Pay It Forward; Give It Away Rather Than Throw it Away

free furniture(This article was submitted by Greenacres resident David Fenigstein)
Let’s face it, we live in a world of over consumption. Some of that is by our own choice, as we want the latest and greatest, and some is simply because products have a limited lifespan and eventually need to be replaced. Either way, whenever we add something new to our lives, something needs to be removed, which usually means it's sent to the trash either to be buried or burned or in the best case scenario recycled. However, I have found an even better way of avoiding throwing items into the trash and the best part is it’s easy, free and the best part... someone comes to your house to take it away!

Recently I replaced my 20+ year old garage door opener with a new more quiet one which also happened to have cool new features such as battery backup and remote open/close. Was there something wrong with my old opener except for age and a noisy motor...No, it still worked perfectly fine. So instead of hauling it off to the metal bin at the recycling center (metal should not go in the trash BTW), I posted it on Craigslist for free. I had been thinking that no one would want a used contraption such as this, but low and behold after I posted it I was flooded with offers almost instantaneously. Within a day, the opener was picked up and off to a new owner, a school teacher who had the same model opener which recently quit on him and he had since been lifting the door manually due to the cost of a new one. So as the saying goes, “One Man’s Trash is another Man’s Treasure”, and what I have learned after doing this for many items from furniture to tires to kids toys is that you can basically give anything away for free.

My wife and I have posted countless items on Craigslist as well as Facebook Buzz that we no longer need, but still have plenty of useful life. There are plenty of other places to donate as well. It’s easy to give things away for free, but just requires a bit more work than tossing it in the trash. In the end though it helps others to donate, is better for our environment than adding it to the trash, and is also so much more satisfying to know that your items are getting a second life. Driving around town, I see so many items put to the curb that are perfectly good and could be used by others. Of course there is a chance someone will drive by and take it, but most likely it will end up getting tossed - versus a 100% certainty that if you post it online, someone who wants or really needs your item will take it!

Some may be concerned about strangers coming to your house and I do usually ask a few questions on Craigslist to know that the person is really interested before giving my address but have never once had an issue. Most importantly, the items you are posting are free so you don’t need to meet anyone or collect payment, you simply leave it somewhere outside for them to grab it, like a front porch, lawn or curb. So the next time you are ready to get rid of something, give posting a try. I bet you’ll feel better knowing your stuff is going to someone who actually wants it and you are not only helping the environment, you are helping others!!

Note from Joanne at - if you have something you would like to give away, send us a photo, description and contact information to and we will post it for free.

Scarsdale resident Miriam Popp commented, "I will add that the White Plains area Freecycle group is very active. I have given away old but usable appliances like a window AC, gently used children's clothing, men's clothing, college Russian language books and many miscellaneous household items that I was sure no one would want. It creates a lot more space in the house and is gratifying to put these items to good use! People on this site are not picky and are grateful to get these items. There is a lot of need in the local area. Baby items seem to be in particular demand. I have had no safety issues. I leave items by my front door. The biggest frustration is that people picking up are not always punctual."