Spread a bit of happiness and pass it on

It’s often said there’s no such thing as getting something for nothing.

Written By Iain Gulland - Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland  |  24 Feb 15

Certainly, whenever money-making organisations offer us something for free, we rightly start to wonder what the catch is going to be.  And in childhood, many of us might have seen hand-me-down clothes as more a curse than a blessing.

But a new campaign of activity is being promoted here at Zero Waste Scotland to encourage a whole week of something for nothing, in the shape of Pass it on Week, a re-use awareness week that is all about handing things on to someone else when you’ve finished with it.

Pass it on Week is all about promoting the breath of fantastic fun, social and creative opportunities that re-using things offers, and we’re encouraging workplaces, community groups, schools, universities and individuals to get swapping, sharing, donating, repairing and upcycling to keep items in use for as long as possible. There are events happening across Scotland to give people the opportunity to give re-use a chance.

It’s about getting people to see the value in the things they’ve finished with, and that there are loads of great ways to ensure someone else can go on to make use of it.

Passing on clothes to friends is one of the key activities we’re pushing for Pass it on Week. It’s not only fun, social and gives you a chance to refresh your wardrobe, it also has a really significant environmental impact. Keeping an item of clothing in use for a few extra years is one of the best ways to reduce the very high environmental impact that the clothing and textile sector has.

A re-used treasure of mine is my bike. It’s a GT frame with Campagnola gear set (note to non bike geeks – that’s a real find) which came from Stirling bike re-use charity Recyke-a-Bike. I’ve been the length and breadth of Scotland on it. Someone clearly saw the value in donating that when they upgraded for a new one (or gave up cycling!).

Again, this is what Pass it on Week is all about. Aside from all the events and PR, those individual acts on donating to local organisations are the core of what the week is for, and there are lots of easy and convenient ways to do this that many people aren’t aware of. The national re-use phone line will collect re-usable items for free, from your doorstep, straight to a local re-use organisation. Simply call 0800 0665 820. They take bikes, as well as large items such as beds, sofas, chairs, tables and the like.

You could also re-home your unwanted items at your local charity shop, hold a clothes swap with friends or just pass something on to family or work colleagues.

Pass it on Week is also a great time for businesses to think about re-use, either by encouraging staff to swap and share personal items in the office, or donating old furniture and IT equipment to local re-use organisations.

To find out more about the week and what activities are happening, you can visit www.passitonweek.com

As a campaign week, it really is something everyone can get involved in. You never know – someone might pass something fantastic on to you. 

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