It’s official: Swapsity's Book Movie Music Eco-Swap at the Live Green Toronto Festival on July 21 was our biggest event yet! So many familiar faces, and plenty of new ones, kept the Swap Zone busy and the good vibes flowing all day long. We experienced the highest turnout, a record amount of swappable items dropped off and more Swap Zone action than any other Swapsity event before.
In just nine hours, Torontonians recycled 6,219 items, swapped 4,909 of them and banked over $42,000 in savings. That’s unbelievable! As always, the leftover items still didn’t make it to the landfill. Books were donated to the YMCA and all music and movies went toward kick starting our Kensington Pedestrian Sunday event on July 29. What was left from that swap was donated to Goodwill.
It’s amazing to see that so much saving and recycling can happen right in the heart of Toronto’s shopping district. One swapper, Paul, contributed over 125 items and felt happy to see the stuff he loved “going home with people who share my care for the content”. We couldn’t agree more!
Not only have we doubled our numbers since last year’s Live Green Toronto Festival, we’ve been featured by so many great media outlets. Yahoo! Canada published a big piece on how bartering and borrowing helps people save money; the National Post focused a super cool HowTO comic strip on Swapsity; the Toronto Sun wrote about our massive swap meet taking over Yonge-Dundas, and BlogTO included us in their Live Green Fest highlights.
Best of all, in just one year of swapping, Swap Zone swappers have amassed an astounding $100,000 in savings, recycled a mighty 16,000 items and swapped over 12,500 of those items. That’s Collabor ative Consumption in action, folks!
Movies were the hot topic of the day and quite literally flew off the tables as soon as they were set down. We also saw lots of great box sets, from entire seasons of CSI to Six Feet Under and Dexter. One of our volunteers Fahrin Hirji found some old classics, like King of Kensington, Barney Miller (Seasons 1 & 2), 227, Welcome Back Kotter. “I guess I'll be a couch potato the rest of the week and plant myself in front of the TV to enjoy these.”
Some great stories were happening in the books section, too. Popular items included Farenheit 451, Memoirs of a Geisha and The Black Book by Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk, Tar Baby and Predictably Irrational. One tourist picked up some Canadian literature as a unique souvenir and a nifty way to improve her English.
Those weren’t the only swaps happening that day. Swapsity bartered with professional photographer, Chelsea, who masterfully captured the spirit and excitement surrounding the Swap Zone. "I loved the experience and the atmosphere of the entire Live Green Fest, at the Swapsity Swap Zone and down Yonge Street,” says Chelsea. “It's one of those reasons why I love Toronto."
It was also awesome to see so many young swappers among the crowd. The family friendly section of the Swap Zone saw more action than we expected. “I was very pleased to see so many parents bring their kids to the swap,” one volunteer commented. “Some of the kids had brought their pre-loved books to trade and were very excited about picking out new things. Hopefully they adopt this philosophy as they get older and see the value in swapping. Overall, the highlight for me during this event was seeing so many parents exposing their kids to this.”
Our lovable and swap-savvy mascot Swaptopus was hanging around at the Swap Zone creating memorable photo ops with the kids and watching as swappers discovered some of her own favourites in the music section.
A huge thank you to the irreplaceable volunteers who gave their time and heart to making the swap meet a resounding success. Our team amazingly hand-counted 6,219 items and kept the Swap Zone running smoothly.
We hope all the swappers left with a smile on their face and some special treasures to take home. Thank you all for coming out and making it a truly memorable day.
Until next time, happy swapping!
Jimu17 wrote on Aug 11th 2012, 23:44
Amazing events. Swapping makes people happy :)
Yvette wrote on Aug 16th 2012, 22:27
It was a great event, I can't believe the amount of quality items that were swapped, and I can't wait for the next event!