How to guide


> Swap It
Host a swap market to encourage swapping instead of shopping


We all love having new stuff. But does it matter if it’s not new new? Isn’t it still new if it’s just new to you? How new does it need to be? What if you knew if wasn’t new? What are we talking about …?

We’re talking about sharing or swapping! Swapping is a form of exchange, where people swap/trade items. Choosing to swap unwanted items, rather than throwing them away, has a positive impact on the environment (and your wallet) because it saves:

Australians are big consumers and with a growing population it is becoming an increasing problem, especially from a waste perspective. Switching our habits from shopping to swapping or buying second-hand goods can make a difference. Remember, it’s still new to you!

How To Do It

Getting started

Embrace the saying ‘one person’s trash is another person’s treasure’ and plan a swap market at your school. Have students, teachers and parents donate unwanted items (books, toys, CD’s, clothing, etc) that are still in good condition.

Give out a token for every item they bring in, which can then be traded at the swap market for a new item of their choice.

Quick Tip: You could collect goods for an entire term and hold the swap market at the end of term.

On the day

Organise items into groups to make the swap easier. For example you could group:

  • CD’s and DVD’s
  • Clothes and accessories
  • Books, magazines and posters
  • Bric-a-brac
  • Toys
  • Kitchen/household items

Start the swap (one token for one item) and continue until everything is gone or everyone has finished swapping.

Quick tip: Remember to take a photo of all the different tables so you have a record of what you started with.

After the event

Donate any unclaimed goods to a local charity store.

Whole school tip

Get the whole school involved and hold a super swap party. Hold the party somewhere central like the school hall or library and invite parents / guardians along as well.

What’s Our Impact?

Before you start the swap, take a look at how many tables are covered with items or lay them out on gym mats – how many does it cover?

How many wheelie bins worth of waste did you save from going to landfill by finding it a new home/donating it to charity?


Fast Facts

Approximately 50% of hard waste that is taken to the dump could have been recovered or is still in good working condition.

The average Australian spends $59 per week on household equipment and $44 dollars on new clothes.

On average Australians spend $9.5 billion a year on gadgets versus $5.1 billion a year on fashion.

The average Australian household throws away 17.7 kilos of waste every week.