When it’s just too good to toss

Organize a Used Item Swap in your community

If you hate waste but love free stuff, here’s an idea worth pursuing: why not take part in a Used Item Swap in your community, or organize a Swap if there isn’t one now?

The premise is pretty simple: most of us have things (furniture, household items, etc.) we’re looking to get rid of.  Often, they’re too good to discard, yet not quite worth the effort or hassle of selling. 

So on an agreed-upon Swap day, everyone puts out their used items for anyone else to take, for free.  It’s a great way to keep useful items out of a landfill; to help clear your clutter; to reduce the need for new stuff; and to feel the satisfaction of doing a good deed for others who could use a hand.  (Some university towns hold organized or informal swap days when students arrive back in town.)

Social Media platforms make organizing a Swap Day pretty easy.  You just need to:

  • Pick a date and hours, plus a rain date
  • Decide whether anything goes, or whether the Swap will be limited to particular types of items (IE furniture; kitchen items; electronics; etc.)
  • Decide what geographical area to include in the Swap
  • Coordinate with your local authorities as needed (IE for traffic management, special signage or other safety measures)
  • Promote the event via all avenues you can: social media, newsletters, bulletin boards, etc.  You could even invite people to post pictures of what they plan to put out, to build excitement!
  • Share results and photos to engage everyone who took part, and get them motivated for the next one

Here’s an example of an upcoming Large Item Swap and a Curbside Giveaway Weekend.

Free stuff, reducing waste and paying it forward: what’s not to like??!!

Thanks to subscriber Don Ross for inspiring this Green Idea.

In the news:

Vietnam records its highest temperature ever; and climate experts say BC can expect more unseasonal heat waves after nearly 40 new heat records were shattered there over the weekend.

The social cost of carbon (IE the cost in dollars of the damage done by each additional tonne of carbon emissions) in Canada is now believed to be $247/tonne, five times the previous estimate. Quebec and Ottawa team up to buy over 1200 electric buses that will reduce emissions by nearly a million tonnes per year!


“Just a few short years ago, we were being laughed at, [told] that it was not possible.”

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