SwitchPlanet: Use More, Waste Less


TreeHugger is fond of using the networking power of the internet to help people connect and share their stuff; it's fast, easy, cheaper than buying and more sustainable than collecting huge amounts of stuff that only gets used once in a blue moon. The latest addition to virtual swap meet sites like lala.com and Peerflix is a community called SwitchPlanet, which takes the idea a step further by offering a similar service for free. Instead of costing a buck or two, SwitchPlanet users barter using virtual currency called "switchbucs", which allow users to assign a relative value to the things they want to get rid of. Instead of transaction fees or membership fees, members have the option to donate any amount they choose every time they request something for free from another member on the SwitchPlanet network; these accumulated "SwitchFunds" then go to organizations like The Nature Conservancy, American Red Cross and American Cancer Society. Currently limited to digital media (CDs, DVDs and games), users earn switchbucs for swapping and can then spend them when they want to pick up a copy of Anchorman or Yellow Submarine; according to the founder (who was interviewed by GroovyGreen), things like books, clothes and even larger items like furniture or cars could be coming to the network soon. Check out their site (or read the full interview) for more on switchbucs, SwitchFunds and finally finding the special edition of Army of Darkness. ::SwitchPlanet via ::Hugg

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