.

Other people have a lot of cool stuff — stuff they have outgrown or grown sick of, stuff they put out by the road that might just need a little TLC. I have found better quality items sitting at the end of my neighbor’s driveway or in a stranger’s garage than in a catalog or at the mall.

My now-husband, then-fiancé outfitted our first “grown up” living space with mostly fun finds nabbed the night before big item pickup or trash night. It was a little embarrassing at first, to sift through someone else’s unwanteds, but when I would find that one piece that fit perfectly as a corner table or accent piece, I was glad I didn’t spend my pennies on something new.

Yes, the dude in my life was the one who got me over the stigma of lurking around garbage cans. And he was usually the driving force behind evening runs with the Jeep. But boy did we find a treasure trove in those days: a working big screen T.V. (not flatscreen—this sucker probably stuck out 3 feet in back—but it worked), handmade rocking chairs, couches and end-tables.

Some of the items needed a little repurposing, but we almost always found things we could work into our décor, hodge-podge as it was. Alas, our careful collecting was washed away in an unbelievable (and wet) twist of events just six months before we got married (I’ll tell you how a flood paid for our wedding in a future post).

When we moved out to Tucson for a year we brought our trash-savvy with us, but took the oh-so-sophisticated route of FreeCycle. (Mostly) gone were the days of prowling the streets looking for our next victim. We found some really great free stuff and learned the neighborhoods of the Catalina Foothills and Oro Valley driving to pick them up.

One of my favorite pieces was a glass-front cabinet a woman hand-painted a vibrant red with gold accents. When I asked her why she wasn’t selling it—after all she had put a lot of hard work and no doubt money into it—she said: “When you pour love into something, it seems like bad karma to sell it. I’d rather give it away for free so someone else can enjoy it.”

In that same spirit, when we emptied our place in Tucson after moving back East, we decided to donate all of our fun finds to refugees resettled by the International Rescue Committee. As a volunteer that year—one of the only ones with a vehicle large enough to transport donated furniture—I saw first-hand that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

In Tucson we also met a Vermont woman who, after she had transferred out west for work, found out that she was pregnant. She had her baby out West and then went home to be with her husband. She just had one problem: a Queensland Heeler named Jack who had to find his own ride home. We popped that pup in the back of our car with our own dog on a Christmas Cross-Country trip adventure of sorts. And what do you know… she left us her dining room table as a thank you.

As I slowly outfit my new house, I keep the giving-receiving mantra in mind. I’m always on the lookout for a used piece with a story, free or otherwise, and I love to pass the along things I no longer use so someone else can find joy in it.

About the author / 

Green Diva Cara
caratown@gmail.com'

Related Posts

1 Comment

  1. cfxdgjk@gmail.com'
    www.accidentcentre.co.uk June 7, 2013 at 10:11 am -  Reply

    What’s up, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this post. It was funny. Keep on posting!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current ye@r *

green divas peace out meditation series subscription/giveaway banner link

Yekra Player

Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.

A Fierce Green Fire

Spanning 50 years of grassroots and global activism, this Sundance documentary brings to light the vital stories of the environmental movement where people fought – and succeeded – against enormous odds. From halting dams in the Grand Canyon to fighting toxic waste at Love Canal; from Greenpeace to Chico Mendes; from climate change to the promise of transforming our civilization, A Fierce Green Fire is “nothing less than the history of environmentalism itself.” (Los Angeles Times). Official Selection Sundance Film Festival.

green divas radio show on iheart radio
green divas myearth360 report on iheart radio
green divas foodie-philes on iheart radio
green divas green dudes on iheart radio
GVK by green divas on iheart radio
green divas on stitcher

Yekra Player

Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.

Beauty and the Breast

“A first time documentary filmmaker offers a compelling insight into a devastating reality of breast cancer, as seen through the eyes of several female patients helping demystify the disease while painting poignant and often humorous intimate portraits of survival. The film depicts the process of learning and accepting the terrifying verdict, and details the complexities of every stage of this disease. All interviewed patients have different experiences living with mutilated bodies while still maintaining strength. This film is not only invaluable as a testament to human resilience but it also proves that it’s possible to blossom in the face of adversity. But as the fight continues, the wisdom and beauty within us can help us conquer the beast until we find the cure.”

Share Green with the Green Divas

like what you see here? share some green to help the Green Diva team - we are very grateful for all your generous support!

Spambot blocker question

1 + 9 =

btn_itunes

btn_itunes

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected
Contact Us link

don't miss a GD thing!

Get all the latest GD news . . .

  • Green Divas myEARTH360 Reports
  • Green Divas Foodie-Phile Recipes
  • Green Divas DIY Tutorials
  • Green Dude Stuff
  • . . .
  • your email is safe with us!