Consumer Society

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The modern world has changed, no longer do the values of ‘make do and mend’ seem to be the norm.  We have moved into a consumer society, with a throw away culture.

Companies constantly push their latest and greatest product, wanting us to upgrade.

Take the humble television as just one example.  Until only few years ago, lots of people were using TV sets that were a decade or more old.  TV sets hadn’t changed that much since the advent of colour TV in the late 60s and wide screen in the late 90s.

In the last decade however it feels like most electronic equipment is out of date before you have even unpacked it.  A standard widescreen TV purchased in 2002 would have been obsoleted  by the push to upgrade ready for digital, then to HD, later to Full HD, and then to buy a 3D HD TV and now after the Consumer electronics Show in Las Vegas they are starting to promote Ultra HD (4K) TVs.

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology (I’m secretly a bit of a geek, well actually not so secretly), but not at the expense of the planet.  I have a HD TV but not because the marketeers won, it was simply that our old TV broke down and it was not longer economical to get it repaired.  I have a smart phone but I have upgrade cycles measured in years and normally dictated by the fact I can no longer use the device for one reason or another.

When you can no longer resist the allure of the new thing from your favourite company what do you do with the old one? It probably hasn’t got much residual value in this fast moving consumer society, but its also not broken and it’s way too good to just throw away.

Why not give it away? Many people are happy to have the last years mobile phones, or are perhaps happy to use an older TV in a bedroom etc.  Students who are just starting out on their own are also often very grateful for such gifts, allowing them to complete their studies with a lower debt burden (I know I was when studying)

This was one of the reasons we started AnyGoodToYou.com , to give people a hassle free way to find new homes for these items, and at the same time reduce waste, reduce impact on natural resources and improve the lives of others along the way.

Please help us spread the word, it’s as simple as sharing this blog post with family, friends & colleagues or post a like to it on your favourite social network and together we can help to build a better world.

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.

Join us free at AnyGoodToYou.com

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Join Any Good To You

Next time you are thinking about throwing something away, or if you are planning to list something on Freecycle or Freegle, why not give AnyGoodToYou.com a try and post a free advert for your item.  You might even get you thing listed as a featured item on our front page, not to mention the fact that we often promote listed items on various social media site such as Twitter and Facebook.   So what is your next step?  Signup, list your item and do your bit to help Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

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