This Saturday, May 15, is Give Your Stuff Away Day.
The event (formerly called Curb Day) is the brainchild of Mike Morone, who says Give Your Stuff Away Day could benefit millions of people, boost the economy, help shrink landfills, generate a sense of community and reduce household clutter.
“And no one has to write a check, make a call, or run a 5K,” he adds.
Here’s how it works:
On May 15, Morone wants all of us to bring items of value that we no longer want to our curb. No trash, recyclables, illegal, or dangerous items. No food, drugs, chemicals, or weapons. Just safe, valuable items we would like to donate. At the same time, people can come around to pick up free items that they can reuse.
“You’ll feel good because you removed some clutter and helped a neighbor,” Morone says. “Others will be happy obtaining free items in a tough economy.”
According to Morone, Give Your Stuff Away Day is “all about the timing.” Here’s an example he outlined for me to illustrate the benefit of having an organized day once or twice a year to give stuff away:
A person typically hangs onto an old bike after buying a new one. As years go by, and the bike’s tires deflate and it gets rusty and dusty, the owner finally gets tired of storing the bike. So, he or she tosses it out on the morning of garbage day. A few short hours later, it gets picked up, and in a few days, it’s in a landfill. The bike was only on the curb for a short time. Those few people who passed it were on their way to work, and no “scavengers” stopped to pick it up.
With Give Your Stuff Away Day, the bike –along with millions of other items –goes to the curb on Saturday morning (even Friday evening). Then it’s on display for all day Saturday and Sunday, with perhaps hundreds of potential scavengers getting a look at it. Still it might sit as Monday and Tuesday rolls around. By the time garbage day arrives (let’s say Wednesday), the bike has been on display for a full four days. Maybe 1,000 people drove by, but all thought it was junk. On Wednesday morning, person #1,001 drives by and happily grabs the bike. He or she fixes it up, and the bike gets a second life and is saved from the landfill.
Morone, who lives near Rochester, New York, concedes that Give Your Stuff Away Day could get “a bit messy.” And, trash hauling expenses might spike, he says. But in the long run, he feels that fewer items in landfills will equate to lower hauling expenses.
Morone says the idea has been growing in popularity. The Governor of Connecticut, M. Jodi Rell, has even officially proclaimed May 15, 2010 as Give Your Stuff Away Day.
“I urge citizens to participate and bring your unneeded items to the curb, as well as remain cautious while driving through our neighborhoods to keep the shopping public safe,” the proclamation reads.