Photo: The Swap-O-Matic
Imagine a machine that lets you barter away everything you don’t need—and get what you want for free. Nifty, right?
With its playful approach toward recycling and consumerism, the Swap-O-Matic vending machine is turning that dream into a reality.
All you need is to enter your email address on the machine’s touchscreen and you’ll be rewarded with three credits to use toward whatever is currently in stock: clothing, DVDs, food, etc. (The website plans to list items soon.)
The more you donate, the more credits you’ll receive.
The Swap-O-Matic is the brainchild of Parsons alum Lina Fenequito, who works in New York City as a designer. On the site, she explains how her experience working with children as an Americorps outreach advisor shaped her outlook on mass consumption in America:
“Working with many inhabitants of low-income housing projects, I saw direct effects of jobs lost to cheaper overseas labour, further widening the gap of the rich and poor in our own communities …
“Experiencing this firsthand alerted me to the problem, which I began to see lay much deeper than a simple difference between rich and poor communities, but rather in an ingrained mindset of a culture that has been ‘programmed’ to consume and buy blindly without regards to consequences which inevitably ensue.”
Currently, the machines are roving the streets of New York City, but you can keep an eye on its website www.swap-o-matic.com to see if one pops up near you.
Watch the video below to learn more:
Got $100 to spare? See 15 ways to put it to use this year >