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Link Roundup

What’s coming up on SYDW: I am interviewing a few places in the U.S. that accept gently used school supplies to see what they need. I am also eating expired food all week to show that those dates on food are not as hard and fast as you might think. Later today, I plan on drinking some super old hot chocolate with expired soy milk. Yum! I will give you the full report later.

Even though I just added my Stuff You Don’t Want Twitter account, it’s already been super useful. I’ve been following Waste Nothing— a more robust, searchable version of Stuff You Don’t Want, and already used them to find out a place to drop off my used corks. After a few confusing phone calls with the staff at Nordstorm in Santa Monica, I learned that the customer service desk will happily receive them. You can also search Recork directly for this info. I also recently added a medicine bottles listing on this site, if you have a pile of those laying around.

My friend, Moira, passed this link on to me from Gizmodo about this contraption which removes pollution from the air, creating jewelry from the waste. It’s like every interest I have rolled into one! My boyfriend, Nic, passed this article on to me about repairing items in the Wall Street Journal, which was a great read. And my brother, Dave, noted that this chef, Dan Barber, is all about not wasting food, and there was a big story about him on NPR.

Link Roundup

SYDW now has a Twitter account. Please follow me, because right now my only follower’s are my sister-in-law and the LADWP, and it’s lonely over there. I haven’t gotten up to speed on the whole thing yet, but I will. And then you can brag about getting in on the ground floor!

I am always looking on the lookout for fellow Angelenos who have an interest in used goods, and this week I happened upon the lifestyle blog of my (in a big picture kind of way) neighbor, Justina, at The Jungalow. She is a lifestyle/DIY blogger with an interest in thrifting, as DIY bloggers tend to be, and has a list of recommended thrift stores that overlap with some I’ve already done reviews for on this site. It’s so pretty it’s worth a look even if you’re too incompetent to do any of her projects, like I am!

Santa Monica is having a citywide yard sale on September 26th. If you live there, you can register your yard sale here. If you live nearby, definitely stop by on that day — Santa Monica is plenty posh, and there are sure to be deals.

Live in L.A. and not sure which days you’re supposed to water? Check out this handy chart, which lays out the schedule by odd or even numbered houses.

I was reading this essay by a former social worker about one of her former clients, and, as an aside she notes that, like most foster kids, he would move his belongings from home to home in a garbage bag. It gives me a chance to remind you that there is an organization called Suitcases for Kids that collects suitcases for foster kids because most foster kids end up transporting their belongings in garbage bags. If there isn’t anyone collecting them near you, consider starting a drive with your local Scout troop or Lions club and donating them to your local social service agency.

My 11947629_10155905973205417_3734541032001477149_nbrother bought several used ties, upon my recommendation, and here they are: $1.49 and $1.99. Eat your heart out! Or, better yet, snag a few used ones for yourself at your local thrift store!

Link Roundup

There’s a really helpful article at the Atlantic about why consumers make bad decisions when shopping. Avoid these traps whether you’re buying new or used!

I was going to let you guys know about my enthusiasm for Happy Living lettuce, which lasts way longer than regular lettuce because it’s packaged with its root intact. That means less food waste! In my research I have learned that the company who grows it, Go Green Agriculture, recaptures and reuses 100% of its water and is committed to growing their produce locally and sustainably. They’re even more awesome than I knew!

Speaking of saving water in agriculture, I turned on the last ten minutes of Shark Tank last week to see Johnny Georges pitching a device that could save farmers up to 93% of water on their crops. (It was a re-run, so perhaps you’ve already seen it.)  It was a very simple product and he seemed like a great guy. He got his funding, so I hope this thing goes big.

I also learned about The Buy Nothing project, a network of people who give away things to neighbors: “Ask for anything you’d like to receive for free or borrow. Keep it legal. Keep it civil. No buying or selling, no trades or bartering, we’re strictly a gift economy.” They have 80,000 members internationally. This Grist article lays out the details. I attempted to join my local group on Facebook, which appears to be closed. I’m not giving up that easy!

On a similar non-consumerist note, my brother sent me a story about a woman in Australia who got rid of almost everything she had before a trip to South America and found it liberating. I read the article and found a link to The Minimalists site, founded by two guys who found their seemingly successful lives, with moneymaking and consuming at the center, unsatisfying. There’s a great article on there about how ‘following your passion’ is crappy, or at least incomplete, advice.

Lastly, if you are here in L.A., there is a repair cafe in Santa Monica this weekend, sponsored by the local Time Bank. They are at the ready to attend to your busted appliances, broken jewelry, or torn clothing. You’d be crazy not to accept such bounty!