Reduce, Reuse then Recycle

Monday is usually my day off from work at Sarhn McArthur Photography (which is usually well needed after a weekend of photographing weddings).  Today being Monday I decided to have a ‘green’ focus to my time off.


Firstly starting at 10.30am when I met Leeanne, a complete stranger in Darlington.  I had recently joined the inner Sydney ‘Free Cycle’ group, which is all about giving free stuff away.  Last night while browsing the group’s website notice board, I spotted Leeanne’s advertisement about needing books etc to sell at her child’s school fate.


As I was in the middle of a massive spring clean up in the office and home, I had plenty to give away.  After sending Leeanne an email late last night she responded and we organised to meet up today.


It felt really good to give away my stuff for free.  Yes I could have taken them down to a book store to make money or even sell on EBay but this is something I wanted to support.  To give your stuff away with no expectation of receiving anything in return, was a grounding experience and one I will repeat often.


Secondly I dropped by the shop ‘The Natural Paint Place’ in Newtown which sold Bokashi bins.  I knew they sold the bins as I checked out the Bokashi Australia website.  Met and had a really good talk to the owner of the shop Rick, about my green journey and about Australian sustainability issues.  Found out that Rick also owns the business ‘Eco Shop’ which has been on my Australian website links for awhile.  Funny small world!


Thirdly I stopped by and had a look in at shops ‘The Bower’ and ‘The Reverse Garbage Co Op’ in Marrickville.  Both these shops amaze me what they stop from going to landfill.  Though I didn’t find what I was looking for (more large garden pots) I have purchased from them in the past (love these shops).


My focus on recycling is broadening to include another two R words – Reduce & Reuse.


Reduce the amount of stuff you buy in the first place – especially stuff that can not be recycled at the end of its life (including the packaging).  Also if you need something ask yourself does it have to be brand new?


Reuse the stuff you do have – why not join a local ‘Free Cycle’ group to you and start by giving stuff away and even browse to see what others are giving away that you might like for free.

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4 thoughts on “Reduce, Reuse then Recycle

  1. Hi Gavin,

    I totally agree with you. I recently advertised a large box of used CD cases that had marks and writing on them.

    I didn’t want them to go to landfill. Didn’t think anyone would want them but thought “hey give it a go”.

    A man emailed me about my Free Cycle advertisement and then organised to come by the same day and was excited to pick them up as he really needed them.

    It really is a wonderful community group – helping each other and the environment! 🙂



  2. Hi Sarhn,

    Freecycle is one of the most reward online organisations I have joined this year. It is so good giving away stuff, without the stigma of requiring currency to change hands. We usually give away anything that we don’t need anymore which is about once a fortnight.

    We also make it a point not to buy anything we don’t need. For example, if a DVD player broke, I would not replace it. However if my breadmaker broke, I would replace it with a simple model in a heart beat. Something that useful is a need, not a want!



  3. Hi Mark,

    Thank you so much for letting me know. What a really interesting community idea.

    My thoughts on this is it is kind of like the bartercard or BBX system was 30 years ago before the ATO decided that they will tax people ie barter dollars was considered normal money and hence earning barter dollars meant you had to pay tax on it.

    I wonder how long it would take before this great community idea would be hit with the same ATO ruling?

    Cheers Mark, I am going to check this out in more detail.

    Wonderful idea!



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