Flea Market: A Sustainable Success

trashThis past Saturday morning Habitat 4 Humanity hosted another annual Flea Market. For those unfamiliar with what a flea market is, it is a type of bazaar where several booths sell second-hand products and used goods that others in the community may have a need for. These markets have become popular as trailblazers for sustainability, they reduce waste.

A range of items were sold from multiple ISKL families including clothes, decorative items, toys, and other household items. Although the number of potential purchasers was less than in previous years, several sales were still made. This was highlighted by one student, Sophia ‘18, who managed to make a profit of 80 RM from her booth. One of her favorite items she put on sale was an ice cream maker ball that put a unique spin on making ice cream as in order to mix its ingredients it needed to be kicked and rolled. Other unique items such as this were featured on the tables of many ISKL families.

Flea markets are important opportunities to have a positive impact on the environment. Every year, 2.12 billion tons of waste is produced around the world. Even more shocking is the revelation that 99% of items bought are eventually trashed within six months (The World Counts). Rather than purchasing an item to never use it and eventually throw it away, events such as the flea market serve as a prime opportunity to prevent the buildup of waste. Sophia, ‘18, highlights the rewarding feeling associated with recycling used items as she said, “I never knew how many things I had throughout my house that I simply didn’t have any use for anymore. I hate wasting things that someone else could find valuable, so this flea market was a great opportunity for me to prevent my contribution to any more waste.”

Overall, it is safe to say that we all could use a sweep of our homes to see what items we haven’t used in a while. If they’re still in good condition, instead of eventually throwing them away we should find a way to make use of them. A possible way to do this was proposed on the radio station BFM and involves organizing closets. Place all of your hangers in one direction, and then each time you wear an item place that hanger in the opposite direction. After a few months, see which clothing items you haven’t worn according to the hanger’s position. These items in addition to others can then either be donated to a local charity, recycled, or sold to others through opportunities such as the flea market. Whatever method is chosen, as long as these materials aren’t going to waste we can all make a small impact on the ever-present issue of pollution in our society.

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