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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Going Green: Sell it, gift it, reuse it to reduce carbon footprint
Robin_Jinchereau_and_his_wife_manage_to_produce_only_one_small_kitchen-size_garbage_bag_every_two_weeks._Gloria_Jinchereau_photo

Figuring out how to reuse the stuff you already have is a good way to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Sell it online, whether you use KijijiVarageSale, Facebook marketplace or eBay, you should expect to be able to sell your items for 20 to 25 cents on the dollar. 

It’s actually really easy to do: just take some good pictures, create a write up and post your items online for no cost. Arrange for curbside pickup and get paid.

Give away stuff. One day we decided to renovate the front steps. We had a nice prefab concrete step that had been provided by the builder. 

I moved it to the end of the driveway and put a “free” sign on it. My next-door neighbour rang the doorbell and asked if he could take it off my hands. I was quite surprised and happy to give it to him.

There’s also the NOTL Buy Nothing group on Facebook. Read Kyra Simone’s “Keeping it Green” column about the organization in the May 6 edition of The Lake Report. 

Call Bicycles for Farm Workers in NOTL and its volunteers will collect functioning bikes or even bike parts from your house. You can contact Mark Gaudet at 289-783-1684 or Terry Weiner at 905-321-8638 to arrange for a pickup. 

These two gentlemen repair the bikes and sell them for $20 apiece to farm workers in Niagara-on-the-Lake. They ensure the bikes sold are safe.

One of our kids uses newspapers as gift wrap. It can also be used to wrap household goods for storage or as packaging material for a move. 

However, if you’re really creative, you can actually transform newspaper into papier mache to create some really awesome artwork. You can make a glue with water and flour to solidify your shapes and then use some water-based paint to transform it into art.

Take good quality pasta sauce bottles with nice, airtight lids, sterilize them in the dishwasher and use them to store items in your pantry, such as nuts, beans or lentils, grains and rices, even spices. 

If you screw the lids to the underside of a shelf you might create more space in your pantry. That way, the pasta sauce bottles can then attach to the lids and be used to store items like lentils, grains, rice, etc. 

Reuse an old toothbrush. I keep a couple in my tool kit for hard-to-reach spots to clean or when I need a small brush to tidy things. 

Three stores in St. Catharines specialize in accepting unwanted quality household goods that they will either donate or resell to raise funds. 

The Christian Benefit Shop welcomes clothing, lamps, rugs, dishes, glassware, pots and pans, linens, coffee makers and tea kettles, books, toys, craft supplies, games, CDs, DVDs, sporting goods, tools, antiques and collectibles. For more info, stcatharinesthrift.ca.

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul store will accept men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, bedding, towels, glassware, movies, CDs, yarn, crafts and small furniture items. It has two locations: one in St. Catharines and another in Niagara Falls. For more info, stcatharinescc.ssvp.on.ca.

There also is the Niagara Furniture Bank. The top five items on its donation wish list are computer desks, nightstands or night tables, tea kettles or coffee makers, love seats or recliners, and bed linens. niagarafurniturebank.com.

The ReStore in St. Catharines or Habitat for Humanity also welcomes donated furniture and will collect items from your home (if they deem them appropriate). Take pictures of the item and email it to them to learn if they are suitable. If they collect your items, they will provide you with a receipt for income tax purposes. See habitatniagara.ca.

Hopefully this will help reduce your carbon footprint by allowing someone else to reuse your stuff.

Niagara-on-the-Lake resident Robin Jinchereau has degrees in human biology and business administration. He is retired from a long career in the pharmaceuticals industry and has been fascinated for the last 45 years about how to reduce waste.