Vancouver-based bartering website has green heart

Site visitors can post goods or services

A French couple has swapped Paris for Vancouver and now they want locals to give their new values-driven bartering website a try.

Yvan and Christine Sache launched the website where visitors can barter for goods and services two weeks ago. Troc in French means to barter or to swap.

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Troc-Exchange differs from Craigslist and Kijiji because the site will donate half of its revenue to three environmental organizations, Surfrider Foundation Vancouver, Surfrider Foundation Europe and Mountain Riders for Europe.

Yvan Sache hails from the French Alps and his wife Christine grew up nearer the ocean in Bordeaux, so they chose organizations that care for the sea and mountains.

The former finance man, who helped people prepare for retirement, turned French teacher says he and his TV writer wife became disenchanted with the consumption, waste and pollution they saw in Paris after they had kids and wanted to find a way to promote sharing and reuse.

They started developing their website in Paris and moved to Vancouver a year ago after tiring of urban living and city pollution. The 42-year-old Yvan believes Troc-Exchange emulates the office-sharing website The Network Hub, car-sharing company Zip Car and Airbnb, a marketplace for typically privately owned vacation and short-term accommodation.

Troc-Exchange organized a clothing swap at the Projecting Change Film Festival in April and a book swap at their daughters Quilchena elementary school in Kerrisdale last week.

Theyre talking to Metro Vancouvers Zero Waste Program and Mountain Equipment Co-op about future events, planning a book swap for university students in September and a hockey gear exchange for the fall.

Event organizers can list similar events and calls for volunteers on Troc-Exchange for free.

Site visitors can post the goods or services they want, and what they want to offload.

Although the Saches hope visitors will use the site as a platform for exchanges, they wont turn anyone who posts items for sale away because they want to draw more attention to the concept of bartering and draw advertisers to raise money for their environmental charities of choice.

Sache said a contractor who minimizes construction waste is about to become the sites third sponsor.

Initial posts are free and users can pay to upgrade or update ads for $3 to $20.

We dont want to be rich, we just want to have a good life and help the others to have a good life and be happy, Sache said. When youre happy you can change the world And we are very happy We totally believe in this website.

The wants of current users include space to grow squash, cardboard egg cartons and large rubber trashcans. Many posters want money for the items theyve listed, but items for swapping include CDs, clothing and art.

Canada Revenue Agency requires taxpayers to report the value of goods and services they have bartered for as income if they are they same kinds of goods and services they would generally provide in the course of earning an income.

Twitter: @Cheryl_Rossi

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