Reuse, it’s not just personal…

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I was out shopping the other day and it suddenly struck me, that many stores have short lived promotional material and displays that probably just get thrown away or shoved in the back of a storeroom and forgotten about after use.  Things like the large poster boards which are linked to clothing seasons and brands, stands used to promote computer games etc.  Then I started to think about all the companies that buy promo materials, and end up with things like half a box of mugs, pens, key rings or whatever sat in the office store room or under desks left over after a campaign is finished.

I realised if we could get these companies to offer some of these items through the site I am sure there are lots of people including artists, community projects, schools, upcyclers and collectors around that would love some of it.

I know one community project I used to work with that was always happy to collect random free mugs as it meant they could spend the small amount of money they had on other things.

It can also be things that you wouldn’t think of, our allotment society took a delivery of a batch of bathtubs that had been damaged in transit and the company couldn’t sell them.  We have one that we use to grow blueberries as they don’t like our soil.

If you work for a company that could make use of the site please help save the environment and list your surplus items or if know someone else who might be interested please pass on our details and we will do our very best to help you find new homes for you unwanted items.

Together we can help the environment and reduce landfill.  It might even reduce your companies waste fees and save someone else money, which is a great bonus.  You can also support the idea by sharing a link to this post on social networks.

Time for a New Year Declutter

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I thought it would be nice to start 2012 a little differently, so I asked Rachel Papworth from Green and Tidy if she would be willing to write our first post for the new year, which she has so kindly done.  So, enough from me, over to Rachel.

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Rachel Papworth

Rachel Papworth

I’m Rachel Papworth.  Through Green and Tidy, I help people who have way too much stuff, to declutter and create home they love, homes that support them to live the lives they want.

A large part of my motivation for decluttering and organising is how essential it is to minimising your environmental impact.

When you regularly declutter and organise, you keep stuff in circulation, rather than hoarding and storing it. So other people use it rather than buying new.

You consume less because you don’t buy stuff to replace what you can’t find, stuff you’ve forgotten you’ve got or stuff that’s got damaged or broken because it wasn’t stored carefully. You’re not constantly knocking things off piles of clutter.

You need less space because you’ve got less stuff.

So I’m a massive fan of sites like AnyGoodToYou, which help people to find new users for the stuff they no longer want or need.

If you’re a regular user of the site, you probably list your unwanted furniture, clothing, books, games and CDs on AnyGoodToYou without a second thought.

But are you still sending stuff to landfill that could find a new lease of life through the site?

Here are some things you might not have thought to offer:

  • Corks from wine bottles – people make them into cork boards.
  • Food – whether it’s a glut from your allotment, the chocolates you want out of your house now that Christmas is over, those herbal teas you never liked, or bags of pulses you know you’ll never get round to using. Don’t worry about best before dates (though it’s best to compost anything that’s gone past a ‘use by’ date).
  • Broken jewellery – popular among craft types, who remake it.
  • Jam jars – taken by people who make their own jams and chutneys.
  • Opened cosmetics and toiletries – lots of people are happy to take them even though they’ve been opened.
  • Empty shuttlecock tubes – useful for posting documents.
  • Out of date newspapers/magazines – I pick up a neighbour’s newspaper when she’s finished with it. I don’t mind reading it a day or so late.
  • Empty yoghurt pots – gardeners use them for sprouting seeds and protecting seedlings.
  • Used padded envelopes – they can be used over and over again. Why buy new?
  • Packing peanuts/wotsits etc – popular with ebay sellers.

Do you pass on/have you passed on any unusual items through AnyGoodToYou?

I am sure that you will all join me in thanking Rachel for taking the time over Christmas to write this post, some good advice, why not let us know in the comments what you think, add your own ideas of things that people could be listing or answer Rachel’s question about unusual items you have listed.

You can also receive a free decluttering masterclass plus regular hints, tips and inspirational stories, by  joining the Green and Tidy community here.

How are we different to Freecycle or Freegle?

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A few people have asked about this over the last few weeks, so I thought it might be a good idea to try and explain a little about how we are different from some of the other sites such as Freecycle and Freegle etc.

Instant Access

Firstly, you dont need to be a member to view what is currently on offer via the site, if you see something you are interested in or you want to list something, you can join in just a few minutes, you don’t have to wait for anyone to activate your account etc. either, when you sign up to AGTY, you will get an automated email with a link to validate your account, it’s that simple.

Simplicity

Some of you will suffer from a similar problem to us I am sure.  Where we live, we don’t have one Freecycle or Freegle groups which covers us, we live between groups, meaning we need to subscribe to several to cover our ‘area’, this has the unfortunate side effect of flooding our in-boxes with listings from a wide geographic area which we couldn’t really justify travelling to. The AGTY solution to this, don’t split things up by town or district. We offer one site with one signup with the aim of saving the one planet that we all share.  You can specify how far from your location you are willing to travel and we will show you the things which are in that area.  If you are visiting friends, you can just change your area whilst you are away and will see everything around you, no need to search for a new group, no need to signup or unsubscribe when you return home, just change your location again.  This applies when you move home too, which leads me to my next  point nicely…

Reputation

Because you are not changing from one group to another, if you move house for example, your reputation on the site stays with you.  People in the community will be able to see that you have been with us for a long time etc.

Clearer Inbox

You don’t get an inbox full of stuff your not interested in, or as many would call it ‘spam’.  With many of the area groups on Freecycle and Freegle everythings arrives in your inbox.  We try to make our listings available to you in as many ways as possible, but in ways that leave you in control.  The primary way to access listings at the moment is via our website.  We also have XML feeds (known as RSS feeds in some apps) which you can subscribe to, there are many appplications to access these and many modern email applications allow you to subscribe to them too and you can choose which categories you want details from.  We are constantly looking for other ways to make our listings available and will keep you up-to-date on new ways here and on the site.

What’s gone, what’s not.

Unlike the email group based sites, you don’t have to hunt through your email to see if something has gone or not.  Because our listings are managed by the site, when you visit one you will see straight away if it is still offered or gone.

The AGTY way

We know that some people have had problems with moderators on other sites, we are in the process of building our ‘Community Moderators’ section of the site at the moment, which will be different to our staff moderator system.  A community moderator wont see who the listing is from (which means they can’t be biased against any specific user), they will also be seen by two moderators before going live to reduce the chance of  ‘spam’ listings making it through to you.

I hope this goes some way to answering the questions people have been asking,  if not or you have feedback you can let us know using the Contact Us details from the site.

Regards

The AGTY Team

Random Freebies

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Over the next few weeks on the lead up to Christmas, keep and eye on the AGTY site as we will be adding a few random prizes as free listings.

What do you have to do to get them I hear you ask… well its simple, just join the site (which is free of course and only takes a couple of mins) then click the express interest link on the listing (just like you would for anything offered for free on the site)

All we ask is that you tell us why we should give it to you when you express interest, its that simple, we might even publish some of the funny ones  here 🙂

Now what are you waiting for, head over to the sit and get your name down for the first one which is for free paypal credit, you can find it here http://www.anygoodtoyou.com/listing_detail.php?lid=100598

Of course you can follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or subscribe to one of the RSS feeds from the site to to give you a heads up when they are listed too.

Everyday can be #Flattrday :-)

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Hi Everyone,

You may have noticed we have been adding Flattr links all over the place recently, some of you I am sure will already know what this is all about, some of you may have clicked them to find out.  For the rest of you I thought it might be worth a quick post to explain why we have been doing it.

Right, where do I start, well Flattr is a way that you, our readers, followers and users can help support sites and projects like ours.  Give us a little reward if we produce content that you like.  I’m going to be cheeky here and ‘borrow’ some of the explanation directly from the Flattr page, where you can see the full text (hope they don’t mind)

Support great web content – There’s a brave new world filled with entertainment, news and tools made by everyone, and not just the big guys. This new world deserves your support.

How does it work? – Whenever you see a Flattr button on a blog or website that you like, click it.  We count up all of your clicks at the end of each month and distribute your monthly spend between everything you’ve clicked on. Simple, right? Of course, you’re also welcome to add a Flattr button to your site and get other people’s support too.

What does it offer for Anygoodtoyou.com? Well, as we have no commercial sponsor or company funding us, everything is either paid for by the project founders, donations from well wishing users or advertising, and now from Flattr too.   All of this helps us to make the project more sustainable, not just in the eco/environmental sense but from a financial one too.

Site update

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Hi Everyone,

Well you may have noticed that we haven’t been around as much as normal recently, we are still here, we have just been concentrating on development in the background.  The first update went out yesterday, which included the roll out of phase 2 of our onsite message system.

More updates should be arriving over the next few weeks and we will try to pop our heads up from our screens a little more often 🙂

As always, feel free to let us know what you think of it if you have any feedback, comments or ideas you can let us know via the contact us page on the site.

Busy Busy Busy

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Well it’s been a busy few weeks, lots of development work going on behind the scenes.  We hope to be able to push this update out to the live site soon.  You won’t see too many changes at first as much of the work has been in the background to allow us to add things faster and easier in the future.

One thing you should notice will be the new message system, we think it’s much better than the old one, here are a few highlights.

  • Unread message counter showing on the top menu
  • Conversations are now easier to follow who said what
  • You can leave/archive a conversation
As always, if you have any feedback, comments or ideas you can let us know via the contact us page on the site.

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