Possible New Earth Friendly Simple Swap Group

sandlapper_rose(Zone 8)September 1, 2011

I have been pondering this for some time, thinking about creating a group that would focus on "Simple Swaps" - seeds, reading materials, and things that can be recycled - maybe also some craft items, handmade cards on occasion, recipes, etc. The Round Robin Group had several swaps lately where people swapped books and magazines and I assume all of us think it is a good idea to recycle when we can and keep things out of the landfill. Postage is a concern for many and I would like to see a lot of the swaps for this group be something that can safely be mail in a padded envelope or by media mail.

With the weather being so hot and dry in so many places this summer, seed swaps may be better for many of us instead of shipping plants - at least for several months of the year. I would also like the seed swaps for this "possible group" to be ones where small quantities can be swapped. When it comes to seeds, it is daunting to me if I see that you need a teaspoon of seeds for a swap. Sometimes I only have a dozen tiny seeds. (I think it's fine to have small quantities just to try something out. That is, if the person you are sending to understands the swap will be for a small amount of seeds.)

So here is the "what if" --- If I can get someone who is familiar with the Round Robins and its regular members who wants to be a co-host(ess) with me, I will start a new group called Friends of the Earth: Simple Swaps which will focus on seeds, reading materials, and recycling. My thought is to have a different swap each month based on one or more of the three main themes - Seeds, Read, and Recycle. The monthly theme will be planned by the co-hostess(es) and either hosted by one of them or along with a volunteer for that month. I think we could start a first swap for October and use the month of September to get organized, come up with ideas, etc. Top priority is to see if someone wants to get involved enough to be a co-hostess along with me. It could even be a group of three co-hosts. This will be an active commitment where you will need to monitor the board and discuss planning by e-mail. I would like it if the co-host and I could alternate months to oversee the monthly swaps.

As for membership, I would like to have this be "for members only" with the membership being "very friendly" with maybe as many as 50 members for the cap. We would have a list of members, but with only a little information provided to the hostess before swapping. You would not have to swap every month, just maybe 20-25% of the time. The group would be only for adults. In order to join, you would need to be a reputable GardenWeb member - one who has sent as they should and kept in contact on swaps. (If there is a GardenWeb member who wants to join without a proven track record - that would be possible as long as the person has a member to be their sponsor. The sponsor would be expected to send the type of item that is owed in the swap if the new member fails to do so. Newbies would be expected to mail out within a week of when the swap partners are assigned so the item would be received first and could be reported here on the board.

So there is my "vision." I think these could be simple, not very costly swaps, good for the environment, and a way to introduce new people to the Round Robins yet maintain some reliability so that no one just pops in one month to receive without sending. (That seldom happens here on the Round Robins, but when it does, it really causes a lot of concern.)

What can be recyled? Well, besides gardening books and magazines, there are decorative items, things you might handcraft using materials that are being recycled - such as creating seed packets using paper that has an unprinted side or using garden catalogs to make a seed packet and then adding a plain white sticker for the label or cutting old blinds into plant labels. Many other things, too, as I'm sure we will find out. We can share web sites that give recycling information and share tips here as well.

Remember, there is no new group created at this point! Contact me by e-mail if you would like to be a co-hostess for the overall operation of this group and if anyone wants to suggest monthly swap topics for consideration or say whether they think this is a good or bad idea, feel free to post on this thread.


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Jeanne! This is a GREAT idea! I'll email you later about co-hosting.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 5:27PM
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flowergirl34(5 Upstate NY)

Jeanne, this is such a great idea! I would love to join your club :)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 7:17PM
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I would be interested in joining, too.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 7:30PM
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This possible new group sounds perfect for me. If it goes forward, I'd love to join.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 7:50PM
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I would be interested in this swap group.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 11:57AM
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sassybutterfly_2008(7 NorthWest GA)

Jeanne, I really LOVE this idea! Brilliant! I would definitely join in!!


    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 3:59PM
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sassybutterfly_2008(7 NorthWest GA)

You know what's funny(or sad..lol)? I've been on Facebook so much that my first reaction was to 'like' your suggestion...lol :D

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 4:01PM
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sandlapper_rose(Zone 8)

Wendy, I loved your comment! I use Facebook, too, so I know exactly what you mean. There seems to be enough interest in this swap group that I think we will have an idea for a swap and an October swap in place by the end of this month.
I have someone familiar to you who is willing to be a coordinator along with me. If anyone else is interested in helping in any special way - let me know. I think two is enough, but three would not be too much if you know what I mean! The third person could even just be called upon if the one of the coordinators gets sick or is traveling a lot one month or something like that - sort of a back-up person. However, I know this group of gardeners and if that were to happen I know someone would step up to the plate and help at that time.
I hope everyone has a good Labor Day weekend. Not a lot going on here, but that is fine. I like some relaxing time.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 7:09PM
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I think this is a great idea and would like to become an official member. Our family is a big one for recycling and reusing. thanks, smitties

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 6:31PM
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Sounds great, Jeanne! I'd love to join. Let me know if I can help in any way. :)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 7:31PM
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I'd like to be a part of the group too :) It sounds like a lot of fun, and something I definitely believe in(recycling/repurposing)!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 7:36PM
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I would love to be part of this group also. I think it is a great idea.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 8:36AM
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sandlapper_rose(Zone 8)

Shirley (sjc48)and I will soon be welcoming you to the first swap for this group. She will be coordinating the group along with me!
I will set up a new heading later this week introducing this group and giving people a chance to sign up for the first swap, so watch for a different heading soon. The full name will be Friends of the Earth Simple Swaps, but look for FOTE being used as an abbreviation in the heading.

You will be signing up with the coordinators by sending your real name, mailing address, GardenWeb name, and e-mail address. You can do that by e-mail as soon as the new heading is posted and post to the thread, too, if you want to join in on the first swap. The reason for the request for information is that we need to know who is part of the group. Nothing other than the GardenWeb name or the first name of the person should ever be posted on the forum. The information will not be used for any other purpose. All who sign up need to be adults.

Okay, so much for all of that. There will be very simple guildelines for membership and these should not impact you unless you had swaps that were not sent in the past or if you are a total newcomer to GardenWeb. The new members will be able to join if someone who is a known member agrees to be their sponsor. If we need sponsors, they will be requested on the forum.

Once the new thread is started, I think the easiest thing will be if you contact either me or Shirley (the other coordinator) about membership by sending the necessary information. If you are a "newbie" tell us that.

I am excited that others are sharing in this interest. My garden is doing so poorly in all this heat and lack of rain that I have missed being able to swap this year and I know many have had to cut back on swapping because of the high cost of sending packages. Maybe this will help members who have those issues and be "Earth Friendly" also.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 1:39PM
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sandlapper_rose(Zone 8)

I re-read what I had posted and thought the new member part might be confusing. All of us will be new members to FOTE. The only new members of FOTE who will need a sponsor will be those who are also brand new members of GardenWeb. When a sponsor is needed, it will be requested on the thread to see if someone who is already a FOTE member wants to be their sponsor. This new status "with a sponsor" will last for 3 completed swaps or the first 6 months, whichever comes first. The sponsor will be agreeing to send something comparable to what was promised if the "newbie" doesn't send. Of course, that won't happen more than once because if the newbie doesn't send, he or she will be off our membership list.
Okay, I hope that clears things up if you were confused. My husband grilled steak for lunch and I was hurrying to get the previous post completed so I could eat my steak. Yum!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 2:48PM
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I`d love to be a part of this group too.It sounds very interesting.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 7:37PM
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sandlapper_rose(Zone 8)

Things are still moving forward as planned. Shirley and I have some kick off swaps in mind. I will post a new thread just as soon as I can. However, it may still be a week away. Everything got really busy here and I want to have what I post make sense and take my time with it so I don't have everyone confused. LOL
We are so happy to see all this interest in trying out this new group!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 10:33PM
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Just wanted to say how excited I am about this new swap group! Jeanne and I have been busy tweaking here and tweaking there-I think you will like what we have come up with! Jeanne is a great communicator, I'm glad to be co-hosting with her, since I am still relatively new to this. I got lucky on my first swap with Margo (smitties) and my luck is still holding, with Jeanne!
We've come up with some great ideas for future swaps, AND we'll be asking you all for ideas too, so be prepared!
Thanks to all who have expressed an interest in this new group!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 10:56PM
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nottougly(Zone 7)

I would be interested in joing this group.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 10:12PM
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