Are you one of those amazing humans who consider the environmental impact of your 'stuff' - purchases, repair and donation - but find it hard to know where to find earth-friendly shopping options beyond traditional op-shops? The good news is Canberra has a tonne of eco-friendly marketplaces offering everything from books to power tools. Here are some of the best places to shop, borrow and donate:
Buy Nothing Groups
Buy Nothing Groups are hyper-local gift-giving economies and Canberra has plenty of them sprouting up all over the city. The aim of localising the groups is to build communities as part of the gifting. It's important to note that selling, bartering and trading are strictly not welcome here - it is all about keeping things free. You can make requests for items (to keep or borrow) or offers of gifts at any time and these groups really prove that one person's trash is another's treasure. To find your local Canberra Group, try searching Buy Nothing on Facebook and to find out more about the Buy Nothing movement, click here.
If you're a parent who has tried to donate baby items or kids clothes, you're probably familiar with how tricky this can be even if they are barely used. Charities often say no because they don't have the resources to safety check or properly clean them and in the end, you reluctantly take them to landfill. Thanks to Roundabout Canberra, your good quality pre-loved items can find new life with a family in need. There is a full list of accepted items and information on how to donate here.
CSA is a great way to source local produce like these seedlings from Reid Tiny Farm
Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is is a model of food production and distribution that directly connects local farmers and food lovers. When you sign up, you buy shares in a farm's projected harvest for a set period (it might be a season, or a whole year). Once signed up, you receive regular deliveries of their produce. There are lots of options to be part of CSA in Canberra from single farms to collectives sharing the food from multiple producers. Interested? Here are some links:
A community of conscious consumers in Canberra, Rosella Street is an online marketplace where you can buy, sell, donate or rent just about anything. Rosella Street wants to help you to reduce the environmental impacts of consumerism and connect with your local Canberra community. Sounds like a pretty good way to shop with a clear conscience!
Street Libraries are little gems that have popped up all over the Canberra suburbs. You never know where you might come across one packed with its bounty of books and you never know what will be inside it because there is a regular turnover of titles. Street Libraries house just about every kind of book you can imagine as well as the occasional magazine, puzzle or board game. The beauty of street libraries is you can take a book, leave a book or do both. If you want to find street libraries near you, there's a list here or if you feel really brave, why not start one? You can find out more and order a library kit here.
Community Toolbox Canberra
If you need a tool but are reluctant to buy it because you have no storage space or you'll only use it once, Community Toolbox is ready to launch. Community Toolbox Canberra is the first tool and equipment library in the ACT. To access the toolbox, you pay an annual fee which will give you access to an Aladdin's cave of tools and equipment so you can make your DIY, craft, gardening, and renovations come true! If you'd like to borrow or donate, find out more here.
Canberra Fashion Exchange
We all know fast fashion is creating a waste crisis. If you're a fashionista looking for a guilt-free, easy way to buy or sell online, the Canberra Fashion Exchange can connect your unwanted clothes with new owners and you can make some cash in the process. You need to join the Facebook group to start shopping and selling and there is some fabulous fashion just waiting to be found.