Today it is possible through the internet to furnish your house for free, make money from the things you’d throw away, get paid for someone to take away your defunct car and avoid landfill. Now – thanks to a breed of websites and an online community of like-minded resourceful folk, you can lead a cost effective, even profitable – ‘Green’ lifestyle.
1. Freecycle http://uk.freecycle.org/
Freecycle is the simple idea of giving away something that someone else can make use of rather than throwing it away. The slogan is ‘changing the world one gift at a time’. This can be an old TV, kitchen tables, clothes – pretty much anything. The Freecycle community is a bustling place – arranged into towns for convenience (you have to pick up the item being given away – after all it’s a bit much to expect them to send it to you) – and it’s not all old tat and junk! There are 32 inch working TVs, antique furniture, gardening equipment, cloths – you name it (the rule is obviously nothing illegal and it has to be appropriate for all ages). The free cycle community has 582 groups across the UK with 3,740, 960 members at last count! The idea is simply to stop landfill by passing your unwanted items on to someone that can give them a second lifespan.
The success story of the internet age – eBay allows anyone to be a business from home. Sign up and you can sell your old things for cash via the secure PayPal system. People do run their livelihood through eBay but you need to be disciplined at this level. Every item needs to be photographed, described (accurately!), listed, monitored and then packaged and sent. You get reviewed by buyers so you need to be efficient and a good seller if you want to keep at it.
3. Recycling Monkey: http://www.recyclingmonkey.co.uk/
If your car has effectively died, was in an accident or the MOT list of fails was so big that it broke the Test Centre’s printer – you might be wondering what to do with it as it sits in your driveway. In pre-internet days of old you would be forced to think about taking a day off and various payments would be needed to tow the thing away to a scrap yard. Today it’s all changed around and the scrap dealer will pay you for taking it away. Going through the UK wide portal of Recycling Monkey, all you need to do is enter the registration online, let the company find the best value for the vehicle, agree a time for it to be collected and payment will be made prior to removing it. You effectively get paid for someone else to get rid of it for you – how times have changed!
4. Asda Trade In https://tradein.asda.com/intro/howmobilephonerecyclingworks
Asda take your old phones – spruce them up if needed, and send them to communities in China, Africa, Pakistan and India where the mobile can provide the only form of communication where there are no land lines available, and yes – you get paid money for them to do this! If the phone is unusable they will recycle it.
5. The Restart Project http://therestartproject.org/
The Restart Project is the next brave step in recycling – by not giving it away for someone else to deal with but learning how to fix it! This is simply a great project that helps people understand how to fix electronics.
6. Music Magpie
Music Magpie is an effective way to recycle and resell your old electronic items – particularly your old CD’s, DVD’s, mobile phones, kindles, laptops and games consoles. You’ll need a minimum of 10 items or £5 worth of items to create an order and you need to box it up yourself. They quote an instant price for listing an item – give you a free courier – and according to their site they paid out £60 million to people participating, to date. There is a useful app to download too where you can scan barcodes for instant recognition and associated price quote.
Recycle are a similar concept to Freecycle and are aiming to get a zero waste nation and stop overwhelming landfills by asking people to give away things they are thinking of throwing away – whilst there is also an added charity option. You can name a charity that would benefit from donating the item. For instance, furniture donations can be for reuse centres in the UK.
8. We Buy Books
Earn some cash from books you don’t want any more – if the book has an ISBN number it will probably be taken. This site also takes CD’s and DVD’s. You can post the item for free as they provide the postage label and there is a scan app available to save time entering in numbers.
10. Recycle Now
This is a great tips site for general Green-minded living in a commercial age. There’s advice on everything from home composting to recycling at work. It has a recycling locator service and links to useful sites like the Furniture Re-use Network and Charity Retail Association.
11. Cash Converters http://www.cashconverters.co.uk/we-buy/
Cash Converters does exactly what it says – converts things you want to get rid of or sell, into cash. With a chain of stores all over the UK they are happy to inspect and offer prices for goods. The emphasis on Cash Converters is not first and foremost a Green issue – they are more in tune with financial matters – hence they are pawnbrokers too – but if you want to sell something with minimum fuss they are an option. Watches, Cameras, consoles, phones, TV’s, computers and guitars – all exchanged for ‘the readies’.