Giving back with gadgets

13 Dec 2010

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Recession-friendly Irish start-up Greenyourgoods.ie is paying people for their old mobile phones or gadgets, while also giving them the added option of donating items to a cause of their choice.

Housed in the Rubicon Centre at Cork Institute of Technology, Greenyourgoods.ie aims to make it worth your while to get rid of old devices, helping the environment in the process, and donate to a charitable cause or sports team if you wish.

Barry Walsh, developer of Zenthings.com, founded the business. He says it was while carrying out research for the UK-based renewable energy company Temporis Capital in 2009 that he identified the need for an incentivised online platform for selling and fundraising using old electronics.

He then pooled his resources with a group of individuals from backgrounds such as engineering, graphic design, web design and retail to create a business with ethical ambitions.

Walsh says that with close to 1.5 million mobile phones upgraded in the Ireland every year, and another 1.5 million games consoles, digital cameras and laptops left forgotten in drawers and boxes in homes and offices, people can instead start making money from these these items.

Firstly, the website has come up with a price-comparison tool, allowing people to compare prices for their items with other mobile phone recyclers in the UK, such as Envirofone or Money4UrMobile, which have established trading platforms over here, thus guaranteeing people get the best price for their items.

Greenyourgoods.ie

Fundraising tool

Greenyourgoods.ie has also developed a platform to allow fundraisers to set up their own page on the site, so people have the option of donating their unwanted item to a good cause. Charities such as Chernobyl Ireland, Plan Ireland and The Irish Epilepsy Association have already come on-board, amongst others.

People can freepost their gadgets to Greenyourgoods.ie, which will convert them to cash for the cause of the individual’s choice.

The site is also accepting iPods, games consoles, digital cameras and Apple laptops at the moment, but this is set to increase next year.

“This is especially relevant for corporate customers who can choose to take payment for a huge range of old electronics, or donate the value of items to a charity of their choice for some good corporate social responsibility,” says Walsh.

The gadgets are refurbished and resold in Ireland, the UK and Europe and also in developing countries, giving people access to more affordable phones.

“If gadgets cannot be sold, we recycle them responsibly for spare parts,” he adds.

Greenyourgoods.ie is currently participating in the Genesis Enterprise Programme. It also has a Facebook page.

Carmel was a long-time reporter with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com