Simple Saturday ~ The microwave oven story

Today I wanted to share another little story with you regarding a thrift shop donation. To be correct it really wasn’t a donation it was me acting as a go between. Confused? Well here’s the full story.

A man came into the thrift store where I volunteer. He had a microwave oven to donate. Now for reasons unknown to me we can not take donations of microwave ovens so I had to refuse the offer. I suggested to the gentleman that he check out freecycle.org but he looked somewhat confused and I got the impression that the oven was going to end up in landfill if I didn’t do something. The man had said it was a perfectly good appliance but that they had bought a new one. Diplomacy prevented me from asking why on earth they bought a new one when this one was still in good condition but it was a struggle I can assure you.

So needless to say I took the microwave oven from him and told him I would find a new owner for it myself. I left the oven in the back of the store in an area the customers aren’t supposed to enter with the intension of taking it home with me to Freecycle. Nevertheless about ten minutes later a young couple approached me at the counter with the oven in hand asking how much is was. So I did what any good intentioned person who hates waste would do. I said to them “I am sorry it is not for sale we aren’t allowed to sell microwave ovens but here is what I can do for you. You can have the microwave oven for free, it just didn’t come from this store. OK!” The young couple understood the underlying message, gladly picked up the oven and went merrily on their way. They were happy to get a freebie, I was happy not to have to freecycle it and the man who donated it was happy. All in a mere fifteen minutes work.


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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. That’s a great story. There are always people out there who can use the things we can’t if we just take a little time and effort to find them. You did good.

  2. Nice to see common sense in action!

    • Yes Jo, too bad common sense isn’t all that common. I so often get people in the store who can’t be bothered going that one step further to find responsible ways to declutter their stuff. I make suggestions but you can see by the look on their face that they are thinking it is all too much bother and I know the things will go to landfill.

  3. That’s it I’m sending all my lagging bits and bobs to you to Freecycle, 15mins to receive, put down, get rid of, You Rock lol, oh I do hope that couple was pleased and may that microwave give them great service 🙂

    I wonder how long the guy’s brand new microwave will last hehehe!!

    Have a beautiful day 🙂

    • Ha ha Dizzy, you have an evil mind. I hadn’t actually thought of that man’s new microwave failing on him and regretting his donation. I know it is wrong but it does amuse me just a little.

  4. Good job Colleen!

  5. I saw the title of this message and had a moment of panic. Surely, she is not going to try and talk me out of my microwave?! LOL
    That is awesome that you were able to do that. Sometimes it is so hard to get rid of things responsibly. We struggled for two weeks to get rid of our guestroom bed. We wanted to turn it into a home office that would be used much more than it was as a guest room. We posted in my community’s intranet, on craigslists, and offered it to friends. We were puzzled that it would take so long and we didn’t have takers! I called several charities and they would not take mattresses (which I can understand) and the one that did, wanted to charge for pickup. Luckily a friend was happy to have it in the end…
    I guess I share that story because I feel for this man trying to do the right thing (other than purchasing when his was functional, maybe they installed a built in). Sometimes it can be a bit of a hassle but I am glad microwave man and I were able to make someone else happy 🙂

  6. Bravo Colleen, BRAVO!!! 🙂

    • Vielen dank mein freund. I hope that translation was right. Are you back in the US yet?

      • “meine Freundin”?

        • Thanks Ann. I suppose that is the feminine version. These languages with their crazy gender thing. As you know I have enough trouble with just getting the spelling right without gender issues thrown in.

          • oh, please please please let me have a little excursion into the development of german language:

            there is a trend in modern german… male versions have always been the normal use in language. so when someone said “Bist du Student?” (are you a student?) I said yes. Now if thats happening, there are a lot of people correcting me. No, you are not a “Student” (student, male), but a “Studentin”(student, female). if you put this in plural, its “Studenten und Studentinnen”. For writing, this get done like “Liebe Student/Innen” (dear students). Imagine all the mistakes that are done in speeches (I heard a presentation of a director, who only used the female versions), the problematic way of how you write your papers, etc. etc.
            I understand the arguement, that sexism is manifested in our language and that the active use of both genders in our language, will transform our way of thinking into a de-gendered mode. I wont fight against that arguement. I consider myself a emancipated, modern woman, I am very aware of sexism. But I think what people do to our precious german language in the name of political correctness is rape. Its a complicated, forced form of endings (like we dont have enough endings already), that makes you wince at all the horrible enlarged forms of our nouns… I think german is a beautiful, because its flexible and practical, because you can add words on words on words on words, because you can change the structure of the sentence a lot without changing the meaning, and you can use really really cool words. but this gendered thing really annoys me.

            I am sorry I let this out, and in this case “meine freundin” is indeed correct. 😉

            • Hi Lena,
              I have no problem with the structure of languages it is more about my own laziness when it comes to learning them. I have enough trouble getting my own right never mind ones that seem more complicated to me. I am appalled at my own ignorance in this matter while other people seem to easily be able to get their heads around multiple languages. I hold those people in awe.

              • yeah. I am have to say I have a talent for them, always had, and probably always will… learning languages is one of the things I do on a regular basis just for the fun of it. mostly its just basics.

                I dont think you should be appalled by your “ignorance”… you have other talents. like running a blog for 2 years and becoming successful with it and then having been on radio, writing articles for books etc… I couldnt do that…

                • Hi Lena, thank you for that confidence booster. I do know I have other talents but I really would like to be better at languages. I think that living in a country so removed from others the necessity for learning other languages just was never there. I did learn French in high school for three years, only two were compulsory, but it didn’t come to me naturally. I imagine it is all tied in with my being average even in my own language. And yet I seem to have a knack for recognising accents even when I have only been exposed to them for a short time. Weird! I look forward to the time when my husband and I base ourselves somewhere in Europe for an extended period and we are exposed to a foreign language for a long while. Perhaps it will rub off quicker than I expect when we are actually living it. We are just so fortunate that when we travel so many other people speak English fluently as their second language.

  7. Awesome! High five!

  8. I was so happy to read the happy ending on this one. Great move!!

  9. Good for you saving the microwave from the dump and making a couple happy at the same time. When I get rid of stuff, I know I want it out of the house right away. This is a good reminder to take a little bit more time and effort to make sure it goes to a good place. Thanks.

    • I am always getting suckered into this at the thrift store. I can’t bare the thought of people just throwing perfectly good stuff away. I am a one man Stuff Rescue Committee. I am sure my husband thinks I am mad though. I am glad to inspire others to do the same.

  10. Hi Colleen,
    I don’t know if this is helpful, Father Riley’s take electrical appliances and they are just down the road . 🙂
    Cheers

    • Thank you Wendy I must give them a call and see if they have any restrictions on what they take so I can hand that information on to people who phone in looking for ways to offload their stuff. I just think it is sad that there has to be so many restrictions in the first place. An individual can sell whatever they like in an AS IS condition while secondhand stores have so many rules placed on them. Secondhand is secondhand and it taking condition honesty into account it ought to be up to the buyer to take their own precautions. Sometimes I think we are a little too over protective in this world and too quick to try to blame/sue others for our own risk taking.

      • I agree Colleen, I think the overprotective/blame issue has been exploited to the detriment of those in real need.
        I am slowly being educated about shopping and donating at thrift stores, your information is very helpful!! Cheers

        • It is a sad state of affairs isn’t it. People actually strategies to find ways to sue others people and companies just to make a quick buck out of this sort of thing. “Accidentally” slipping over in shopping centres, spilling hot beverages on themselves, planting sharp objects in hamburger patties, choosing to smoke and then blaming tobacco companies for the lung cancer they have been clearly warned about on the packaging, although I must admit I have no sympathy for tobacco companies.

          I am glad you have been receiving an education about donating. For more info talk to the people at your local thrift stores.

          • It is strange, cause I know some charities I visit DO sell electrical stuff, so it’s hard to work out to a normal consumer, why some do and others don’t.

  11. Good on you Colleen. I would have done the same! I bought a perfectly good waffle-maker from an op-shop (they just said they couldn’t guarantee it worked but I took the chance). Got rid of it recently as it rarely got used!

    I recently tried to get rid of some *non*-working electrical goods (so they didn’t go into landfill) and do you know the run-around I got?!! Repair stores didn’t want it for parts, my husband refused to let me leave it on the nature strip, so I ended up giving it to a girlfriend to take to the Department of Sustainability centre, where apparently you can offload almost anything! It did take ages to get the result, sigh.

    • Hi Loretta,
      well done finding a home for your non-working electrical goods. I have given items like this away on ebay. People who tinker with electronics can often use the parts.

  12. Just slightly off track here but still in the zone, Loretta’s comment tweaked my memory regarding disposal. Not long ago we had a pick-up for household goods etc and a huge amount of electrical ‘things’ were kerbside. Don’t get me wrong it can be a great way to get rid of your ‘crap’ but I really wanted to know if it is disposed of in a manner that is useful. In SA they have a money amount on all recyclables so people save their glass and plastic and go hand them in and get 10c for each item! Do all states have this? In WA we have bottle banks etc but I very rarely see them getting used, I do recycle into the bottle banks regularly but I wonder if more people would do the right thing if you got money back, like we used to years ago, as kids we used to make a fair bit of pocket money running around and collecting bottles, whatever happened to that I wonder?

    Now if we have a place to take assorted things to why can’t it be widescale so ‘things’ can be re-used etc, and easy to find. Like Loretta I got the run around when my washing machine died, it took ages to get rid of it responsibly, (it died after the household pick-up) but it made me really think what happens when it leaves your kerb. Landfill yes, but do the departments concerned in other states actually get rid of ‘things’ properly.

    We have the technology to build wonderful things but are these things stripped and re-used in any way when they die? I have asked many questions in many places since I started downsizing my stuff and so far not many questions get answered. Am I alone in these thoughts?

    • You’re not alone, Dizzy. I’ve been thinking these things for a couple of decades 🙂 I think that collection practices vary widely because they are a municipal responsibility, at least they are in Canada. I also think that, eventually, responsible disposal of all items will become more common. It takes time and public pressure to bring about change. In the meantime, I try as best I can to find the best way to dispose of things both usable and not usable. Just last year our area started a curbside program for people to put out stuff and anyone can come and take it. There was one small truck in particular that I saw going by numerous times and picking up metal items; I think they must have been going to sell it for scrap. I’m just waiting for this year’s curb day – our washer died a couple of months ago, and I’m storing the old one in the meantime. It pays to keep asking and investigating, too – our bottle return now takes old keyboards and other computer components as well as metal items like pots and pans, our electronics store takes used batteries, and our office supplies store has a drop off for depleted toner cartridges. A few short years ago, we had none of these options available.

      • I just discovered recently that out city council has stopped out kerbside pick ups. There is a new scheme coming to take its place and I will be interested to see what that is. It won’t affect me much because I have already got rid of all the large items I plan to get rid of.

        I think it is a crying shame the people require payment to do the right thing. Shame shame shame!

        • Hi Colleen,
          It must be going through all councils Australia wide. Residents in my area have been informed that they will no longer be receiving notifications for the kerbside pick ups. Instead they will have to log on to the website and check for dates. They have decided to reduce the amount of paper mail so they cut the flyer out and they reduced the pick ups to 1 x household junk and 2 x green waste (we used to have 2 and 4 of each). Mind you I still think it’s great that we have the pick-ups.

          Just for fun, I went for a walk (it’s a nice 3km round trip walk) I took a pen and paper and counted the tv’s and microwaves on the pick-up route from my home to the local deli. 36 tv’s of varying sizes and 19 microwaves, loads of other stuff but I was blown away by the amount of tv’s, along the stretch I walked it was amazing to see all the stuff just piled up. There were a lot of pickers out there getting scrap metal etc but I must admit the sheer amount of stuff was mind boggling.

          Like you I no longer need to use the pick up, I am however praying that my washing machine (or some other appliance) doesn’t break down AFTER the pick up! 🙂 🙂

          • Dizzy, I often wonder of the TV’s on the footpath are even broken or just that people don’t want them anymore. I Freecycled our old non-digital TV. It took a bit to finally get rid of it but it went. I think most folks just don’t care and many of the charities won’t take them. There are still folks out there that can’t afford a new flat screen TV so it is always worth trying to give the old ones away rather than just trash them.

      • Hi Jo,

        I went to the shops today for milk and discovered that the centre has now installed a light bulb bank for the new light bulbs we now have that last longer but can can potentially kill you quicker if you break one! Go figure! Also just near the Big W they put a used battery bank alongside the cartridge drop offs. The phone shop has always had a mobile phone dump box but they have added a box for old chargers, plugs, extensions and covers. How cool eh! I was very surprised because many residents have been campaigning for these facilities for ages, and they are soon to be putting a small electrical appliance box in to save on these things hitting the bins. It was like a little prayer was answered. Just hope everyone gets on board with it and uses all the collection areas properly.

        • It seems like WA is leading the charge when it comes to environmental responsibility in Australia. It’s about time the more populated states caught up. I am going to have to check out our Big W to see if they offer the same facilities. I don’t shop there often so I really wouldn’t know. I suppose that is the drawback of not shopping much, I don’t know what is going on in my own local shopping centre.

          • Yep it’s next to impossible to ‘responsibly’ dispose of CFLs, I made a few calls and emails. Seems they are part of toxic chemical waste, and ideally you wait til the periodic day (and if you go to one not in your council area ,some of them charge you fees?! I mean are you going to want to be responsible if you have to wait, and pay?) I found out I could mail them (but then I’d have to protect them lots, more waste)

            And on the TVs, my friends had THREE (for two people) that were flat screen ‘new’ ones, just not ‘big enough’. Let alone all the people who toss boxy ones for flat ones (my dad included! BIg box still worked!!!! WHY!!!)

            • Actually yes snosie, if I choose to use these things then I choose to do what is necessary to dispose of them responsibly. Unfortunately I think I am in the minority. I prefer not to dwell on it though because why should I feel bad for other peoples thoughtlessness. All I can do it take care of my things and keep encouraging others to do the same. Which is why I am not even going to start again on the subject of televisions and the disposal there of. Why spoil my day. I am just glad to know that you also do the right thing.

    • No Dizzy, you aren’t along in your thoughts on this. I wonder the same thing myself but really only bother to research it when I have the need. I have found a place to recycle batteries close to my home but haven’t had call to look into much else so far. I am ashamed to say that most of what I have gotten rid of is still working. I have found my local city council website to be a very valuable resource when I need advice on these matters.

      I believe that SA is the only state in Australia that has a recycling scheme that pays the way you have suggested. Although the NT is trying to instigate a similar scheme but a receiving much resistance from companies such as Coca Cola interestingly enough.

  13. Hi Colleen, I have been following your blog for a few weeks. Being a teacher I have the advantage of having just had the long summer/xmas break and decided I needed to have a good clear out. I came across your and several other sites by accident and never realised there was such a great community of like-minded people! Having been inspired by you all I took the plunge and am gradually building up a blog of my experience with decluttering and simplifying. Blogging is a great way to unclutter your mind. I am going to catch up with some of your other posts to motivate me once more!

    • Hi Jane and a hearty welcome to you from 365 Less Things, we are always happy to have a new reader on board. I read your blog posts and thought how appropriate eating an apple a day was considering you are a teacher. Hopefully your students will catch on and you will get a few free ones landing on your classroom desk. Apples sound so healthy perhaps I need to eat more of them.

      On the subject of you being a teacher I must warn you that sometimes, well often, my spelling and grammar leave a lot to be desired. I am a bit of a last minute blogger causing my brain to sometimes trips over my fingers and my proof reading is sketchy at best due to time limitations. As it turns out it makes a big difference to the message I am conveying if I write panty rather than pantry. 😆 So please forgive me and feel free to point out the errors so I can go back and fix them.

      Good luck with your decluttering and I hope you enjoy blogging about it. It is surprising how enjoyable both pursuits can be.

      • Hahaha I recently had ‘panty’ not Pantry in an invite (so few people noticed!)

        • I had a person point out to me again today the my blog name should be 365 Fewer Things. It really is far too hard to try to be perfect and much more fun to amuse my readers on a regular basis. I am sure you agree. 😆

  14. Well done Colleen! I was about to throw something in the trash and after reading this, I had to take a picture and list it on freecycle. We’ll see if someone wants it. If not, then I will have no regrets.

    • Good for you NatalieinCA,
      it I the harder way to declutter but it is the responsible way. Check out your local governments web site they usually have a section dedicated to there trash and recycling options.

  15. We sold/donated perfectly good appliances when we got an appliance that did more in one/fit our needs better. 🙂 It could be his new one fit his space better, fit his design (a kitchen remodel?), had more features that he did use instead of features he didn’t, etc.

    Just my two cents! 🙂

    • That is true Lynn, perhaps I was a little hard on the poor fellow. If I was in his place I think I would have volunteered that information so I didn’t look like such a prat though. But then again he wasn’t obliged to defend himself. If would not have taken a genius to figure out how to find a home for it though which he was clearly not prepared to do aside from the feeble attempt to drop it off at the thrift store. I bet he took a lot more time shopping for the new one than he was prepared to put into responsibly disposing of the old one.

      • at least he did. I know a lot of people who would just trash it. (well being german “trash” is still the recycling center)

        Everytime we touch this subject I am again happy to live here… although sometimes a bit pedantic, we DO get the deposit for bottles and cans, we refill our cartridges, and we recycle most of our trash. That doesnt help a lot considered that we consume as any other wealthy western country. (sad fact: compared to others we are the ones that are saving money on food the most)
        I made some effort to educate my boyfriend: he is now back in Denmark and got laughed at as he walked into the supermarket with his bagpack and some shoppingbags, like he had to do with me here in Germany. He was feeling very good about himself and told the others how many plasticbags he is saving now. small step for him, big step for danish humankind 😉

        I think its amazing that you bend the rules a bit and become a dealer of microwaves 😉

        • Lena, I am so pleased you had a positive effect on your boyfriends environmentally friendly habits. Not only has he changed his ways but he sounds enthusiastic about it and is spreading the word. I hope he makes a big impact back in Denmark.

          Rules are made to be broken aren’t they? 😉 Or at least bent a little for the good of mankind.

          • hell yeah. for the good of mankind you can bend and break all your way. you can also take queer looks or weird comments, because you know you are doing good. and I love the moment, when I feel morally superior to others 😉

            • Lena, you must have a more optimistic nature than me. Instead of feeling morally superior I usually just feel sad that others just don’t seem to care.

              • nah. I am not always this optimistic. this morally superior feeling comes mostly, when I get comments about being vegetarian. But there are other days where I want to cry because of this, and the ignorance of people. people who call me naive and unrealistic. people who consider consumerism as the final goal of mankind. and then my sadness turns into anger, because they are idiots and I am not 😉 and then the anger turns into the morally superior feeling. I might be naive, but I am at least trying to make a difference here. I am making sure, I cant be blamed for this barbaric animalproduction and I hope I cant be blamed for not caring enough…

                • I am glad that you care even though I am a meat eater myself I understand the philosophy behind vegetarianism and would never mock anyone for making that choice.

                  • thanks. I am vegetarian for a year now, and although I am in a trend and a lot of people are reducing their meat in their daily life, I still have the feeling, I offend some people with my lifestyle. They get into a very defensive position – sometimes even rude – and suddenly I am listening to pro-arguements for eating meat. its strange.

                    • People on the defensive usually feel they are being judged or have been judged in the past about the subject at hand. And some people are just plain rude. Keep mentioning it and you never know you may help someone who wants to be converted and just try to divert the subject when you encounter the ones who get negative on you.

                      My son became vegetarian when in high school I assume because friends were doing it and the cruelty to animals issue. He later became less concerned but by then vegetarian was a way of life for him. Also he has said he sticks with it just to make a point to his grandmother that it wasn’t just a fad. But he’s not at all stubborn. 😉 😆

                    • Mentioning it to others results either in: “YOU?!? Vegetarian? are you crazy?” or “oh how cool, I want to reduce meat as well”. and when I get the positive comment I tell them to keep trying to have meat free days, and eat it for special occasions, and then most important: eat organic meat, eat the stuff that comes from the farm nearby and not from a place somewhere the other side of the globe.

                    • I agree Lena. Like one thing a day decluttering, ease yourself into new habits. I find that eating less meat I don’t mind paying the higher prices at the local butcher rather than buying from the big chain store where who knows where the meat comes from.

                    • I see, we are on the same page here. I think everyone should eat what they want. but knowledge about your food is a good thing 😉

  16. Charity shops don’t generally take electrical goods here in the UK because of the risk of a fault resulting in electrocution. It costs money to get these donations checked out by a qualified electrician.
    A few do take them ( because they have a volunteer electrician who checks them over) and it does take a little more effort to get them to a particular store and sadly , a you say, not everyone does bother. I of course do because I have a halo to maintain :O).

    2 more small things of my husband’s gone via freecycle this week.

    We are about to completely empty our bedroom of everything tomorrow in preparatiojn for having the floorbards sanded very early Monday morning. I’m hoping not everything makes it back in!

    • Go Katharine,

      There’s nothing like having to strip a room to do something to it in order to help you decide what you want back in! When we re-painted our Master Bedroom, we hauled everything out, turned out to be quite a bit seeing as it always ended up being a hold-all till things found their home. Once painted all that went back in was the bed, bedside drawers (no junk) two fabulous pictures (which we love) and lampstands, oh and a decorative curtain rod to hold the sheers.

      It made for a very restful and lovely room. Good luck with the floorboards and your cull 🙂 🙂

      • Thanks dizzy! They are here now and started…very exciting. This is one of our wedding presents with kind gifts of cash from relatives – so much better than ‘things’ we didn’t need.
        I have already mentally removed some drawers from the room, which I had removed most of the contents from through decluttering.

        It is our only bedroom and is 11ft x 9 and out bed is 6ft x 6ft, so no room for wardrobes with doors – we have open plan shelving for everything. My husband is a fantastic precision folder of clothes.

    • Hi Katharine,
      I was aware that that was the reason behind many charities not taking electrical items. The charity I work with does and they have them checked but I don’t see why microwave ovens are an exception. Perhaps they think people may have tampered with them and the possibility of a radiation leak is not to be trifled with. Once again that does seem a little paranoid.

      Getting the floors sanded, what a good reason to empty everything out and put it back neatly and perhaps minus a few items. And getting rid of a couple of hubby’s things on Freecycle you are on a roll. 😉

      • D’oh, I didn’t pick up the subtlety of it just being microwaves rather than electrical goods in general.

        Emptying our bedroom sure made me think I don’t ever want to move house with this much stuff… so although I think we’ll probably be here for years, I truely do want to keep paring back. (Though my own clothes took up one armfull.)

        • Hi Katharine,
          how did the camping go last night?

          I look forward to my husband retiring. Once all the uniforms are out of here we will have half the clothes we do now. He has pared down his personal clothes to a good number now though so it isn’t as bad as it used to be.

  17. What a great little story. It’s amazing the synchronicities that can happen when you’re intentions are pure.

    I recently tried to take some toys to a Goodwill dropoff that my three year old triplets had outgrown and was surprised that they would not take them. That really made me sad because I’d hate for these things to end up in a landfill and that makes me think twice about getting my children toys anymore. On the other hand, if I try to sell them at a garage sale is their a legitimate health reason why I wouldn’t want to sell toys? What about kids clothes then?

    Fortunately, we’ve developed a bit of a network with other new mom’s with exchanging clothes and toys for now.

    – Charlie

    • Hi Charlie and welcome to 365 Less Things.
      I googled health risk of secondhand toys and found this from the SA Government. I must admit after finding this one it became much harder. I did find this little article, interestingly enough it didn’t mention kids toys or clothing.

      I think the key to buying and using secondhand toys and clothes is to give them a really good clean before use. Which is really a no brainer. Use disinfectant on hard toys and leave out in the sun of couple of hours. For clothes and soft toys wash in water above 60º and dry in the sun or in a hot clothes drier for at least 10 minutes.

      Buying secondhand safety equipment such as car seats, helmets etc is never a good idea. Items such are cots, prams, walkers and play equipment should be closely inspected and checked for product recalls.

      Good luck and enjoy those triplets, personally I don’t know how you do it. I only have two children, one at a time, and that was a big enough handful for me. They survived me and all the secondhand stuff I bought for them and are now 20 & 22.

      • That ‘little article’ was a bit too doomsday for me!!

        • OMG I’m with you Snosie,
          After reading that ‘little article’ I started to itch hahaha. Although there would be a lot of gear donated that would be in less than ‘stellar’ condition, I’m sure that nothing would last too long in a hot wash and a good linger on a line on a sunny day!!! Don’t want to get too ‘Doomsday’ but to be honest people have more to fear from the ‘gremlins’ that lurk on ATM keypads and shopping trolleys, than they do on handling 2nd hand goodies.

          Good reasons not to stop at the ATM and then go shopping!! Hahaha!

          • And how many people accept their change in a cafe then eat their food and lick their fingers. God only knows how many people have touched those coins. I think worrying about it will cause a person more health problems than anything else. I’m with you Dizzy I prefer not to give a hoot, it hasn’t killed me yet.

        • I agree snosie, if you have the good sense to clean the things before you use them there is little chance anything can go wrong. It is also easy enough to ascertain for yourself whether toys etc are dangerous in any way to your child without needing some sort of degree in health and safety. Let good old common sense prevail.

  18. Great job, Colleen! High Five from Willow!

  19. Hi Colleen, on a totally different note I have found an organisation that will take my foreign coins! The Cerebral Palsy League of Qld are happy to accept them (they also take notes as well), so I have packed them up and sent them on their way. One more thing out of the house. To date since I started my decluttering this year I have donated, sold, trashed, given away just over 150 items. I am doing the happy dance whenever I look around me! Although I do believe I can find more that will go :). I have 4 handbags to list on Ebay which is a first for me, so that is one of my challenges for February.

  20. Hi Colleen, I want to belatedly join your conversation with Lena about vegetarians… I’ve been a vegetarian for 35 years, don’t miss meat at all (never did). My husband is our cook and he makes the most delicious ratatouille, roasted cauliflower / asparagus, baked yams, stir fry with brown rice, avocados with plum tomatoes & scallions, fruit smoothies, etc… I think it’s healthier and better for the planet but I don’t care what other people eat, or try to “convert” anyone. Thanks for letting me put my 2 cents in! 🙂

  21. Hi Peggy, you can put in how ever many cents worth you like. I admire anyone who sticks to their convictions and doesn’t try to force them on anyone else. Share your way of living and hope that it will make an impression on someway and sway them to follow by all means. But leave it at that.