Our friend Minah introduce us to Lindsay Bleier, the Community Developer for yerdle which is an amazing site where you can start trading goods with your network of friends. Americans throw away 31 million tons of goods that are not biodegradable in one year. This is just Americans! Yerdle’s goal is to reduce what people buy by 20%. This is through connection and sharing. Yerdle officially launches in NYC on February 22nd. Meanwhile we have a bit of a Q& A with Lindsay who answers some of our questions so we can all better understand how to use yerdle.
Name: Lindsay Bleier
ommunity Development, yerdle
MB: What is yerdle? How did it come about?
Yerdle helps you to give and get the things that you need with your friends. People post items that they’re willing to give away or loan to their friends, and then friends nab those things that they want. Simple.
All kinds of amazing stuff gets shared — kids clothing and gear, electronics, furniture, books, etc. Your network of available goods extends to friends of friends on Facebook (this will be expanded soon to include other affiliations and extend outside of fb at some point). By encouraging sharing instead of shopping, yerdle helps you reduce your environmental impact, get rid of clutter and save money.
Yerdle’s founders come from the corporate sector with experience in sustainability and the early sharing economy. Adam Werbach was president of the Sierra Club (youngest ever at age 23) and went on to start Act Now Productions which became Saathci & Saatchi S. Andy Ruben was the former Chief Sustainability Officer at Walmart and Carl Tashian was part of the founding team at Zipcar. The idea for yerdle came to Werbach and Ruben after many years in corporate sustainability work that didn’t amount to the substantial change needed to address the environmental issues currently facing the planet. Rather than advising companies on how to be more green by making more sustainable goods, reducing packaging, and using recycle materials, yerdle aims to offer something truly better.
MB: How is this different from Craigslist?
The main difference between yerdle and other sites like craigslist, freecycle, etc. is that yerdle allows friends and friends of friends to share quality goods and services with their social network (currently your fb friends and friends of friends). With yerdle don’t have to worry about an unreliable stranger who won’t show up, gives you useless junk, or bedbugs. By limiting its sharing experience to a closed community, yerdle has established an inherent level of trust around the people and quality of goods involved that does not exist in other sharing communities. You know your friends, right?
2. Community Building.
Yerdle also helps to foster community since it connects you to those friends that you probably want to connect with more often anyway. There are some items we don’t need but we can’t get rid of them for a sentimental attachment. But for some reason, it feels ok to let those things go to one of your friends.
2. Ease of use.
Yerdle offers a more feature rich and user friendly experience (and yerdle is only in beta, this is just a small glimpse into what will be rolled out in coming months). For example, the mobile app. allows people to easily capture the things around them and to ask for the things that they need with them. yerdle will eventually provide shipping, handling and logistics as well and even drop off locations to facilitate the exchange
MB: Can you give me an example as a mother how I can use yerdle?
Yerdle is particularly compelling for busy moms because it facilitates the way many of us are already living in Brooklyn. yerdle allows me to pass on the kids stuff I no longer need to all my friends without waiting for them to contact me or for divine inspiration to strike. It also helps me to de-clutter my life while saving my friends time and money and keeping things out of landfills. And let’s face it, there are certain items we’d rather borrow or find second-hand because we all have way too much stuff - baby swings, clothes, books, toys, etc. - it all gets shared on yerdle. yerdle hasn’t even officially launched yet and there is tons of kids stuff on the site Anyone need to borrow a pack n’ play or travel high chair for a friend visiting from out of town? Well, you can get one on yerdle.
Beyond this, yerdle has helped me to connect to my friends and strengthened my sense of community (while saving me time and money). There are some things you own that you have a sentimental value to or you just don’t want to give to a stranger, but when you give it to a friend that’s a different story. There is a great sense of satisfaction that from helping someone out, and it’s a great feeling to give away something we aren’t using.
- My mom made my daughter a shirt with the “number 3” on it for her 3rd bday birthday last year, and while I don’t want to bring it to goodwill, I am so happy to give it to a friend of a friend who nabbed it on yerdle. (http://yrdl.us/11j0ZsW
- I have some old, but perfectly good pair of hunter boots - well, I wasn’t going to take the time to sell them on boccoa parents and couldn’t bring myself to just donate them (after all I had them when I lived in Paris!). But, I was really happy when my friend Liz nabbed them on yerdle. She is a busy mom herself, and so we don’t get together nearly often enough so this have us an excuse to get together and she treated me to coffee. (http://yrdl.us/TXibH5
- I listed my drill on yerdle to loan. Why buy a drill you might use once a year for that project when you can borrow mine? Remember, you are loaning things to your friends - you know your friends right? (http://yrdl.us/SBJBQS
- I needed notecards to write all those thank-yous from the holidays and just couldn’t find the time to get to the stationery store to buy them. Enter yerdle - my friend Beth had listed some Cartier note cards , nicer ones than I would have purchased and free. The exchange couldn’t have been easier since I was on the same flight as her husband a few days later (we actually exchanged them on the plane!) (http://yrdl.us/13VulAL
- Our family is a member of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and we have 4 free guest passes. Also, we are members of the Brooklyn Children’s museum and have 6 guest passes. Why not offer these to our friends and maybe they’ll want to go with us? (http://yrdl.us/12bc1oY
MB: This sounds really amazing, we are super excited to start trading through yerdle, thank you for all the helpful information !