How online sharing groups are building communities
Author: Claire Bell
Recently, I joined my local ‘Pay it forward’ Facebook group. As the name suggests, members give away a variety of unwanted items or services. I had some good quality items in need of a new home, and joined, hoping someone else could use them. It was not long before I found myself inspired by the acts of kindness taking place amongst the group.
At their most basic, ‘Pay it forward’ groups are great for moving on unwanted stuff, saving them from landfill and getting a free pick up. On another level, they build social connections and help neighbours in need, in a very grassroots way - no judgement, no requirements, just acceptance.
I have seen people offer meals, food boxes, supermarket vouchers, help around the garden and a van for a weekend - all without anything expected in return.
Friendships are also formed and the community is strengthened.
Initially, I thought I’d use the group to give away items but I’ve also benefited by receiving. My iron died recently and, rather than buying a new one, I put the call out to the group to see if anyone had a spare they were happy to part with. 30 minutes later I had a great second-hand iron in my hands. The same thing happened with a laptop bag!
I now actively look for people in need of things and like to help if I can. Sharing is caring and, as is so often the case, the rewards are in giving rather than receiving – ‘Paying it forward” benefits people and the environment.
Claire has been working at Planet Ark since 2011, after working in the communications industry and raising a young family. She is passionate about her children and helping the environment. Claire is super-organised and excellent multitasker, which helps in her joint roles as Office Manager and Campaign Coordinator.
- The 'queen of green steel' launches landmark e-waste microfactory »
Professor Veena Sahajwalla, the founder and director of UNSW's Sustainable Material Research & Technology Centre (SMaRT)... More »
- 8 ways to green your 2018 »
8 ways to form and maintain green resolutions for 2018... More »
- Wynyard Station's old Wooden Escalators Repurposed Into a Public Artwork »
A major new work called Interloop has been installed at Wynyard Station on Sydney, which has been created out of more th... More »
- Fight waste and get a bargain at the Big Aussie Swap »
Planet Ark is calling on Australians to join the War on Waste and take part in the Big Aussie Swap during National Recyc... More »
- 5 ways to start your environmental sustainability journey today »
Are you finding that you're becoming more and more aware of environmental issues, want to do your part but feeling overw... More »
- Going plastic free: what does it take? »
What does it take to go plastic free, even for a month, and what are some of the issues to consider? One of our staff me... More »