Also in the line for the charity shop or for friends were the items we thought we’d never get through. We no longer need a Moses basket, or the co-sleeper, or the newborn bath inset, or the bottle steriliser, or the musical chair that kept her mildly entertained during a frantic shower, or a feverish bout of housework. No, Madam is on the go now; she’s approaching wobbler status and is outgrowing baby stuff quicker than we can add it to the Freecycle Network.
3. Think carefully about what you’re buying
Could you be more mindful with your purchases – perhaps buying new things less often, enabling you to spend a little more on sustainably-produced goods that are made to last?
“Sustainability starts with not consuming. Ask yourself if you really need what you think you need,” says TV interior designer Naomi Cleaver, who’s teamed up with Moda (modaliving.com) on projects to help revolutionise city centre living across the UK. “Look on websites like Freecycle and eBay (plus charity shops) before you buy anything. There are lots of sharing websites and apps popping up enabling you to hire household equipment, such as occasionally-used tools, so you don’t have to buy them. Only buy things for your home that, to paraphrase William Morris, you love and will endure years of use, as well as passing trends.”
The global non-profit recycling organisation Freecycle has 28,000 members in Ireland, says John Hearne
Nothing beats the recessionary blues like free stuff. Art student Rob O’Shea needed a printer for college but didn’t have the funds to buy one. So he posted on Freecycle, asking if anyone had one lying around at home. Someone did.
“Okay, it’s six or seven years old,” says Rob, “but it’s working perfectly. It’s black and white, perfect for printing out essays and stuff.” He’s also picked up a set of shelves and he’s used the network to offload curtains and cushions that he no longer needed.
When I logged on to jumbletown.ieI found free armchairs and dining tables, to mention but a few things. Other good websites are freetradeireland.ieand freecycle.org. I like the latter one because you can choose the part of the country you live in. From office chairs to plant pots, they’re all here.