Saturday afternoons in Seychelles are pleasantly spent at the beach, barbequing with friends or watching a favourite programme on TV. But something else that is fun to do but isn’t done enough, is organising jumble sales (also known as garage sales).
This is where you sell and buy used things, usually quite cheaply. Jumble sales are a great way for people to find things they’ve been looking for but couldn’t find or which were too expensive in the shop. They are also good for disposing of items that are no longer needed but which is still in good condition – CDs, books, clothes, children toys, the list is endless.
But Jumble sales are also good for something else. They extend the lifespan of consumer goods and help reduce waste that eventually ends up landfills, which are unsightly and not environmentally friendly.
Waste is the challenge of our generation. Because of increased consumption, most of us have accumulated “things.” Items that were considered luxuries a few decades ago are more common place today and they get rapidly replaced when they are deemed old. Gone are the days of our grandmother’s thrift, where things were bought to last and the old adage, “waste not, want not” applied.
But we need to stop and think about where the things we buy end up when we are through with them and also where they come from.
The truth is we depend quite heavily on natural resources and the environment, even when we don’t directly see the connection when we purchase consumer goods. And we have put a severe strain on the resources. We need to reduce the amount of things we buy, re-use what we can and recycle what we are able to.
We recently took stock of our stores at Nature Seychelles and were astonished at the accumulation of things we could no longer use. From ink cartridges for broken-down printers that can’t be fixed to posters, postcards and books. A jumble sale organised by Social Seychelles helped us to ensure that someone else made good use of some of the items and they did not end up as waste.
We have also been recipients of used things, which have come in handy for our work. At the Heritage Garden Lucina has been using donated old tyres for composting. Stacked together, old tyres provide a good environment for decay. She also makes use of old netting and ropes for garden creepers like cucumbers. And the raised beds in the garden are constructed from old timber and roofing sheets.