The Australian second-hand economy is booming
Author: Helen Nolan
According to a new report by Gumtree, the average Australian household has more than $5000 worth of unwanted and unused goods they could sell or swap rather than eventually throwing them out where they end up as landfill. Even though we are a nation selling more second-hand goods than ever before, there are plenty of opportunities to sell and swap more of your items.
The Big Aussie Swap Party initiative is one such example where you bring along good-quality items you no longer use or want. It’s a fun, free and social event sending a positive environmental message of not contributing to a disposable society. Plus, the life of the product is extended and you go home with something new. Win-Win!
According to Axios more than one in two Australians have sold their second-hand items in the past year, no doubt thanks to accessible online commerce avenues such as Gumtree and ebay. Also popular are charity op shops such as the St Vincent de Paul Society (‘Vinnies’) and the Australian Red Cross which trace their fundraising beginnings to World War 1 and are the oldest recycling industry, helping tens of thousands of people in crisis and need through the money they raise.
For some people selling stuff is about making money, but for others it’s about efficiency, with Australians becoming less ‘throwaway’ in their attitudes. Instead of simply throwing things away where they end up lying in one of hundreds of landfill, consider that there is often someone who has a use for your item.
‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ has never been so true, with the second-hand economy now worth upwards of $40 billion a year. The value of the second-hand economy reflects an increasingly sharing ethos, benefiting middle class incomes that have not kept pace with the growth of the economy since the turn of the century - there is greater cost-of-living pressures, job insecurity and constant price rises.
Buying products made from recycled material matters, as it reduces waste and is better value for money. There is also the joy of discovering something unique and a heartening sense of community during the exchange of pre-loved goods - a connection with someone who will treasure what was once yours.
- Get involved: The Big Aussie Swap Party
- Mon 13th - Sun 19th November is National Recycling Week
- Take stock of what you don’t want at home anymore and sell (or give away) items that are still in good condition
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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.
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