Bartering: Recycle This

Like the days of yore, people are jumping on the bartering bandwagon to save money, resources and ultimately our fine planet. Whether you’re going big or looking to unload your iPod speakers in lieu of recycling them (and hoping to pick up a pair of Wolf Parade tickets in the process) Craigslist is the way to go. Just want to find a happy home for your IKEA shelves? There’s a Freecycle near you.

On a much larger scale, Green Apple Barter Service users are trading air conditioners for auto repair. NPR’s All Things Considered recently ran a story about Green Apple, a national barter service that started in Pittsburgh seventeen years ago. The genius behind this system is that you don’t have to find someone that has what you want — that is, also looking for what you have. If you have something and someone else wants it, you get a credit to “spend” on the product or service you really need.

Green Apple has seen it all in the last seventeen years; people have traded “everything from breast implants to flat roof repair” on the site. They even have multiple barters for college tuition, where the college allowed a student to get a tuition credit in exchange for services needed on campus such as copiers, landscaping and lawyers. Green Apple is national, so if you’ve got a skill like website design and need a limo ride to your free hotel room on vacation, this is the place for you.

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