Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Having fun in MySkip

Excuse me please...Can someone help me out?

Yes, you. uh-uh, you.

I know you're only passing by but if you could just stretch out your hand a bit...a little further. That's it.

Just lifting over my other leg now. Phew, that's grand, I'm out.

Thank you so much and please excuse me while I dust myself down.

You see, I've been there all afternoon, having a poke about in the skip at all the things that people are trying to get rid of. You should know by now what a nosey old bird I am. So when I saw this particular skip I couldn't help myself. I couldn't pass by such a great opportunity. Honestly, it's amazing what's in there. You ought to go and see.

As well as the ubiquitous mattress, which no self-respecting skip would be without, there are televisions, posters, office furniture, computer monitors and children's toys, all in great condition and ready for the picking.

But as you can probably guess from the HUGE logo at the top of the post, this is no ordinary skip that you simply have delivered to your house.

This is a skip with a difference. It's a big yellow virtual number, that sits in cyberspace, with no limits on how much you can throw away. You could say it's a bit like Freecycle but with more va-voom. In fact, the va-voom makes it more like eBay.

That's it. It's like a free eBay. Free to register, free to upload and free to go rummaging.

It's also easy to use and secure. If you see an item you like, you can easily reserve it. Members can add feedback and rate each other's reliability with stars. If you're busy and on the move, with no access to the computer, no problem. You can even upload items from your mobile phone.

So what more could you want, a fabulous new way to keep your unwanted stuff out of landfill and be in with the chance of a freebie at the same time.

But guess what, there is more, lots more in fact!

You know I mentioned the va-voom...

...well...launched in April, already has the backing of an amazing set of people, ranging from the Dalai Lama and Prince Charles to the dizzy heights of media such as Max Clifford and Saatchi and Saatchi.

A whole host of celebrities have already donated items to the site, including Sir Cliff Richard, Sheryl Crow and Katie Melua. One of these items is added each week, but you won't know what it is, because as the site says "it's this action - not the item, that will help draw attention to the serious issues surrounding unnecessary waste".

As co-founder May Al-Karooni told me this afternoon, "It's all about making eco living a bit more fun".

The founders also recognise that keeping unwanted items out of landfill is only part of the much broader spectrum of environmental issues that need to be addressed and with this in mind they have set up a not-for-profit organisation called The MySkip Foundation Trust. Professor David Bellamy OBE is tasked with overseeing its work, which aims to find innovative solutions to poverty as well as reducing man's impact on the environment.

So, if you've got five minutes to spare and want to join in, please feel free and go over to for a good old rummage. You may even find the item that I dropped in there during my visit this afternoon. It's waiting for a good home, so why not pop over and see what you can do.



Anonymous said...

Thanks Mrs A; I've never moved further than Feecycle and eBay. perhaps it is time for me to spread my wings and take on a little dumpster diving :D

I hope you find a loving home for your unwanteds.

Maisie said...

Just signed up thanks.

This might be another avenue for things when we have finished the carboot season this year.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mra A,

It is an interesting site. The idea is to encourage local communities to swap/reuse unwanted items.
I will follow progress to see how it works in practice and then join in when I can.

Anonymous said...

WOW!! How exciting to rummage through other people's rubbish.! Took your advice & signed up - not very competent as yet, but working on it!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Mrs G - That's where I've been hanging out too, but I like the look of this gorgeous looking skip...I can see myself rummaging there quite regularly ;-D x

Hi Maisie - that's great, It looks like it will come to good use. Hope you find it helpful ;-D

Hi John - I agree it does seem very interesting. What I particularly like is that you can focus on things that are near to your home and even better, it is easy to find items that are still available even after a few weeks. :-D

Hi Extremesportbarbie and welcome. I love the name. It's great that you've signed up and I'll keep an eye out for what you may be putting I said, I am very nosey. Hope you find some great stuff ;-D

Anonymous said...

So, um, how is it different to Freecycle? I can't help thinking that the fewer of these sites there are to register with and look at, the more chance there is of stuff actually finding new homes.

Welsh Girl said...

What a genius idea. I have 'rescued' a few things from skips in my time - a chair,an old steamer trunk and a great picture frame amongst my favourites! Now, think I'll go off for a rummage....

Jo Beaufoix said...

This is so cool. Thanks for pointing me that way. :D

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Katy - thanks for visiting and also for raising a very important point. I've used Freecycle for a long time and love it and have been testing out with interest over the last few days. From a practical perspective, the database approach of the latter is very appealing in that it allows you to search anywhere in the country and you can also search easily by keyword for things that may have been lurking for some time.

For me, it's not the rest of the country that matters but the stuff that's close by. Already I've spotted a few things which are close to me in Cambridgeshire, West Suffolk and the East Suffolk, within one easy search and living close to a county border, this is useful. To do the same within Freecycle would mean having to join and manage three separate groups. That's something that's not beyond feasibility but is an issue of convenience. I will not stop using my local Freecycle, but see the MySkip along with others as a useful additional.

There is an issue with greater numbers of similar sites coming online in that it could dilute the process, but I think the key thing here is the old "horses for courses" saying and I think that each site will have different appeal to different people. Some re-use sites highlight eco issues in their branding, which is great for those who inspired by such messages. Others are just more practical and neutral. MySkip appears to have tapped into the idea of encouraging people to be cool by re-using, which is an important motivator that shouldn't be overlooked.

Very similar to the branding used by producers and retailers alike, these various sites will draw people from different backgrounds with different motivators. And if each one encourages a few more people to do what they should with unwanted stuff and keep it out from landfill, I think there is a place for each.

I hope that helps clarify my thoughts on what I've discovered so far. I'm afraid I've got my marketeers hat and when I'm wearing that, there's risk of me continuing all night ;-D

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Welsh Girl - glad it's of interest and hope you discover something useful. By the way, thought I'd let on that my Mam came to visit last week and brought her own Re-use item with her...a very old baking stone, which she said I could use to make Welsh pressure then ;-D

Hi Jo - glad you like it. Let me know if you uncover any treasure ;-D

Millennium Housewife said...

Fantastic idea, do they take four year olds? MH

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Millennium Housewife - LOL, hadn't thought of asking, but have you considered doing a straight swap? Might be able to help you out there ;-D

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