Hardly a housewife: Trash picking with purpose

1 9

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

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 *

GDGD Radio Network Crowdfunding banner
GDGD Radio banner link
Green Divas Peace Out Meditation Podcast Series

Yekra Player

Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.

Cafeteria Man

“All across America, school food is undergoing a major transformation to help reverse the childhood obesity epidemic — but not without opposition and challenges. CAFETERIA MAN provides an inspiring, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to bring fresher, healthier food to the millions of kids in our nation’s schools. The film follows nationally-recognized chef Tony Geraci as he works to revamp school food programs that feed thousands of students in two big city districts — Baltimore and Memphis. Responding to the pleas of Baltimore students who were fed-up with terrible school lunches, Geraci was hired to replace pre-plated foods with tastier, more nutritious meals. But he didn’t stop there. To help students develop a better appreciation for healthier foods, he also established a model 33 acre teaching farm, brought in more locally sourced produce, and initiated student-designed meals. CAFETERIA MAN shows that it is possible to feed our nation’s students healthier, more nutritious meals, and provides inspiration and ideas to win the fight for better school food.

With appearances by First Lady Michelle Obama, noted food author Michael Pollan, White House Chef Sam Kass. "

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.

Overfed and Undernourished

“We live in a world with increasing levels of Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes and Obesity. Over 70% of foods we consume on a daily basis are processed, and according to the World Health Organization, if current trends continue one billion people will be obese by 2030.

With our fast paced lives, we have become reliant and connected to devices, TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones and disconnected with the natural world, and the people around us.

“Overfed & Undernourished” examines modern lifestyles and a global epidemic through one boy’s inspiring story to regain his health from the inside out. After heartache, Liam, weighing in at over 80kgs (176lbs) turns to his Aunty & Uncle for help, and embarks on a journey where we witness the highs and lows, a family unite for a common cause, and the promise of transforming his life forever.

With 25% of children and 74% of adults obese or overweight, Liam’s problem is not uncommon, but, as the film illustrates, the treatment is more readily attainable than most people think.

This ground breaking documentary is interspersed with interviews and advice from leading health and wellbeing experts from around the globe and provides us with simple solutions to improve the quality of our diet, lifestyle, and personal bonds, ultimately asking us the fundamental question – are we really nourishing ourselves?

Featuring: Joe Cross (Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead), Dr. John Demartini (The Secret), Dr. Anthony Gollé, Dr. Arne Rubinstein and Don Tolman."

[qpp form="SharetheGreenfortheGreenDivas"]



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!