The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
We had a fridge freezer it was in the garage. We didn’t use it. It was taking up space. (This list should’ve been scheduled. It’s very late!)
For the allotment produce we wanted a small freezer to put in the attic. (It’s the only space we have. That’s also where the washing machine is!)
In the Netherlands we have a website called Maarktplaats. It’s a buying and selling exchange. There are many similar sites.
It took an hour to sell our freezer and within a day or two we found a suitable replacement.
There’s some real resistance to second hand stuff but my pledge not to buy new is a big factor in trying to find something without adding to land fill.
How did we overcome our anxiety?
If you want something specific it helps. We also wanted a rocking chair for an expectant friend. The new ones we found were characterless but when we found an 80 year example on line it was exactly what I was looking for.
Then I realised that what we were getting was history and a story. The chair was in a family. It had seen a few children grow up. The scratches were from use and other peoples valuing if this great wooden thing.
Since then over time we’ve bought another rocking chair, sold a bed and a roof box, and I bought some brilliant ankle boots too. When I need a travel guide that’s my first port of call!
Another good resource is freecycle.
It’s for giving stuff away. We passed old LPs on to a great Greek student who wanted to sculpt them into bowls, and TV to an American recently relocated to The Netherlands.
We passed on an enormous, giant suitcase to an Irish guy moving back home.
There are freecycle groups all over the place and you can even set up your own. The principle is simple; advertise for something you need or something you need to pass on.
Then give it away.
It’s a great buzz and can be a tremendous bargain or a way to hear a new story from someone you don’t know!
At my work we have a third option. It’s called the unwanted valuable items box. People can use it to redeploy items they no longer have a use for. It might be clothes, shoes, knickknack a of household items.
It’s a box in the staff room that acts like a tardis. All manner of items go in that box and they are taken out. It’s a great way to pass on items.
Perhaps you’d like to start one at your workplace.
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...