Thursday, March 17, 2005

Freecycling to help others/ the environment

A couple of months ago, I discovered an awesome thing called "freecycling!" Simply put, "The worldwide Freecycle™ Network is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It's a grassroots movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns." Learn more at

At least where I live, the Freecycle Network is on a Yahoo group. People post things they want to get rid of (offers) or things they hope to acquire (wanteds). The only requirement for posting is that everything must be free. There's no trading or selling.

So far I've freecycled an old couch and our glass/mirrored shower doors. I have some other things in the garage that I've set aside to freecycle as well. Of course the more I look through the things we've acquired over the years, the more I'm finding worthy of freecycling. It's amazing how much "junk" you can collect without ever meaning to. ;)

Anyway, once you've posted something you want to give away/freecycle, you are then free to post for things that you want. I tried my hand at placing a "wanted ad" for a music keyboard for Ava this week. Less than an hour after I posted, I received an e-mail from a guy who has one sitting in his garage. We're going to pick it up this weekend! :) I've already thought of some other things for Ava that I'd love to get, but don't have the money. And I think when you are posting for things for kids like clothes or toys, there are bound to be people who have that item just sitting around their house so there's a good chance of getting it.

There's a huge array of things posted on Freecycle. Some things on my local list up for grabs in the past day include: a vacuum cleaner, various books, an igloo dog house (which reminds me - we've got one of those to get rid of), air mattresses, firewood, a microwave oven, a computer desk, a lop-eared rabbit, a dresser, three recliners, bus coupons, Celestial Seasonings tea, Christmas lights, a Polaroid camera and 70's hanging door beads, among many others. The variety of items on there amazes me.

The tricky thing I've found is that if someone posts something as an offer, you have to respond right away in order to get it, because it's first-come, first-served. There were some diaper wraps on there a couple weeks ago that I would've loved to have, but I was the second person to respond so I didn't get them. Ya win some, ya lose some.
"The average American generated 2 1/2 pounds of garbage a day in 1960. Do you know how much each American generates today?
Answer: Today it's twice that at nearly 5 pounds a day!" --

Yikes! That quote scares me and makes me want to rant about all of the excess packaging these days, but I'll save that for another day. ;) "By Freecycle-ing, we can help the environment by diverting useful items from landfills while also helping members of our local community." I think it's an awesome concept and I'm glad to see so many people taking advantage of it. According to the website, there are currently 2,507 Freecycle™ Communities and 1,024,995 Freecycle™ Members.

One man/woman's trash truly is another's treasure.
And now I'm off to list that igloo dog house. :)


At 3/18/2005 11:47 AM, Blogger Sabrina said...

Freecycle was recommended to me by a friend, and I love it! Its a great way to get rid of stuff that still in great shape, but you just don't need anymore.

Great Blog.

At 3/20/2005 1:40 PM, Blogger myrmom said...

i'm so glad you posted this. I saw a news clip on it about a month ago and then totally forgot what it was called. I was interested in joining and now I can. thanks

At 3/23/2005 8:13 PM, Blogger amygeekgrl said...

Just a lil update. We went to pick up the keyboard this weekend (for Ava) and the guy wasn't home. We called, ran errands, called again, and he still wasn't there. Arg. So we might try again this weekend. I am excited for her to get it so I hope he'll be available this time. :)

At 5/31/2005 7:04 PM, Blogger Running2Ks said...

We helped quite a few people by freecycling. I felt so good about donating some really fantastic items to people in hard situations. And, it just happened to help us when we were moving to pare down. Thanks for publicizing this great service! One other option--your local Goodwill or veteran's organization will also take items, and that is tax-deductible, if you don't want to freecycle or don't feel comfortable meeting strangers in person.


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