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Oct 14, 2007
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Various
Location: United States

Swapping: What You've Got for What You Want

If we're living a pretty typical contemporary existence, we've got stuff: lots of it. Of course, we probably also want more stuff. While thinking about the impact of our buying habits, and even reducing our purchases, can be an important part of living a greener life, let's face it: we need things, and, sometimes, we just want things. Living like a monk or nun isn't the goal of a green life; living abundantly while minimizing our impact on the environment is.

So, what if, instead of going out a buying new stuff, we leveraged the value of things we already have? In other words: why not trade what we don't want for things we do? It sounds kind of old fashioned - we all remember learning about bartering systems in school - but trading and swapping is back in style. All you need is an internet connection and things you don't want, and you're in business.

Freecycle is one of the most established swapping sites: it works on a localized model, and people simply offer things up that they want to people who do. Gigiot is a newer site that claims to eliminate some of the challenges of Freecycle. And Switch Planet allows a user to "offset" the price s/he doesn't pay for items received from others by donating to selected charities. We've covered two of these three of these services on the Green Options blog; there are dozens of others that are more specialized by item type or location. Regardless of which service you use, you'll lighten your environmental impact by "recycling" your own items, and "shopping" for quality goods that might otherwise be thrown away.

Your Action for Today:
Go Swapping!

Start digging around in these services - you might come across a book, a CD or DVD, a piece of furniture, a yard tool, etc., that you can't live without. And when you're looking at the stuff that's accumulated in your basement, attic, garage, study, don't haul it to the trash can or dumpster: if it's in good shape, list it. It may be just the thing another swapper can't live without. As always, record what you find and do in your Green Journal.

Tomorrow: Add some green food to your shopping list.

Sincerely,

Green Options

The GO Team
GreenOptions.com

Visibility: Everyone
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Posted: Oct 14, 2007 2:36am

 

 
 
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