Vending machines would be a lot more user friendly if they didn't always demand money. Maybe I don't have $1.25 for that can of soda. Maybe I've got a seventy-five cents and four cigarettes. That seems like like a fair trade, right? Well, with the Swap-O-Matic, I can now find out.

The Swap-O-Matic is a Brooklyn-based art project designed to "remind us that reusing and recycling can be just as fun as buying something new." It works on a credit system—donating an item earns you a credit, receiving an item costs you a credit, and swapping is credit-neutral. Swapping is done by removing an item, replacing it with yours, and then entering your email address for confirmation.

The Swap-O-Matic has been installed throughout the borough, notably at the Lower East Side Girl's Club and Blue Stocking's Cafe. It's a cool idea but I'd imagine a lot of items get replaced with stacks of newspaper almost immediately. [Swap-O-Matic via Laughing Squid]

Trade Whatever You've Got for Whatever You Want with the Swap-O-Matic