Second Hand… Doesn’t Cost the Earth

Our 2023 waste campaign saw us setting up a shop, well, setting up skip to be exact, in Waterloo station. Packed full of amazing Good Finds, the skip and supporting campaign aimed to raise awareness of the positive impacts of second hand, highlighting the amazing items that can be reused / reimagined and celebrating the simple fact that second hand items, quite simply, “don’t cost the earth”.

Finding what you need doesn’t need to cost the Earth. Gumtree’s mantra of reduce, reuse, recycle needs to be heard loud and clear.

World Recycling Day

Each year World Recycling Day is celebrated on 18th March. It’s a day that aims to promote the vitality of recycling across the globe. But it’s also a day for action, for communities to come together to put the planet first. 

We’re using the World Recycling Day as an opportunity to champion the circular economy and raise awareness of the volume of items that can be recycled, reused and reimagined, and kept out of landfill. 

Our campaign, Doesn’t Cost The Earth builds upon data from our Circular Economy Report. It’s coupled with the insight that some people still think second hand can be low quality, or that second hand platforms are full of items that belong on the skip. By setting up “shop” (or rather..set up skip) at London’s busiest train station, we’re shining a light on just some of the amazing items you can find our platform. From an exercise bike to computers, furniture to prams. 

Additionally, lucky commuters had the chance to win the items via their interactive Gumtree claw machine.

Consumption that doesn’t cost the Earth

The statistics behind the campaign are staggering. Across the UK, three million household items were sent directly to landfill between 2019-2021, at an estimated cost of £105m*. 

However, if each the working dishwashers, washing machines, freezers and microwaves were rehomed instead of being discarded in landfill, it’s estimated this could save an average of 288 million kg carbon**, the equivalent of 1,663 return flights between London and Sydney****. 

Aside from having a huge environmental impact, there is also a financial one to rehoming and recycling rather than binning. Gumtree’s Circular Economy Report found that the average Brit has 56 unwanted items around the home. Plus the items would be worth an average £186 in total if sold. 

Moreover, our data shows that there’s further money can be made from white goods. While second hand dishwashers retail for an average of £106, washing machines go for £154. We’ve also got freezers at £85 and microwaves for £38.

Finally, for more on our campaign follow us across Twitter, FacebookInstagram and TikTok.


Research conducted by Censuswide in the UK between 16th January 2023 and 23rd January 2023. 5,000 nationally representative consumers aged 16+.

*Gumtree sent FOI requests to all local councils in England (333). In total, 169 councils responded to the request within the agreed cut off date of 20th September 2021.

**Data from Gumtree’s carbon emission savings calculator.

***According to the UK Government and University of Leeds, heating a home for one day = 6.3kg carbon. 96 kg x 3 million = heating a home for 606.8 days

****Since the flight distance between London and Sydney is 16,990 kms, a return flight is 33,980 kms. One return flight carbon equivalents of one household item (0.0005547). Multipled by the 3 million items going to landfill = 1,663.41 return flights.