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Community Swap: A Less Wasteful Solution


Shannon Buck - Columnist
Posted on Tuesday 19th January 2010

Photo: Flickr, Shira Golding
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I have noticed that we have too much stuff. I do not have enough room for all of the things that I own, and everything in my home does not have to be here. I have been considering ways to lessen the amount of stuff that I have in my home, and the idea of a community swap sounds interesting.

What can a community swap help a family accomplish?

  • Declutter in order to live a simpler lifestyle.
  • The ability to keep usable items out of a landfill, thereby helping the environment.
  • Motivation to get the home better organized.

How can a community swap be organized for the ultimate event?

  • A central location is key. Everyone should be able to get to the area easily and quickly.
  • Trash and recycling receptacles should be available, as should a restroom.
  • Everyone should be asked to pack their own lunches and drinks.
  • Tables and chairs should be provided.
  • One day should be set aside for the swap.
  • Anyone who contributes to the swap can go through everyone's items to see what they can use. There should not be limits set, because the main reason for the swap is to get rid of things that are no longer needed in such a way that these items are not being wasted.
  • Everything that is left at the end of the day can be donated to one or more charitable institutions.

All of these items can look enticing to many families. How does a family avoid re-cluttering their homes with new stuff? By creating a needs list.

  • Take stock of what items are needed for the home, as well as for yard work.
  • Take stock of what items each family member needs.
  • Consider holidays while you are at it. Are there decorations you could use? Maybe there are items for gift giving that you could acquire.
  • Stick to your list.
  • Do not go overboard. Only take what you need.

By creating a community swap, it is possible to show the children residing in the community that our planet is worth saving. That it is important to reuse and recycle items whenever possible. They will also share a sense of community that is seriously lacking in many neighborhoods.

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