American Heirlooms - March 2019

Spring is in the air, and it’s time to celebrate with another round of spring-cleaning. Banish the clutter and make room in your life for something new! Many charities see a sharp increase in donations as spring-cleaning season starts. Donating your used books, kids’ toys, and gently worn clothing allows your old items to have a second life. However, when filling that donation box, make sure you’re donating each item because it can do good and not just because you feel bad about throwing it away. Charities have a big problem with well-meaning citizens dropping off items that are better left in the trash. There are many items charities simply cannot handle. Most charities will have lists of items they can and cannot accept on their websites. Some items that you should not donate include:

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Tangled cords or phone chargers Any broken, damaged, or dirty items

These items may be unsafe to sell, costly to ship, or impossible to refurbish effectively. When a charity regularly receives items they cannot use, they have to spend hours of manpower sorting through things that end up in the trash anyway. This process can be expensive for organizations with already-strained resources. Some local charities spend over $1,000 a year on dumpster and trash removal fees for unusable donations. While charities will have no choice but to throw unusable donations in the trash, there are services you can use to make your spring-cleaning eco-friendly, even for items you can’t donate. For example, if you have torn or stained blue jeans, reach out to Blue Jeans Go Green. This program keeps denim out of landfills by turning it into insulation. And while Goodwill can't take your batteries or old flip phone, you can check out Call2Recycle.org to learn how to safely recycle your e-waste.

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Expired medications

Old TVs

Cribs

Loose remote controls

• Personal care items, like soap, shampoo, or makeup • Mattresses • Carpets

Your donations can be a big help to local charities. Just don’t “donate” your garbage.

Picture this: You’re the father of four children, and one day, you and your wife decide to haul your whole family from Pennsylvania to Alaska, in a camouflage limousine, for a family trip. One year later, you buy land and move your whole family into a cabin in Alaska, all while driving that same $2,800 Craigslist limousine.

shop, and when he came to Delaware for a book signing, we finally met in person. I rode in the famed limousine, and Matt did a presentation on Alaska for our craftsmen at the shop, personally signing a book for each person. From there, he ordered a new kitchen from our shop for his home in Alaska. We’re pleased to say our custom-created pieces can be found in a cabin in Anchor Point, Alaska! I highly recommend reading the “Adventures of a Traveling Dog Salesman,” and interested readers can find copies for sale in our shop. I promise you won’t be bored exploring Alaska with Matt and his family.

Sounds a bit hectic, right? But that’s exactly what Matt Snader did.

Matt has written a series of books detailing his family’s adventures traveling to Alaska and exploring the many wildlife features the Last Frontier has to offer. In his series of books, “Adventures of a Traveling Dog Salesman,” Matt details the lessons, strange antics, and family experiences — as they continue to add more children — and compacts them in a series of fun, clean, and hilarious stories. Within the many stories, readers can learn about the immersive and unique fishing opportunities in Alaska and explore one of nature’s most pristine lands through the eyes of a Pennsylvania transplant. Readers will be enveloped in the story of Matt and his numerous friends and family who come to visit, relating to their everyday mishaps and triumphs. After seeing numerous advertisements for Matt’s books, I decided to give them a try. Intrigued and humored by what I read, I sent Matt an email, but I didn’t expect much. To my surprise, he replied! We discovered that one of his friends had settled within a mile of our

2 • THE SWISS CRAFTSMAN

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