Have you ever heard of Freecycle? It’s something I was introduced to a few years ago, and it has become a big part of my life. It’s recycling with a twist.
Freecycle can be found throughout the United States and beyond. The grassroots groups, organized by region, strive to keep usable items out of landfills, and do it in a very easy-to-use format.
You join your local Freecycle group online (you find your local group through www.Freecycle.org). The Freecycle Network currently has 4,645 groups with 6.2 million members throughout the world. Membership is free.
Members post items that they want to give away, and if they’re seeking something, they post that as well. The giving doesn’t have a direct connection to the receiving – it’s not a trading or bartering group. No money is exchanged at any time – all items are given away for free.
For instance, if I were looking for queen-sized sheets, I would post: “WANTED: Queen-sized sheets.” Then if I’m lucky, another Freecycle member will reply to me, offering me sheets he or she no longer needs.
Or if I’m looking to get rid of something, I would post: “OFFER: 10-gallon aquarium.” And then someone who wanted an aquarium would send me an e-mail, asking if it’s still available.
Granted, you don’t always get what you want, but on the other hand, I have gotten some wonderful things through Freecycle. And best of all, it’s all free. That means a lot these days.
I love the idea that I can give away items to people who really want and need them. It’s also great when you have oddball items that can’t be taken to Goodwill.
Some of the things I’ve given away recently include large rolls of paper, bookmarks, firewood, old lumber, a portable CD player, jam jars, and size 10 women’s jeans.
Through Freecycle, I have received a microwave oven, books, aloe and oregano plants, a $12 coupon for an oil change, and an exercise mat, among other items.
Freecycling is a lot of fun, and I’ve really enjoyed meeting the other people in the group. I’ve gotten some great thank-you e-mails from people who have received items from me. It makes me feel good that I’ve helped them out in some way.
Let’s face it, most of us have too much stuff anyway. I have been able to clean out my garage and several closets thanks to Freecycle. And I got the satisfaction of making others happy with my old stuff.
Likewise, I’ve been able to get some lovely items at no charge, which is always nice.
Freecycle groups generally have one or several people moderating. There are rules that everyone in the group agrees to abide by. Sometimes there are restrictions on membership, such as requirements that you must live or work in that particular Freecycle region.
If you care about the environment, Freecycle is a great group to belong to. Or if you are frugal and don’t like waste. Or even if you just like getting stuff for free. I recommend it highly for one or all of these reasons.
Check out the main site, www.Freecycle.org , and start Freecycling today!