Don’t throw, get ready to reuse

An initiative to gift or receive used items freely, shows one easy way to be green. It has also benefited many, making a difference to their education or livelihood.

We often have things we do not require and look for someone to give it away. Some of us donate clothes to  domestic help or charity groups.

But when it comes to things like books, an exercycle, a tabla or tailoring machine,  one cannot throw it on to a garbage truck or sell it to the raddiwala.


Gayathri works part time as an auto driver to take care of her family and at the same time continue her education. She was able to get books for her course through the Bangalore Reuse group. Pic: Poornima Dasharathi

This is where a networking group like Bangalore Reuse can help. This is an e-group where people can offer things they no longer need. They can even posts requests for things they require or somebody whom they know is in need of. The only requirement is that all transfers must be free.

Initiated by the Rotary club of Yelahanka, based on a suggestion by Paul Mundackal, an environment consultant and a Rotarian, the two year old group has grown to have about 182 members now. The idea behind it is the very simple credo “Reduce, reuse, recycle”. Mundackal believes major environmental problems include uncontrolled garbage generation.

Bharath Curam, a long time member of the group, recounts the story of a woman, Sridevi working as a domestic help who received an old sewing machine. She was so happy at getting the item and has started to supplement her income with tailoring.

Adds Curam, “I have had the privilege of getting some lovely books like encyclopedias, educational cassettes, UPS which have been donated to various schools”.

In another instance, a dish TV set top box, cable and receiver dish donated by P M Radhakrishna, also from Yelahanka, was routed to Omashram, an old age home on Bannerghata road.

Those interested can join the group here.
Citizen Matters has also created a forum.
Those who want to donate their items can post here;
as well as look at what others have to offer.

It is not just charitable institutions and the needy which are the beneficiaries. Individuals also give away things like an exercycle or request old amar chitra katha comics to add to their collections.

This is a small but definitive step in reducing clutter in one’s home, reduce the contribution to garbage dumps, and help somebody at the same time.  ⊕


  1. Gautam says:

    The real enemies of sustainable living for societies the world over are the business class, who for their own selfish interest promote consumerism. They have promoted a culture where people are not ready to take used articles for their homes or personal use. People these days want the latest gadgets in the market to make a style statement and to live upto to their so-called status. If this ‘reuse’ system has to sustain, and grow, people should change their attitude and outgrow narrow concepts of ‘status’ and ‘prestige’. I can tell this from personal experience. Most of the junk is produced simply because of this wrong culture and value of consumerism that societies across the world are following. The world has enough for everybody’s need. But the mad race for the latest gadgets and living up to ‘status’ and ‘prestige’ is costing us dearly.

  2. Aarti Mohan says:

    Joined the yahoogroup to discover that only 1 in 20 posts is of any relevance, rest are spam/mindless forwards. Shows the need for moderators in forums like these to function well.

  3. Poornima Dasharathi says:

    Agree with Aarti. Too much clutter. A request for the founders to moderate the group.

  4. SV Nagappa says:

    Here in Australia we have every charity group runs what is called as thrift store. You can donate any working stuff you want or clean washed clothes. Lots of people including those who make decent money purchase items from here. For eg., a newly married couple may get all basic cutlery etc or sofas for a fraction of the cost and set up a home without taking out a loan for buying new things. People buy expensive items like winter coats or toys for kids etc. Indians should adopt this concept and not worry about their prestige. In our family we exchange items all the time.

  5. Reshmi Chakraborty says:

    This is a very interesting idea.

  6. Jagadish S says:

    Another group on similar lines is It is moderated, has a specific format for subject and hence less subject to spam.

  7. susheela david says:

    An 87 year old lady is looking for a foldable ironing board in Bangalore . She lives in a Senior Citizen facility off Richmond Road, in Richmond Town.
    Great to reuse/recyle and reduce……..
    Thank you,

  8. susheela david says:

    Would be extremely grateful to anyone who can lend me a car seat for my 3 year oldgrand son to use from Decmber 29th till the 2nd of February, thank you, susheela

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