Sharing Our World: A Platform for Trading Unused Resources

How many times have you heard of the old adage: "one man's trash is another man's treasure"? Often, we throw away things that could still be used be someone else. But starting now, the Sustainability Unit is collaborating with Rheaply - an asset trading marketplace platform - to provide a place where unwanted resources can be shared with others who need them.

What is Rheaply?

Rheaply is an "asset exchange manager" where unused and unwanted resources (including things such as chemicals, furniture, or equipment) can be sold, rent, or traded, while others can find listings of assets which could be borrowed or bought for lower prices. Under this system, users can get things other people don't need any more for less than if they bought it themselves. After all, why spend money when you can share for free? 

The platform began when its cofounder, Garry Cooper, was helping clean out a lab freezer - and realized that labs often have costly resources they don't need, which other researchers could use. Inspired by this, he founded Rheaply (a combination of "research" and "cheaply") to combat this problem. Rheaply has since been featured in publications such as Nature and Chicago Magazine.

Why use Rheaply?

Rheaply is a step towards implementing a circular economy: keep resources in the loop instead of buying and throwing away new assets. This kind of economy can be hugely beneficial: not only does it reduce waste, it also reduces cost when someone else is throwing away things you need. By sharing potential resources with other labs, researchers are prevented from making wasteful purchases when the same stock could be sourced from just next door.

Aside from the evident environmental and economic benefits, Rheaply hopes to incentivize individual participation through a points system based on user activity and engagement with the platform. Using their points, users can take part in raffles and giveaways for various prizes.

Rheaply is available for all members of HKUST. Visit to access the platform, or watch a demonstration video by clicking here. If you are HKUST member and you sign in and post before 9 September 2019, you can enter a lucky draw for up to $200 Starbucks coupon.

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