DIY Builds Itself a Future

    A TUNBRIDGE WELLS resident became so incensed by the ‘criminal amount of waste’ he saw in the DIY trade that he believes he has come up with a solution to the problem.

    Alex Thomson’s inspiration for www.diygogo.co.uk stems from his recent experiences cycling to China, which he said had given him ‘a sense of perspective on the road’.

    On his 8,000 mile journey, which led him through countries such as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan by himself, Mr Thomson was struck by how the inhabitants of these less developed nations lived ‘contented and sustainable lives’ despite being far less materially well off than people back home.

    Upon returning to the UK he would often pass roadside skips full of bricks, sinks, and other reusables that he believed would ‘certainly be of value’ to others.

    This sense of disillusionment with what he describes as ‘modern excess’ really hit home when he was asked to help some friends take down their old kitchen.

    “I was knocking some perfectly good tiles off the wall. Realising that they hadn’t been up for long, I felt that a simple matter of taste in no way justified their disposal.

    “It was a perfect case of how our regard for fashion, aesthetics and competition has dissolved the actual true need for practicality and most importantly, sustainability.”

    Determined to play his part in reducing waste, the 28-year old, kitesurf instructor, set up his free website, which launched last week.

    Although admitting his platform is similar to other recycling websites, such as Freegle and Freecycle, Mr Thomson believed there was still ‘room for more’.

    In addition, by making the website specifically for DIY items, he hopes it will occur more to those who may need it, stating first home buyers ‘who can’t afford new things’ as the sort of people who may find it useful.

    Those using the site to list items that they wish to give away upload a brief description, a photo and a location where it can be picked up. Likewise, those wanting a particular item can chose from a number of categories, such as roofing, painting or tiling to narrow down their search. Alternatively they can search using a map or postcode. The service is free of charge.

    Mr Thomson added: “This website really does hit a spot that has yet to be filled, giving it huge potential. Over time it will hopefully become a platform to contribute to the environmental shift that is so necessary for our future. It’s pretty exciting.”