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20

Apr

Quantify Your Carbon Savings from P2P Reuse on Tradepal

Contributor: Tamar Burton

This Earth Day we unite in support of a healthy planet by inspiring change. As part of the 2012 theme Mobilize the Earth, and the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSDA) in Rio de Janeiro, Rio +20  we encourage everyone to proactively engage in ways that will create a quantifiable outcome by organizing events, volunteering and promoting renewable energy initiatives, and finally pledging support to a Billion Acts of Green. Now with over 997 million acts pledged and counting, our actions today will help to develop a comprehensive plan for sustainable development while inspiring the change necessary to get our world leaders to take bold energy action. 

In honor of Earth Day, we at Tradepal, suggest that you evaluate your carbon footprint and the many ways you can help the environment by reducing, recycling and reusing. To the many supporters of collaborative consumption, we encourage you to quantify the carbon savings your actions generate in changing users’ behaviors with services such as bike, car and ride sharing, swapping and trading. 

Senator Gaylord Nelson, the originator of the Earth Day holiday in 1970: 

"The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around."

Tradepal users save money and the environment when trading on our platform. They also have access to a dedicated calculator that quantifies their carbon savings derived from all their trading on the platform. It is surprising to discover the exact amount of carbon savings you have accumulated while trading and giving items away. 

On Tradepal, users may quantify their carbon savings both individually and as a group:

  • individual users who have excess electronics, video games or consumer goods
  • networks such as churches, charities and schools 
  • organizations including local businesses and corporations  
  • cities whose communities need an alternative to yard sales

Gamification Feature:  The Carbon Savings Calculator

It might seem trivial initially, but watching your carbon savings increase with each trade  is truly fulfilling. According to my Tradepal user profile, I have accumulated 354 kg of carbon savings over the past six months. While not sure what it exactly meant, I simply plugged my Tradepal Carbon Savings amount into the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

The following highlights some significant equivalents of my savings: 

  • Carbon sequestered by 9 tree seedlings grown for 10 years 
  • CO2 emissions from 14 propane cylinders used for home BBQs
  • CO2 emissions from 39 gallons of gasoline consumed 

Additional Reading:

Trendsetting Women Leading Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces

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Are Yard Sales Losing their Curb Appeal?

Spring is the season for enjoying the outdoors and sharing with friends and family. Yet one of our nation’s past times is now under scrutiny. A growing issue for municipalities is the increasing complaints received from neighbors of yard sales gone to the extreme. Imagine living near neighbors offering appliances and cars on their lawns. This was the focus of a recent msnbc.com story spurring a sharp debate with more than 400 comments to date. In Delano, Calif., the city has declared a ‘yard sale showdown’ following numerous complaints received from residents of citizens operating business from their homes. 

When thinking of a yard sale, what comes to mind is the additional traffic and visitors entering the neighborhoods in search for bargains. For some, this is welcome as their goal is to share with their neighbors while generating funds from items no longer used. The issue at hand is that many of these so-called yard sales are de facto illegally operating storefronts. For yard sales of the extreme form, it seems a few are ruining it for everyone else.  

"While yard sales provide a great way to re-commerce, they vary by the location and are as unique as each city’s demographic," said Mollie Loeffler, President of the Parklawn Civic Association in Alexandria, VA. "In extreme cases, it is unfortunate when municipalities must take action in order to protect citizens from code compliance issues."

Some of the cities that have enacted restrictions and permit fees are detailed by this recent BusinessWeek article. While the limits vary, cities such as San Angelo, Tx., Phenix City, Ala., and Ontario, Calif., allow for no more than two yard sales per year, yet others including Elkhart, Indiana, allow up to 15 a year. As for fees, in South Greensburg, Pa., citizens must pay a $5 permit fee, while in Miami, Fla., it is as high as $28.

In retrospect, yard sales are a lot of work. From applying and paying for permits, to organizing and pricing items, to driving foot traffic and hopefully making sales, physical garage sales involve too much friction. Tradepal’s peer-to-peer marketplace offers a solution for both municipalities, as well as the weekend garage gal who is planning to move or just wants to de-clutter. The difference is, it doesn’t require a permit or any cash outlay at all. Another benefit is each item can be listed with images in less than a minute. Once all the items are listed, all you do is share the link to your ‘Tradepal virtual garage sale' with your social network. And as simple as that, the offers will start rolling in.

Listing an item is done in less than a minute on Tradepal. For example, type ‘iPhone 3G’ and tradepal will serve you relevant options to choose from to complete your listings in one-click. For books or games, just enter the ISBN number, and the system will automatically upload your listing. If you were planning to move, this service is a great option as you can even list giveaways. The options are endless.

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Additional Reading:

Online Marketplace Comparison: eBay vs Craigslist vs Tradepal

Did You Know You Harbored $7,000 in Unused Items

Are Yard Sales Losing Their Curb Appeal?

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