Every year at Christmas time the amount of waste is doubled and it is often connected with Christmas gifts packaging and a large number of plastic decorations whose production and transport produce a huge amount of carbon dioxide. The waste, that comes after the Christmas glow disappears, leaves an indelible mark on the environment.
For this reason, the Association Sunce, as part of the project For Plastic Free Croatian Island in which the Plastic Smart Cities Croatia project actively participates, started a national campaign Together without Plastics to raise public awareness of the importance of reducing single use plastics in everyday life, and to propose some advices how to change lifestyle habits to reduce waste.
Considering that Christmas giving has become a tradition, we want to show that there are other ways to find gifts besides shopping. This year, try to find a gift for friends and family on Facebook pages and fairs that are intended for the exchange and sharing of surplus items. This way of sharing with others is popularly called sharing is caring.
Rising product costs and reduced household budgets have popularized this type of “trade” because in addition to saving money, exchanging and sharing surplus items reduces waste and protects the environment.
The Association Sunce implemented the idea of sharing is caring in December at the Christmas swap fair in Trogir. The goal of the fair was to encourage people to exchange those gifts that no longer have a purpose in their house for gifts they can give to others this year.
In Croatia the term sharing is caring has gained the greatest popularity on social networks, especially on Facebook, where the idea of mutual exchange and application of zero waste in everyday life, started from the Facebook group Sharing is caring Zagreb. It was founded with the goal of encouraging people to circular economy, sharing, borrowing, repairing and future reusing things to reduce waste. Facebook users very quickly accepted the idea of sharing what you have and taking what you need, and the group gathered a large number of followers in a short time.
In these groups, you can find literally everything – from food, clothes, bicycles, air conditioning to free summer vacations without unnecessary questions, ridicule, mockery or anything like that. People are all there with the same goal – to get rid of what they do not need and someone else does and/or not to buy something new that someone already has and does not use.
The group operates on the principle that someone publishes the item to give away, and the comments are made by the people who need the published item. One of the main rules of the group is that there are no sales.
Facebook group with the largest number of members is Sharing is caring Zagreb, but there are groups with the same name on Facebook for other Croatian cities. We will mention some groups that are in the Dalmatia, such as: Sharing is caring Dalmatia, Sharing is caring Makarska, Sharing is caring Hvar, Sharing is caring Zadar, Sharing is caring Dubrovnik.
So, in the spirit of Christmas giving, we suggest you join one of these groups and share with others the surplus you own or find something for yourself that you have always wanted. Something that you don’t need, someone else does, and vice versa.