Givmo: The green way to get rid of your stuff

Givmo: The green way to get rid of your stuff

New York based Givmo is an interesting site which gives users an eco-friendly and charitable way to get rid of stuff they don’t want. Founded by Dustin Byrne, an MIT grad and former head of’s engineering team, users can post items they want to get rid of, while at the same time, lets you snag listed items you want. All you have to do is pay for the shipping.

At the moment, Givmo is only available to US residents, but there are plans to expand the service into the UK, Australia and Canada.

Once you’ve signed up for an account, you can list your items for free. If you see something that catches your eye, if you want, you can ask the ‘Giver’ questions by leaving them a comment on the item. Once you decide you want something, click the ‘Want it’ button and Givmo will send the Giver a prepaid UPS shipping label to mail it off. The site is deceivingly simple but the concept behind it is awesome.

For ‘Givers,’ it’s an easy way to get rid of clutter in your home. Rather than throw it out where it will most likely end up in a landfill, you can benefit someone else, and the environment at the same time.

Givmo has also worked out all of the logistics for its users. If more than one person wants the item, Givmo decides who gets it. All you have to do is put it in a box and mail it via UPS. Givmo describes itself as an online equivalent to a Goodwill thrift store.

The actual items available on the site at the moment include books, a film camera, a baseball mitt, mugs, and a plastic elephant watering can.

Givmo does have its limits – you can’t list large items like couches or beds, heavy low-value items, and surprisingly enough, apparently there was a need to let people know that you can’t give away your pet dog using Givmo. (Which begs the question, did someone actually try to find a new home for their pet using the site?)

As if it didn’t seem altruistic enough, Givmo has one final twist. For every item that is given away through the site, $1 goes to a charity. Until September 8, 2011, that charity is the World Wildlife Fund.

What’s really great about how Givmo works is that it’s the ideal example of putting the pay-it-forward concept to work. You can give away a book that you’ve read, and don’t intend on reading again, and get another book from someone else who did the same. There’s a never-ending cycle of eco-friendly and charitable deeds waiting to happen on Givmo.

So if you have a lot of stuff lying around your house that you never use, instead of sticking it on eBay, why not do a little bit of spring cleaning, while also helping out a great cause?

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