By passing your second-hand or unused goods on to someone who will use them, you are both reducing the environmental resources required to satisfy our consumption as well as helping others.
These days, giving away or selling your unused stuff couldn't be easier. From online sites through to garage sales and local charity clothing bins, there are loads of ways to give your unwanted stuff a new life.
From an environmental perspective, recycling your second-hand goods extends the life of the things you no longer want or need and defers or avoids the need for more resources to go into the manufacture of a new product.
How to do it now!
Drop it off at your local op shop.
Op shops receive your unwanted goods and sell them cheaply to support charities focused on helping the poor and ailing members of our community.
They are generally staffed by volunteers and always appreciate contributions. You might even find a bargain for yourself while you're there!
Have a garage sale
Put an ad in the local paper, print out some signs, put them up in the local café and on corner telephone poles a day or two prior to the big event, and sell your stuff from the comfort of your own doorstep. It's a nice way to meet the neighbours, too. Don't forget to take your signs down and dispose of them properly after the event.
Buy second-hand goods online
Try reading The Choice Buying Guide: Second-hand goods, which describes the rights and responsibilities of buyers and sellers of second-hand gear.
Some online sites from which to buy (and sell) second-hand goods include:
And for sites which list free goods try:
Why is this action important?
Reusing existing products has a two-fold effect on the environment - it reduces the need to extract more materials from nature and it circumvents large amounts of concentrated (and often toxic) man-made materials entering the environment (most often as landfill).
Why Do This Action?
Fights climate change
Reduce water use
Reduce toxins & improve your Health
In 2002-03, Australia generated approximately 32.4 million tonnes of solid waste, or about 1.7 tonnes per person. Approximately 60 per cent of this waste is buried in landfill. This represents a huge ongoing loss of invested energy, extracted resources and natural services that could otherwise be recycled back into other man-made products and materials.
By ridding ourselves of the things we no longer (or never did) use, we are passing unused value onto others who will get some benefit from it. In addition, we may help a charity or person in need. At a deeper level, it's a practice in severing our attachment to material things, while simultaneously giving us the chance to contribute to society, meet the neighbours or even make some money back on our original purchase.