On Saturday, August 26, Sustainable Princeton hosted its first Swap Party.
Over 50 sustainably minded community members attended and brought various gently-loved items to swap with each other.
Items ranged from home decorations, books, kitchen appliances, garden tools, exercise equipment, toys, games, puzzles, and more. Attendees enjoyed perusing the many unique items including a pants presser/valet, gelato maker, and weighted hula hoop. Swapping items gives them a longer life and keeps them out of the landfill. Reusing a previously owned item within our community has virtually zero carbon impact, whereas manufacturing and shipping new items is a massive source of emissions.
In addition to reducing waste, the event aimed to raise awareness about the STAR Neighborhood program and encourage attendees to learn more about how to start their own STAR neighborhood or join a preexisting neighborhood. Through the STAR program, residents of Princeton neighborhoods participate in sustainability projects that strengthen their communities while reducing their carbon footprint, and inspire others to follow suit. Fourteen neighborhoods have joined so far!
Attendees voiced their enjoyment of the event to organizers:
“I got some nice stuff that I will put to good use. The best part was chatting with other people”
“My favorite part was the relief of finding a still-useful but no longer needed item a new home – extending its life & reducing the chance of it going straight to the waste stream as quickly”
“I loved the positive community vibe – everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves!”
Items that were not claimed by the end of the event have been donated to Cornerstone Community Kitchen. All toys and games were donated to R+K Smiles, Ryan and Kyle Grzymala, two brothers who take gently used toys from families who no longer have a need for them and give them back to the community for other kids to play with and love. In addition to the freecycling of gently used toys, they also donate any new/mint in-box items to Homefront.
Sustainable Princeton hopes to plan more Swap-related events in the future, potentially theming the event such as garden/native plants in the spring.
We welcome any additional feedback about the event and thank all those who participated!