By Marta Nowinska
As the year draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our members, supporters and the entire Swapsity team, for making 2011 a year to remember!
It’s truly been a phenomenal and action-packed year for Swapsity. Let’s look back at our most memorable moments of 2011.
"Aha!" Swap Moments
"Really? I can use yoga lessons, carpools and coaching as currency?" Absolutely!
Being so used to using cash and credit cards, many of us forget about alternatives, such as barter. We love seeing faces light up when people suddenly "get it" about swapping. They experience the value of participating in the sharing economy first-hand by getting a stack of ‘new’ DVDs at our events, listening to our guest speakers or swapping online.
Our swappers are quickly learning that their things, talents and time act as non-monetary currency. Hearing swappers say: "this is SUCH a good idea!" and "we really need this" brings a big smile to our faces.
From Yonge-Dundas Square to the University of Toronto campus, we got Canadians swapping!
Online and offline, our swappers have made thousands of swaps through our community. They have bartered for iPods, Mac notebooks, guitars, massages, business consults, basket weaving lessons, jewellery repair, media, fashion, art and much more. Check out our featured swap stories, if you happened to have missed them.
#3 Knowing That We're Making a Difference
Our 2011 calendar was abuzz with swap meets and educational events. We gathered the stats to see the social, economic and environmental impact of these events:
Note: The statistics reflect the combined
efforts of our
media and clothing swaps in 2011
Through the Swapsity website, swap meets and educational events, we seek to promote a culture of swapping, sharing and reusing instead of always buying new stuff and maxing out credit cards. We see swapping as a way to empower Canadians on environmental, financial and social levels while helping build more connected communities and a greener planet.
#4 Being a Part of the Live Green Toronto Festival
This summer, we teamed up with the Toronto Environment Office for our biggest and most successful swap event yet. Not only was the event 100% free, it was also the highlight of the festival. Thanks to the help of Live Green Toronto and our fabulous volunteers, swappers saved $18,000 during the nine hour swap marathon. A total of 3,300 items were recycled that day, 2,350 of which were swapped and the rest were donated to charity.
Our cute and cuddly mascot, the Swaptopus, got a kick out of the media swap, mingling and snapping photos with enthusiastic visitors. It was a day to remember!
#5 Hosting Buy Nothing, Swap Something Day
To open minds and eyes to the benefits of barter, we hosted the wildly successful and well-attended Buy Nothing, Swap Something Day on November 25th.
The inaugural event included a screening of the documentary, "Living Without Money", an inspirational talk by the Barter Babe and a group discussion on the emergence of the sharing economy. Key takeaway from the event? Get out and barter, folks!
# 6 Seeing Happy Swappers
Nothing makes us happier than seeing satisfied swappers! Head over to our swap stories to read about some happy swappers like Lisa, Gerry or Tori. Bella, who recently scored a free laptop through Swapsity, is yet another fulfilled swapper!
Our swap events also didn’t disappoint. Many lit up faces and enthusiastic responses such as “Great energy! Looking forward to the next swap!” or “This is so awesome!” made our day.
What can we say? Happy swappers + awesome swaps = warm and fuzzy feeling!
This year we hosted six big swap events and four educational events, all of which were volunteer-run and free for Torontonians. A heartfelt thank you to all our amazingly dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers who gave up their time to help make everything run smoothly and successfully. You rock!
In 2011, we have had the opportunity to collaborate with many amazing folks and like-minded organizations such as:
It's been a pleasure collaborating with you and we look forward working with you and many more fantastic people in 2012.
We were spotted in over 30 media mentions this year, including those by CTV, Yahoo News, MSN Money, Shareable, Torontoist, Moneyville, The Grid, MoneySense and many more. They brought attention to Swapsity and its mission to make swapping accessible to Canadians and raised awareness of the benefits of barter. The media is quickly noticing the growing popularity and importance of the swapping economy and is eager to share it with their readers. Keep ‘em comin’!
Promise of a
We are on a mission to get Canada swapping! Through our online swapping platform and swap events, we will continue to play a leading role in engaging Canadians in Collaborative Consumption in 2012.
The Collaborative consumption movement—rapid growth of swapping, swapping, sharing and gifting—is quickly gathering momentum and revolutionizing the way people get things. According to Time Magazine, Collaborative Consumption is one of “10 Ideas That Will Change the World”. We have lots of exciting things planned for 2012. Stay tuned!
What were your favourite Swapsity moments? Leave a comment to let us know.
Wishing you all the best in 2012 and see you next year!