Reducing and reusing items within your own home is a great place to begin if you want to go green. Starting at home is great, but to really make an impact we have to think bigger. That’s why we’re giving you a guide for how to organize a neighborhood swap meet!
What is a neighborhood swap meet? Communities all over the globe host swap meets at a central location, where people gather to barter goods and services. It’s a fun, free way to fulfill your own needs and the needs of your friends and neighbors that creates sustainability.
Here’s how to do it:
- Decide what type of items you want to swap - Clothes, books, home interior pieces, kitchen goods, or baby gear? Narrowing your swap to a theme helps ensure successful barters for everyone.
- Set a date, time, and location - Choosing a good place and time can determine your turnout. Pick a time most people are free and a venue that’s suited to the weather. If it’s warm outside, you could host in a garage or in a park; if it’s cold, look into free spaces like community centers and libraries.
- Invite some people - The more, the merrier – but seriously, the more people you invite, the more variety you’ll have in terms of potential trades!
- Create a buzz - Promote the swap through group text and social media. If you’re swapping with a group of close-knit friends and neighbors, create a Facebook page to advertise regular swaps.
- Do the thing - On the day of the swap, invite everyone to show up 30 minutes early to sort and display items on blankets, tables, etc.
- Swapping begins - Start swapping at the scheduled time – the best swaps last about 30 minutes to an hour. Reach out to collect contact information from anyone you don’t know so you can keep them informed of the next big swap.
- Celebrate and donate - Celebrate your scores and donate what’s left over.
For more information and inspiration, check out Frugal Mama’s guide http://www.frugal-mama.com/2009/10/ever-been-to-a-kids-clothing-swap/ and this step-by-step from Shareable http://www.shareable.net/blog/how-to-throw-a-community-swap-meet for more in-depth guides on organizing swaps.