The most sustainable products on the planet are the ones already in existence. It’s the second week of January. Across the globe, new items are being purchased at an alarming rate in the January sales. By redistributing our existing possessions, so that they’re used most effectively, we can reduce the demand on the planet’s resources.
This week’s challenge is to identify an item in your home that isn’t being used, and re-home it so that it gets used elsewhere. By doing this, you ensure that another person doesn’t have to buy a new one, unnecessarily taking resources from the planet.
This challenge is about letting go of the ‘I paid for it so I’ll keep it forever’ mentality, and instead recognising the environmental cost of letting usable items gather dust, while more resources get extracted from the planet to take their place.
If you aren’t ready to completely let go of something yet, you can hire it to someone who will use it for a while. This also means you can generate a residual income from the item. To avoid risks of the item being lost or damaged, use an online sharing service. They will generally insure your item against theft, loss or damage.
When you’ve decided what item could be getting more use in someone else’s home than it does in yours, swap it for something that will truly have purpose in your home. You can do a direct swap, using an online swap site, or you can sell the item, and spend the money you make on something more useful.
Freely give away an item that has value, but doesn’t get used in your home. You could donate to charitable organisation that redistributes goods to those who need them. You could donate to an op shop, so the item finds its way to a new home. Or you could list the item on your local buy nothing group, or pay it forward group.
Guest author: Cheryl Edwards