Sunday, February 24, 2008

Freecycle--Save an Object From Landfill

Do you guys all know about Freecycle? It is sort of like bartering, except you just give your stuff away without any expectation in return...Yep. And then, if you want something, and someone has posted an offering, you answer, and maybe they'll pick you and you'll get it. Easy peasy. Huh? Is this not clear? Let me start at the beginning.

Freecycle formed several years ago in Arizona and now has groups all over the world. The whole point of it is to give away stuff to people who want it and save it from filling up landfills. People post offerings to the freecycle group online, people answer the post and then the offerer chooses who they would like to have it. If you really need a goldenrod breadbox from the 70's, you can post a wanted post and someone may answer you and give it to you. This freecycle system is a great way to join up people who have stuff that would otherwise go to landfill with people who can really use your stuff.

We have given away: our screen door after we got a new one, a bicycle, crystal Irish coffee mugs (not my scene), a Krups bagel toaster, the Burley bicycle kids' trailer that we got at a bike swap and that still had a lot of life left in it.

We have received: a bunch of cut wood for our fireplace, a bicycle for my son, an upright freezer to store our grass-fed beef, a floor plant, a set of encyclopedias from the early 90's but still have accurate information about things like minerals and seeds etc.

There has been criticism with the original founders of Freecycle wanting to control what is really an autonomous, grassroots, local effort. Many people have broken away from Freecycle and have formed their own groups. Here is a Wikipedia article about how Freecycle got started and how it has had problems.

If you are interested in getting things that you can use, and in getting rid of things you can't, check and see if there's a freecycle, or freecycle-like group in your area.

I'm sure all of the overcrowded landfills will thank you.

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