How’s your New Year’s resolution going so far? If you didn’t make one or aren’t as interested in the one you settled on before, we have a suggestion for you! Make it your goal to join one of the many groups, websites, or apps that are dedicated to the sharing, swapping, and lending of items to reduce waste and consumption. Reducing the amount of new products you purchase is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint, and with these communities, you don’t have to do it alone. Here are three different groups to get you started in your search!
Chances are you’ve already heard of Yerdle, the app with the goal of reducing the number of new items purchased by 25 percent. This nationwide swapping marketplace allows you to gain Yerdle credits (by giving away items) in order to “purchase” other items. Although it is less local than other swapping options, given Yerdle’s large fan base you will likely be able to find a number of items that would be difficult to track down otherwise.
Freecycle’s global network of sharing is dedicated to keeping good items out of landfills and providing people with what they want or need, free of charge. There are over 5,000 groups across the world, and when you visit their website you can browse all of them to find the one closest to you. Within each group, users can post about an item they want or are offering in the forum, making it easier for you to complete your share or swap.
What began as a “hyper-local gift economy” in Washington has now spread across the nation, and is even making its way around the world. The Buy Nothing Project uses a similar approach as Freecycle. Users join a Facebook group for their area and then are able to post within the group regarding items to give or receive. If you can’t find a group that’s local enough, you can even start your own group on their website.
Nextdoor is somewhat different from the rest of these sites, but if you’re looking for more of a social media community along with your sharing, this is the place to be. The website is designed as a private social media resource for different neighborhoods, and because of the locality of these groups some have naturally become forums for swapping, loaning, and so on.