‘One man’s trash is another’s treasure’
Reusing items is a great way to reduce your environmental impact, save money and reduce the amount of material that you send to landfill.
Sometimes it’s a waste to throw things away!
If your items are still in good condition, you could:
- reuse them yourself
- give them to friends
- donate them to charity
- give them away through a “swap” event or online
- sell them.
'What goes around, comes around'
Next time you think of buying something new, think again...you might be able to get the same item second hand for free at a number of websites designed just for this purpose or at low cost at an op shop, garage sale or online store. If you ask around you might even find a friend or family member who has one they no longer need.
How do I get started?
The list of options below will help you to give away your items for reuse and pick up second hand items in lieu of new ones.
Ziilch is a website where good stuff goes free. Give away items you no longer want but are too good to throw out. Ziilch is free to join, free to list, free to take an item and easy to use. To get started, simply sign-up and list an item to give away. Interested Ziilch members will then request your item and you can arrange a mutually convenient time for the person to collect it.
A number of individuals have suggested joining Melbourne Oz Freecycle, the Freecycle group for anyone within metropolitan Melbourne. This allows you to list your unwanted items to give away and receive goods from others for free!
Online: free, swap or sell / buy
Online: swap clothes
Swap and Shop for Baby
The Clothing Exchange hold regular events where you can swap your items for others. Tickets to attend the event are usually $25 and can be purchased online.
Hold a Swap Party
A swap party is an event where you bring along something you don't want and swap it for something you do. Check out Planet Ark’s guide on how to hold your own swap party.
Donate your unwanted office furniture or other goods:
Green Hearts Recyclers is an Australian registered charity that accepts donations of goods from large and small commercial strip outs, deceased estates or the general public. They redistribute these goods via online auction and the net profits are donated to charity. Goods that can't be reused are scrapped for metal recycling.
Donate your old computer:
Computerbank recycles donated computers and distributes them to disadvantaged individuals and community groups. Computerbank Victoria are located at 483 Victoria Street, West Melbourne and are open from 10am to 5pm on Friday and Saturday.
Donate your old fridge:
Phoenix Fridges collect fridges in any condition. They recycle, repair and retrofit donated fridges to make them more energy and cost efficient or decommission those that are not able to be used. Call 1300 366 283 or visit Phoenix Fridges to book a collection.
Give away or buy art materials at low cost:
Reverse Art Truck Inc. is a non-profit organisation that collects rejects, seconds and factory off cuts for distribution to schools, early learning centres, community groups and individuals. They are located in Ringwood and Cranbourne.
Online: Join or start a group to share items with:
The Sharehood website is a tool to help you meet your neighbours and share things with them. It’s like a community noticeboard. When you join the site you will be able to see people who live within five minutes' walk of you and the items that they are willing to share.
Other places to buy or donate your items:
Opportunity shops and recycled clothing stores:
Search Yellow Pages using key words such as ‘recycled clothing’, ‘recycled clothing opportunity shop’.
Hold a garage sale:
Garage Sale Trail organises communities around Australia to hold garage sales on the same day, this year Saturday 26 October. Registration is free and available to individuals, households, businesses, schools, community groups, creators, cultural institutions and charities. Sellers who are hosting garage sales on the day are invited to put their sale on the trail and list key items for sale.
Other ways to sell your items:
- Hold an online auction on Ebay, Trading Post, Gumtree or SwapAce.
- Have a stall at local markets.
- Post your items for sale in community newspapers or noticeboards.
- Place a classified advertisement in the Trading Post or other newspapers.