Revival of this kind of gift economy helps delay purchasing of new stuff, and thus use of resources for their production and travel to market, and delays their disposal in landfills. On a personal level, this saves you money and the time and energy needed to visit multiple stores.
Online forums for buying, selling, and exchanging items have been active across the country, but more local sites have sprung up more recently. Sites like Craigslist.org allow you to buy and sell items whereas others like Freecycle.org facilitate giving and getting items for free. The Buy Nothing Project reaches across the country with local, independent FaceBook groups including one for our area: Buy Nothing Wallingford, Swarthmore, Media. For materials of interest to artists, builders, and educators, donate or shop at Philadelphia’s creative resource center, The Resource Exchange. Locally published recycling lists also include organizations that accept donations of usable items. Check out the A to Z Recycling and Disposal Guide from the Swarthmore Borough website as well as aFewSteps’ own Recycling tab on our web site.
Photos by Mike Mozart, Flickr