30 Aug 2018

For the love of garage sales

Whether it’s the thrill of the hunt and never knowing what treasures you might uncover, the satisfaction that your pre-loved items are finding new homes, or that you get to make money from items that have otherwise been collecting dust, let’s face it - people LOVE a good garage sale!

Community Vibe


One thing I love about Second Hand Saturday is the buzz - the positive community vibe created as everyone bands together for a common cause.

Plus so many sales within walking or a short driving distance of each other makes for the perfect excuse to get a group of friends together and make a day of it!

One of the highlights I’ve experienced during Second Hand Saturday was talking with the lovely people I met along the way.  You never know who you’ll meet! One guy happened to be a local mechanic who we’ve continued to use over the years, while I also got to know my neighbours a lot better.

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be chatting to people within our community to find out what they love about Second Hand Saturday and showcasing some of the great fundraisers and bargains coming up, so stay tuned!

Interview with Ash Grunwald

Photo credit: Simon Conlon

This week I had the opportunity to ask Australian Blues and Roots singer and Byron local Ash Grunwald a few questions about the importance of garage sales.

So why Ash you might ask? Well, its not only his booty shakin’ songs often about escaping the big city or spending time in nature that attracted me to him, it’s his devotion to helping fight the war on waste. 

What many people might not know is that together with his wife Danni, the couple share a strong commitment to our environment, particularly in the fight against single-use plastics.

Chatting with Ash


Have you heard of Second Hand Saturday?
No but I think it’s a sensational idea!! If we were around more, I’d probably get amoungst it!!

Have you ever held a garage sale? 
Danni my wife did when we left Torquay to move up to the Northern Rivers. We made a couple of grand I think? I was on tour as usual!

We love that garage sales are social, what do you believe is the benefit of holding a garage sale?
I think they are an amazing idea!!! Ahead of their time. The inspiring thing about garage sales is that they allow people to benefit from the money they have invested in something, that would otherwise be wasted. This is huge! Especially as most of us are in the shackles of debt. The humble garage sale has been doing this for years!! Also as we all know, we tend to over consume. Delpeting the planet of much needed resources and creating toxic waste at an alarming rate. Reusing stuff is the ethical option. It’s also way cheaper for the buyer and free money for the seller, in that the things they choose to sell weren’t being used.

There is quite an emphasis on sending less to landfill and promoting re-use, why do you think this is important in our community? 
I think people are waking up. We can’t keep polluting at the rate we are and expect no consequences. The good news is that although in some areas it gets worse every day, the problem is being counteracted by many brilliant people working on new initiatives such as Second Hand Saturday to encourage positive change.  

How do you think the NSW north coast does in terms of reducing what we send to landfill?
I spend more time in Bali these days. And we certainly do better in NSW than in Bali but are we just better at hiding the problems?

Do you think you might get time to do some shopping this Second Hand Saturday? If so, what’s something you might be on the hunt for?
Yellow surfboards and funky old oddball guitars!

Yellow Surfboards and funky oddball guitars are on Ash Grunwald’s Second Hand Saturday wish list. Credit Jim Banks Surfboards

15 Aug 2018

Start your own War on Waste

Captain Clutter sorts his pile of toys for Second Hand Saturday
After a solid week of decluttering I was feeling pretty pleased with my efforts.

Our family soon realised that this wasn’t just about the things we’d accumulated so far, but those things we could potentially continue to accumulate. There was a much bigger picture developing here; we had inadvertently just declared war on waste in our very own home!

There was no going back now.

Armed with our What’s in My House Quiz questions each of us attacked a room, sorting through the layers of ‘stuff’ we’d kept over the years.

The whole process made us sit down and question how we could live a more waste-wise lifestyle.

So where does one start?

Every little bit helps

To be honest, I had been an environmental education officer for the last 15 years and I could still see a lot of room for improvement.

During my working career, one of the common questions people would ask me was, ‘how can I make a difference? The problems are all so much bigger and it doesn’t feel like I’m making any significant changes’.

What’s important to remember is that we are all a part of this community like pieces of a puzzle. We need each piece to play a part in creating the larger picture. You’d be surprised how each of our small changes collectively makes the big difference we are all striving to see. As they say, every little bit helps.

Stop the landfill

While recycling is great, re-using is even better! And reducing the waste you bring into your home and life to begin with is the ultimate goal. For those who have been following the War on Waste episodes on ABC, there are some great challenges ahead but the underlying message is PEOPLE POWER!

Take action now!

Taking part in Second Hand Saturday, the North Coast’s largest community garage sale event, is a fun way to join forces with your neighbours and friends and collectively make that bigger difference.

Last year, there were over 1200 garage sales held across our region and this September 22, marks the 10th birthday of Second Hand Saturday. Imagine how much waste could have otherwise ended up in landfill?

Holding a garage sale or shopping for pre-loved items is not only a great way to reduce what is sent to landfill, it’s also a fantastic way to get out and meet your neighbours and be part of the community.

Use your piece of the puzzle and let’s create that bigger picture together!