Gumtree South Africa: Creating a culture of sustainable living

GT_FINAL_LOGO_040210Gumtree South Africa is helping to create sustainable lifestyles and an upcycling culture in the country through their online market place that enables the buying and selling of second hand goods and the promotion of services.

By encouraging the trading of second hand and used goods, Gumtree is helping people in South Africa to reduce their consumption of new goods and to reuse existing goods that may otherwise end up in the garbage or in boxes of unused storage. It also enables people to upcycle second hand goods into new repurposed goods. Gumtree encourages sustainable living by making it easy for buyers and sellers of used goods to connect and do business online.

Gumtree’s free local classifieds are used to help people find anything from a used phone, a pair of second hand jeans, a co-working space to jobs and services – giving practical meaning to the ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’ mantra. Gumtree South Africa’s green market place covers a wide range of categories from automotive vehicles, electronics, property, baby and kids, pets and fashion to jobs and services. 

Environmental reasons to buy second hand goods

Gumtree South Africa_Going Green_ssChoosing to buy second hand goods helps to reduce waste and save resources (energy, water, raw materials etc.) associated with the manufacturing of new goods.

It also helps to avoid waste entering the already full landfill sites across South Africa, which are running out of space. In a study done by the CSIR, it was found that of the estimated 19 million tons of municipal waste generated in the country in 2011, about 25% were mainline recyclables such as glass, paper, tins and plastics. 

Landfill waste represents large quantities of used energy, natural resources and natural services. Buying second hand items therefore helps minimize the amount of waste that ends up in landfill sites.

Sustainable consumption and sustainable living

While buying second hand goods does help to avoid waste to landfill and the production of new goods, it’s good to remember to buy environmentally and socially responsible products to meet basic needs. As a green and conscious consumer, also remember to avoid over-consumption or unnecessary goods and services.

Sustainable consumption and sustainable living go hand in hand – and through buying second hand goods, upcycling and recycling – people are able to lead more sustainable lifestyles and practice more sustainable consumption patterns.

Then next time you need a new piece of clothing, new tools, appliances, or household items – consider buying them second hand instead of new.

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