Mindful Echo will happily dig through your trash pile in search of treasure.
Since living in Halifax I've experienced an interesting phenomenon: the curbside giveaway.
In addition to two annually-scheduled region-wide events, the citizens of Halifax proper - and to a lesser extent, the municipality at large - love to give things away. I'm not sure if it's because Halifax is a student-filled town, home to three universities and a college, or maybe it's just that Atlantic Canada is typically low to middle income families who appreciate the value of a dollar.
Sure, I had seen the occasional piece of furniture on someone's lawn with a "free" sign in the other cities in which I've lived, but never to this extent. Without exaggeration I can say that a sunny day in Halifax will guarantee a handful of curbside "free stuff" piles.
Don't get me wrong; sometimes it's total crap. But every now and then, there's a gem to be found. It's these gems that make the treasure hunting worthwhile.
|This antique desk chair was a curbside find a few weeks ago. It's solid wood and in perfect condition. As you can see, it was claimed almost immediately by Leroy, who appreciates recycling as much as I do.|
|A friend who is moving out of town hooked me up with these goodies. I wouldn't recommend taking opened food from someone you don't know and trust though.|
In our current culture of convenience, it makes sense that we're content with regularly replacing crappy furniture and other items with new versions of the same. Since so few things are built to last, we've come to expect a short lifespan on most of our home investments.
What's so wrong about just tossing your old crap? Actually, a lot. The more municipal waste we create, the more environmental issues arise, including the destruction of animal habitats, groundwater pollution, and a number of other forms of air, soil, and water contamination.
|I found this free chest last weekend. I took it home, removed the lid, and now it's a planter-in-progress.|
|Planter-in-progress. Soil needed. :)|
Second is to be conscientious of your purchases. Does it have to be something bought new or could you make-do with second-hand? For me the incentive of vintage quality is my motivation, and finding items cheap or free just seals the deal.
Either way, think about how long that item will be of use to you before it just becomes another lump in a landfill.