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A couple have created an app that enables parents to pick up children's toys and products for free.
Parents-of-three Jason and Emma Ash were first inspired after one of their boys fell in love with a fire truck toy at a yard sale in the US. The seller let them take it for free, reasoning that they were just happy to see someone get so much joy from something that was previously gathering dust.
Determined to prevent such items from ending up in landfill, the couple - who have been married for more than 18 years - set about creating YoungPlanet.
The app makes it easier than ever for parents to find new homes for their unused children's things, and by the same token, is also a great place to pick up high-quality children's toys and products.
The app works by providing a cashless platform based on a sharing economy model.
Parents can list or request a range of different children's items; from books and clothes, to toys and baby equipment.
If more than one person wants the same item, the app uses a gamification system to prioritise those who need them most or have donated more items in the
past - incentivizing a circular system of giving.
The app was piloted in London last year and has now expanded beyond the capital, with 35,000 users across the UK.
Speaking to LADbible, Jason, 46, said: "We knew the app would be popular amongst those wanting to lead more sustainable lives, but we didn't realise how strong the community would become.
"We've had a wealth of positive feedback from those who've used it and we're glad to be making it easier for people to do something positive for the planet and their communities."
Now more than ever, with Christmas fast-approaching and financial insecurity rife, the app could prove to be a vital resource for the parenting community.
Jason hopes the app will become parents' first port of call before chucking away unloved products at the tip.
He said: "Making toy-swapping the go-to option is a priority for us because it benefits everyone.
"We want to help people save money and declutter without feeling guilty about their items going into landfill.
"There is also a great deal of satisfaction to be had in seeing something that was not being used doing what it's supposed to do with another family - the simple joy of giving is often overlooked, and because we are free to use it makes it easier to do.
"We hope that the YoungPlanet community will continue to grow and help more families."
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