The black wooden rocking chair, its head rest hand-painted with flowers, has been sitting in our garage for almost 10 years now. What looked so right on our porch in Massachusetts (optimistically called the three-season room) just doesn't fit, literally or figuratively, in San Francisco. The six-foot tall, silver free-standing mirror, in a style that can only be described as Jetsons meets Versailles, has been ignored and unappreciated for ages. What to do with these orphans of life change?

Mike Morone has the answer: Give Your Stuff Away Day. Mike is encouraging all of us with unwanted objects to bring them to the curb on May 15, for what could be the world's largest swap meet. While the goal is to create a national day without government sponsorship, Give Your Stuff Away Day has received some attention, including a Proclamation by the governor of Connecticut. Sensibly, Mike has put in some guidelines: "no trash, recyclables, illegal or dangerous items. No food, drugs, chemicals, or weapons. Just safe, valuable items we would like to donate. Then watch the fun – or better yet, take a walk and find some free stuff you can use."

"Give Your Stuff Away Day" is quite a mouthful, but it may be more self-explanatory than its original name, "Curb Day." (Curb your dog? Your enthusiasm?) The first Curb Day last year encountered some resistance from those concerned with  local ordinances around trash and obstructing sidewalks. Like all great ideas, this could use some refinement, but Mike Morone is to be commended for putting his idea into action and being open to its evolution. I can definitely see the need for ways to organize by neighborhood–there's safety in numbers. One person putting out a chair or mirror will look like s/he's dumping junk; if a whole block of folks participate, it becomes more obvious as an event. Maybe a Twitter hash tag or other way of searching for local participants would ease that challenge.

Will my black rocking chair finally find a home tomorrow?  Who knows. But every object that goes to a good home is another few pounds kept out of our land fills.  Bravo to Mike for being a champion of the shareable life.

Will you participate in Give Your Stuff Away Day?  How could the idea be improved?




Nancy Roberts is a co-founder of The Idea Hive, a team of sustainability consultants and facilitators; she holds an MBA in Sustainable Enterprise (GreenMBA.com) from Dominican University of California.