News & Media
How to transform your trash into someone else’s treasure
Ever experienced the sheer terror of watching your wardrobe collapse, because you’ve tried to hang too many clothes? What about spending ages jamming your storage cupboard shut, only to have toys pile out when someone opens it again? There comes a time when you just need to let go of your belongings. And as you’re about to find out, there are plenty of ways you can bid ta-ta to your stuff without tipping it into landfill.
Give it back
It isn’t hard to host a garage sale, sell goods at a Sunday market or drop off your paperbacks to a second-hand book store, all in the name of de-cluttering your home. If your possessions are still in good nick, yet you personally don’t have a use for them, you’re sure to find someone else who will. Have you thought about giving them back to society? There are so many people doing great things in this world, who might just need your old bras, prams, toys or blankets. Check out some of these:
Uplift Bras – Gippsland: Collects new and second-hand bras (in excellent condition) to distribute to women who can’t afford or obtain one for themselves.
Olivia’s Place – Warragul: Provides new parents with the basic essentials to help them care for their new baby. There are a few standards and guidelines in place before Olivia’s Place can rehome your preloved items, so check this page first: oliviasplace.org.au/donate-things/
Backpacks 4 VIC Kids: Aims to give kids in out-of-home care a backpack filled with essentials, meaning carers can focus on making them feel safe instead of rushing off for supplies.
Donate to our furry friends
Your local pound, animal shelter or wildlife rescue groups are doing an awesome job caring for our furry friends who either haven’t found their forever home or who need a little help getting back on their paws. If you’re updating your bedspread or towels, don’t chuck your old linen away. Simply pass your blankets and bedding on, so animals can sleep comfortably at night too.
It’s always worth checking in with your local pound or animal shelter to see what they need before you drop off a pile of stuff they won’t necessarily use.
South Gippsland Animal Aid accepts leads, collars, towels, beds and harnesses, provided they’re clean and in good condition.
Reuse, repair and recycle
Book shelves, leftover material, old clocks, even food scraps can all be rehomed and reused. All you need to do is a little (soul) searching to find someone around the corner working on a cool project, usually for a good cause. We’ve done a little digging ourselves to find some groups in Gippsland that need your stuff!
Barefoot Pathways: This Transitional Training Centre – based in Morwell, Warragul, Wonthaggi and Bairnsdale – exists to help boost employment and skills in Gippsland. The team has a number of sustainable social enterprises at play, including one that collects coffee grounds for fertiliser and another that recycles wooden pallets into works of art. There’s even a community compost initiative, which collects your food scraps and green waste to fertilise and grow plants.
Morwell Neighbourhood House: The team at Morwell Neighbourhood House has a couple of sustainable initiatives on the go that need your skills and your preloved possessions. The house hosts a repair café – where volunteers help you fix furniture, bikes, clothing and books – as well as a free store, where people can come and pick up second-hand goods without paying a cent!
Boomerang Bags: A grassroots, community-driven movement that tackles plastic pollution, Boomerang Bags is an initiative that up-cycles material to create reusable bags. The movement relies on volunteers and donations to keep on growing – check out the website to find out more.
Men’s Sheds: If you ever step foot inside a men’s shed, you’ll see a bunch of men involved in wood work, metal work, chatter and games. Men’s sheds exist to promote good health and social wellbeing among men – they also give back to their local community by creating park benches, restoring bikes for kids and building garden beds in schools. Most men’s sheds rely on donations of material to continue their community work. Visit mensshed.org/find-a-shed/ to find a men’s shed near you and drop off your leftover metal or wood.
A quick search online and you’ll find plenty of wonderful ways to de-clutter your home without hurting the environment. Here are a few more useful links:
Planet Ark’s Recycling Near You: Find out what you can and can’t recycle in your household bin, and search for nearby drop-off points for electronic waste, batteries, white goods and furniture.
Gippsland Waste and Resource Recovery Group: Learn how to manage your waste in a sustainable way – at home, at work, in public or at events.
Gippsland Unwrapped: A blog from one of Gippsland’s own. Hear from a mum who is on a mission to zero waste, plastic and palm oil. You’ll learn how to reduce your environmental impact and where you can shop, recycle, reuse and repair.
Transfer stations: It’s always worth checking out your local council’s website to find out more about how waste is managed where you live. Transfer stations generally accept unwanted electronics, building waste, motor or cooking oil, and scrap metal.