02.Give it away
There are plenty of people out there who’d appreciate those things you no longer use. But how do you connect with them? One option is using a recycling or sharing network.
TuShare is a new, free sharing site that connects consumers around the country, allowing users to share just about anything. Consumers can either connect with one another and organise a share on their own, or they can use TuShare's door-to-door delivery service. The cost of delivery depends on where you’re sending your item and its weight, but ranges between about $10 and $20, and includes $1000 worth of insurance. The advantage of using the service is the receiver pays for the courier service, and TuShare is the middle-man, meaning you don’t have to share your address or have people come to your home.
Freecycle is one group operating free, individual micro-groups for areas around Australia. Just join the group local to you, then list those things you’d like to give away.
Other group members will ask for the item and tell you why they’d like it, and you choose who to give it to. The successful Freecycler will then pick up your stuff.
Ziilch, takes a different approach. Joining and using Ziilch is also free, but instead of signing up for local deals, the site operates on one platform for the entire country. “You can swap things anywhere around Australia if you want,” says company director Richard Milne.
“The postage is worked out between users on a one-on-one basis, so we don’t get involved. But we’re looking to upgrade and improve on that component.”
The best part of using recycling networks can be the joy of receiving as well as giving. Both Freecycle and Ziilch allow users to request items from other members.
Ziilch also allows charities to join the site and request items of need. “Charities can take out a mini-page on the website and put out a call for things they want,” says Milne.
“For example, if there’s a fire and they need furniture donations, or winter is coming and they need blankets, they can ask for those directly.”
Givenow makes finding the charity that wants your stuff easy by categorising Australian-wide community organisations that accept donations of everything from clothes and food to corks and football boots.
“We try to keep our list as updated as we can. It works as a pool system – we are happy for community groups to come to us and tell us what they’re after too,” says director Kylie Cirak.
The self-described “giving portal” also provides a commission-free cash donation service for thousands of community groups around the country.
“Groups are paying a lot of money in fees to set up an account for online donations themselves,” she says. “We do this for them for free and issue the receipts, which is a big save for them as well.”