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Try new hobbies for free

A new website provides access to free sports and hobby gear for kids
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Try new hobbies for free

This article first appeared in our Health Revolution issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 24 July 2020. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

School closures during lockdown have led many kids to explore new hobbies – and a surge in free online content has allowed children (and parents) to experiment with everything from ballet shoes to banjos.

Exposure to a wide range of different experiences is great for kids from a developmental point of view, but it’s not unusual for children to blow hot and cold when it comes to new interests. The associated costs for parents can be huge, which can in turn lead to inequalities when it comes to children’s learning.

Swap, don’t buy

In April, Claire Moffat founded Kidd3r, a new website that makes it easy for kids to try new things without the financial or environmental burden. The goal is to reduce the planetary impact of consumerism and help more children to discover pastimes they love through the simple act of swapping instead of buying new.

Like many families, Claire had a variety of nearly-new sports and hobby gear at home that her daughters once loved but no longer used. At the same time, she saw families struggling to afford new hobbies for their children. ‘I wanted to create an online altruistic community where people can repurpose their pre-loved hobby gear instead of allowing it to sit unused’, she tells us.

From sports to music

Items listed on Kidd3r are divided into four categories: sports, hobbies, tech and music. Families can search for what they need from the range of items available for swap.

All swaps are arranged member-to-member; all you need to get started is a free Kidd3r account, which you can set up on your first visit to the site.

The sign-up and swapping processes have been kept really simple to allow as many families as possible to get involved. The impact on our planet will be determined by the size of the community that supports swapping as a viable alternative to buying new or throwing away.

Swap or ‘pay’

For a limited time, Claire will award five Kidd3rkredits to founding members’ accounts to encourage families to sign up. Kidd3rkredits are Kidd3r’s online currency; they provide an alternative way to ‘pay’ when swapping isn’t an option.

‘While a straight swap is our number one goal, we understand that it might not always be possible for members to find mutually coveted items’, Claire explains. ‘For that reason, we introduced Kidd3rkredits as a way for families to reimburse one another when swapping isn’t an option.’

A percentage of the funds that Kidd3rkredits raise goes to charity partners The Young People’s Trust for the Environment and The Courage Foundation UK.

A different culture

In addition to making new hobbies accessible from a financial point of view, Kidd3r also diverts items in perfectly good condition from landfill.

Families are actively encouraged to think about the next use of an item and reject a throwaway culture.

Refresh, reuse and relove

Claire hopes the Kidd3r concept will grow and that the site will become ‘the home of sustainable swapping’ for children’s sports, hobbies, tech and music gear for families all over the UK.

‘Kidd3r is all about connecting people, either locally or nationally, who want to see their pre-loved hobby items go to a good home while simultaneously helping the environment’, Claire says. ‘Signing up helps to reduce both the number of harmful plastics that end up polluting our oceans and the impact from overseas shipping. We hope families will join our mission and adopt the Kidd3r ethos of refresh, reuse, relove.’

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