Recycling For Exercise

Calista

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That does sound strange but let me explain: rather than pay for gym time, I take advantage of several rural loops of five to eight miles each in my area, speed walking to keep fit.

I can't believe what I find discarded on the sides of the roads --perfectly useable items that just need washing or minor repairs. Which is why I always walk with gloves, plastic sacks, and a backpack. I have picked up and saved more pairs of work gloves than I will ever need, flashlights, jackets, hats, pens, canning jars, and -- well, you get the idea.

One score that stands out was two brown paper bags filled with unexpired canned and dry foods, just sitting by a fencepost at a rural intersection. I figure the people who left it all there didn't want to just toss the lot but maybe got the items from a food bank, or something, and they weren't to their liking. Well, I made good use of them!

My biggest score was passing by an old dilapidated house and grounds where I stopped to talk to the owner, who had boxes of stuff sitting outside. When I asked if he was planning to set up a garage sale, he replied that no, he had been transferred out of state to a new job and was just going to clean everything out of his parents' house that had been sitting empty since their deaths several years back and have a big dumpster delivered to get rid of it all.

OH, NO!!! I gave him a quick education in the merits of keeping useable items out of the refuse stream and how recycling and giving to charity could give him a warm, fuzzy feeling for doing good. We laughed and then he agreed to let me and my husband come take what we wanted, as long as the job was complete in one week. He provided written permission for us to be on the grounds and I promised to provide him with a tax receipt from any charitable organization getting useable items.

Hubby and I showed up bright and early the next morning and worked all day, plus three days after. A whole house, a barn, and a shed! Great exercise program! Everything inside was a dirty shambles but wearing dust masks and using gloves took care of any concerns. Other than a strange fascination with stuffed toy animals (we found DOZENS), there was plenty to collect from the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, and living areas. Outside, we found planters, tools, garden sculptures, galvanized garbage cans, paving stones, and decorative rock. We kept some things for ourselves and donated two carloads to a local charity.

Sometimes you just have to ASK and recycling heaven shall be yours. :)
 

Chic Rustler

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waste not want not is what I always say

Seems the life style always has physical activity for us.
 

milkmansdaughter

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We've done the same. Over the years we've cleaned many attics, garages, basements, yards, houses, and storage units for people. Calista, we have the same thoughts as you. If it's usable, and we don't want it, at least donate it. We've brought many many carloads of stuff to charities over the years.
Btw, if you're new, welcome to the group! Seems like you fit right in here! :)
 

Beekissed

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My sister and I used to walk around town and found it especially rewarding the night before trash pick up...found scads of wonderful things to reclaim! We'd come back later with the truck and quietly remove them to a good home.

My boys and I used to help people clean up old sheds and such too, garnering fencing, lumber, old farming tools, etc. along the way. For a bit of work out in the sunshine, many a great thing can be had.
 

Britesea

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I think the best score I ever found was a 6x8' metal storage shed that someone was getting rid of. It had an attached wooden floor, so all we had to do was borrow a friend's flat bed trailer and lift it in to take home. It was old, but we had it for 15 years before we moved. I would have loved to take it with us, but a second move like that would have destroyed it, so we left it behind.
 

Calista

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Wow @Calista that is so cool! You're amazing!
Thank you but it took no talent on my part -- just friendliness. Most people respond to a friendly approach, especially ones like this man, who must have been troubled by memories of his departed parents as he started the process of getting rid of all their things. Luckily, his job transfer occurred before he saw the house demolished.
 
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