Green Spring Clean

used shoesJames Stevenson, Pinellas County Extension Specialist, Urban Sustainability

We are so fortunate in Central Florida to have spring come so early. After a recent spate of chilly weather, I think I’m declaring spring officially here (although it is only mid-February.)

This brings us to an annual tradition: the Spring Clean. This time-honored task involves throwing the windows wide open, airing-out the rugs, and getting rid of all the STUFF that has accumulated for the past 12 months.

Perhaps there are still remnants of holiday gifts with no reasonable place in the home. Perhaps there are replacement objects that have rendered their predecessor irrelevant. It is time to take all the extra STUFF away to be re-used. A spring clean for one can result in a bounty for another; “one man’s trash…”

Of course for usable objects there are “thrift” or “charity” shops. These shops abound in the Bay Area, and are a great way to keep perfectly good items out of the waste stream. The down-side to thrift shops (for me, anyway) is that taking items for drop-off often leads to a bit of un-planned shopping—therefore canceling the “shift-of-stuff” objective of dropping items off in the first place. But never mind that. In many if not all of the cases of thrift shops, the money raised by re-selling used goods goes toward community development projects. Not only are you keeping the landfills clear, you are benefiting the local community—both noteworthy, green practices.

For the broken, worn-out-and-yet-still-salvageable, or the downright toxic, there are the wonderful Pinellas County Utilities programs including the Household Electronics and Chemical Collection Center(*) and local mobile collection(**) events. These offer citizens the opportunity to GET RID OF STUFF easily and conveniently.

Mark your calendar and get busy getting rid of STUFF, and we hope that 2009 will be a year-of-less-accumulation for your and your family. In these times, giving rather than getting are good benchmarks to try to hit.




Posted: February 9, 2009

Category: Work & Life

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