Truth is we are all probably guilty of throwing out items that could easily have been sold, dontated, or given away to someone else who may have appreciated them!
If you have alot of items to sell, consider a yard sale, ebay, or Craigslist. Grab a drink and set up shop outside your house for the day... not only will you meet your neighbours, you'll make money doing it! Ebay (www.ebay.com) is another great place to sell your stuff. There are fees involved and you may wind up selling to someone across the country and have to ship it, but it's still better than landing in the dump. Craigslist (www.craigslist.ca) is easy to use, local, and free to post. Localized selling cuts down on shipping and packaging even further reducing our impact on the planet.
There are plenty of places you can donate to! Around the city, there are places like Value Village and a variety of bins that accept clothing and other items. Some even issue a tax receipt. It's a great way to help those less fortunate and ensure that we aren't filling our landfills with items that someone else would have been very happy to receive. I know many first time buyers who would be ecstatic to have some things for their home.... I'm sure you do too. Give away whenever you can - it feels good!
Lastly, think twice before you buy. Are you replacing something because it's broken or because there is a newer model that looks better? Do we really need to fall into the consumerism trap? Think about it.. companies are constantly changing things and sucking us in to buy more when we already have enough! It's how they stay in business and it's how many of us get in debt. Really think about each purchase... Believe me it's a hard one for me too!
In the end, it isn't things that make you happy. Well that's a lie.. they tend to make you happy temporarily, but the real things in life that give you long term happiness are the things you can't put a price tag on... like giving to others.
For more information on keeping it green at home, check out my blog: