What Do We Value?

We all have things that we value; for some it’s old photos, and for others its teddy bears from our childhoods. Sometimes values fluctuate with time, however, whether in economic standards or our own sentimental feelings.

For me, movie tickets have always been highly valuable. I’ve collected and saved all the movie tickets that I’ve bought since high school; to me they aren’t just pieces of paper: they’re memories of good times with good friends, the same friends who have left the city for school. Although to some this may seem strange, it’s a way for me to reminisce and feel nostalgia.

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Of course, this goes to show just how “value” can be subjective. Every item has value, though it may vary in different eyes. As a swapping system, WasteGate can thus help people find the things that they find valuable while ridding themselves of what they see no value in.

WasteGate has another more important purpose, however: preserving the natural value of our environment. Between mountainous landfills across the globe and literal islands of trash choking the oceans, the Earth’s environment is in grave danger. Thankfully, countless people around the world, especially of our millennial generation, are willing to fight for the planet, as shown by the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21st. WasteGate seeks to help protect the environment, as well, but on a deeper level than many of the march’s supporters.

With the major waste crisis of today, reuse and recycling of goods is a small but vital step in the right direction. WasteGate has internalized the principles of waste reduction by seeking to reuse and repurpose whatever possible, at the same time echoing the timeless saying that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. So it truly acts as a double-edged sword: items are prevented from becoming waste, and people can always find the things that they value in life.

-Calvin and WasteGate Staff

Moving Places

It is often said that the average person moves approximately 3 to 4 times over the course of their life. These are not just small shifts, either, but major changes in location and in lifestyle. If anyone were qualified to really discuss what it’s like to move, they would probably be like me.

At the young age of ten, my family packed up their life and decided to move from one side of the world to the other: Sri Lanka to New Jersey. Sure, it was quite a distance and distract change, but that wasn’t the only move my family has made; just a few years ago we moved again, this time only across town. Though it may look easy, it’s absolutely not. Furniture, clothes, shoes, and everything you own has to move; not to mention you’re forced to change parts of your life!

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Photos like this are what make moving appear easy and fun: people smiling as they carry a seemingly weightless piece of furniture up stairs. In reality when you move the luggage and furniture is never light. Not to mention it could be a hot summer day and you’ll find yourself sweating, or maybe it’s the dead of winter and you’re bundled up tight.

That’s why it’s common practice for most people to leave their furniture and other goods behind; thinking it valueless many leave their furniture on the sidewalk to be taken for free. What most people don’t realize is that even most used furniture as a value. If people simply chose to swap their used furniture on WasteGate, they could end up with goods they may want for their new home! At the same time, people who still live in the area can improve their homes with “new” furniture. It’s a win-win for everyone, and another way that WasteGate can make life easy while engaging in good social and environmental practices.

-Vinoli and WasteGate Staff

WasteGate and the City

New York City produces approximately 12 tons of trash a day, and that’s only accounting for residential and not commercial waste. I can’t even begin to imagine what that amount looks like; one nightmarish vision is of Central Park’s Sheep Meadow covered entirely in trash bags. It’d be extremely unpleasant to play a friendly game of Frisbee or sunbathe amidst heaping mounds of rotting, stinking garbage. However, something tells me a majority of this “trash” isn’t rotting food and used tissues, but reusable or recyclable goods that people want to get rid of.

I can relate to the need. I went through a very dramatic experience trying to sell my sofa bed on Craigslist. I found myself constantly being forced to reduce the price every hour until my posting eventual became “FREE SOFA BED PLEASE PLEASE TAKE IT AWAY”. I even found myself posting angry rants about the sofa on my Facebook page. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic but it felt so at the time.

Eventually, my neighborhood bar friends helped me carry it out and deposit it on the curb like a good New Yorker (thank you bartenders of defunct bar on Allen and Houston). Don’t get me wrong, I love Craigslist, but the people of New York need a better option for getting rid of their junk, possibly even exchanging their junk with others. If you feel the same way, be sure to check out WasteGate, a free service that lets you swap your unwanted goods for other users’ items.

WasteGate is currently in beta testing; visit http://www.wastegateapp.com or email info@wastegateapp.com to test drive the site!

-Paulina and WasteGate Staff

Keeping Up with the Shoe Trends

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We all know that shoes are an integral part of a woman’s outfit: they can make the dressed down outfit a little more fancy and vice versa. So when it comes to inventory style, I prefer having a variety of shoes to choose from every season; that means at least ten boots and heels in the fall and more in the winter. You probably could have guessed that I like my shoes.

Further more, the type of shoe that’s appropriate at any given time changes with the seasons. I may love the flip-flops currently on my feet, but they’ll be useless and out of style come September. I’ll have to trade in my flip-flops for flats or sneakers that have a little more warmth and protection.

Even worse, the trendiness of shoes, whether they’re flats or boots, is constantly changing. Style is ever evolving, so it seems logical to exchange last season’s boots for this season’s model. Unfortunately, we all know how expensive shoes can be. Just the other day while browsing for a new pair of boots, I noticed that Steve Madden’s prices range from $80 to $180. That’s far too high a price for anyone living on a budget.

Taking a step back and looking at things in the grand scheme really shows just how expensive it can become. Shoes only last so long, and money also needs to be spent on the clothes and accessories. Keeping up a wardrobe throughout the year really can become a financial burden. That’s why WasteGate can become an important asset to any fashonista. Remember those combat boots that you bought last fall but no longer wear? WasteGate makes it easy to swap them with another user for a pair of shoes you could use. It’s just another example of how one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

-Vinoli and WasteGate Staff

The Tragedy of a Broken Mac

I was having a great night as I sat in my bed and watched ‘House of Cards’ on my Macbook Pro; nothing could have possibly gone wrong. That was until I decided to pause the show and glance at my Instagram for a moment. I pulled the phone up to my face, forgetting that I had plugged it into my computer, and shifted myself into a more comfortable position. With that, the silver body of the Mac dropped off the bed.

I swear my heart skipped a beat; I glanced over on held breath to my find the laptop lying on the floor. I closed my eyed as I picked it up, fearing the damage. I lifted up the top of the computer; the entire keyboard had shifted and the screen cracked. Then came the absolute sense of panic: not only was my laptop destroyed, but I was also going to be chewed out by my parents. Ah, the glorious life of a college student.

At the time, I thought the Mac would be salvageable for a few hundred dollars. The Apple Store disagreed: they said it would cost at least $900. This was too steep a cost for me. The Macbook was already two and a half years old, and for $900 I could buy a new laptop. Plus, it was my own money on the line; my parents would not pay to replace it.

I came to a conclusion that I would sell my laptop, but who would buy it? Neither Apple nor BestBuy accepted exchanges, so I was stuck with an old laptop and no money to buy a new one. It would be too difficult process to advertise my old broken laptop on Facebook or Instagram. I had come to a crossroads with nowhere to turn, what could I do?

Of course, there were many tech gurus, even in my local area, who would have wanted my broken computer for its parts. Unfortunately, I didn’t know who they were. I’m sure that Wastegating could have played a large part in my quest to lose my laptop. Sure, I may not have been able to swap my broken Mac for a working one, but I could have exchanged it for other items I wanted, like a nice set of headphones. Instead, my broken laptop never went anywhere and I had to spend a significant amount of money to buy a new one. Hopefully with WasteGate’s impending arrival, I will finally rid myself of it.

-Vinoli and WasteGate Staff

Who Runs the World? Girls… and Fashion!

At 7:00am every morning the alarm reminds me to start the day. What can I say? I’m just a typical girl trying to keep up with the American dream; it’s tough to juggle college, full-time employment, and a social life, especially when you need an outfit for each one. A typical day in my life sees an outfit for the gym, for class, for work, and sometimes an additional one for meetings. It always begins with my favorite gym outfit: a Nike t-shift, shorts, and running shoes.

After finishing my workout its time to return to the dorm and shower, before heading to class for the day. I like to dress casual but classy: jeans and a cute shirt, with a pair of flats or sandals to top it all off. Some college students might disagree with me, but I think clothes do make the man and woman. So I try to look my best at all times. I could almost say I follow the Olivia Pope life style: dressing well and achieving whatever I put my mind to.

Then, it’s time for work, and not just at the local diner. My employer is one of the largest law firms in Baltimore, so when it’s time to get dressed for work, it’s really time to impress with the dress! When choosing my outfit, I try thinking smart and selecting something that speaks to everyone who sees me in that building. I don’t want to seem like an amateur in the office, so dressing appropriately is key. A nice dress with a belt by the waist, some designer flats, plus a designer bag; it’s the perfect combination.

On top of all this, I don’t like to be seen wearing the same outfit twice. In order to keep up with my self-imposed class, I try to wear a different outfit everyday and keep my wardrobe up to style with the latest trends. After all, you can’t be seen wearing the same black heels everyday for a month and be taken seriously!

Unless you have the financial stability of Kim Kardashian, however, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the very changing fashion styles. This, my friends, is where Wastegating could be a great tool for many of us. When I no longer want one shirt that I’ve worn to class or work already, I can exchange it with somebody who will wear it. Beyond just shirts, I can swap some old worn Nike running shoes for someone else’s used pair. Wastegate is surely a medium in which one can save money as well as have the things they desire at the same time!

-Vinoli and WasteGate Staff