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Lesson #3: Freecycle!

Monday, April 23, 2007

In my recent reading, I came across a concept that is a combination of the gift economy, sustainable thinking and a kind of reverse e-Bay. I have to admit that I have never gotten involved in the whole e-Bay thing. I never really knew why until I came across the "Freecycle" concept. I guess I don't like the idea of having to pay for someone's used stuff. If they don't want it anymore, why don't they just give it away?

The premise of freecycling suits me perfectly: if you don't want something, you join your local "freecycling" e-mail listserve . People post things that they don't want anymore that others can request. It's all free and you can get rid of things that have been accumulating. Don't take these things to the dump, or set them at the curb! This really is an environmentally and socially conscious thing to do. I don't waste my time on e-Bay and I can give someone something that they need and I don't.
So what (from the disastrous photo above) did I give away? When we moved into this house several years ago, there was a washing machine and dryer already installed that the woman didn't want, so they came with the house. We had a set that we owned and brought with us. We thought that we would store them in our garage in the event that the washer or dryer in the hosue broke down. The extra washer and dryer have now been operating as a space to accumulate clutter in the garage. Someone could be using these for something other than messy shelving! Rather than be bothered with advertising to sell them, I joined freecycle and now have a family that could really use them come and get them this week. I get rid of something I don't need, and they don't need to buy one! I love this!
Got anything you want to give away?

  1. Blogger CiscoKid said:

    It is a great idea and I am going to join, time to clean out the garage...

  1. Blogger Pat Paulk said:

    I got a whole garage full if someone wants to bring a semi over and load it up.

  1. Blogger Stephanie said:

    I like the idea of being able to get rid of crap with the condition that someone else comes and picks it up. I don't want it, you do, come and pick it up. :) The idea is very popular here.

    Sadly I don't have large items to freecycle, but I routinely pass on old clothes to charity shops.

  1. Blogger [eric] said:

    When you end up renting in a new place every year for 3 years, you can't help but get a new perspective on what you really need and what you don't.

    If only you could freecycle other people's junk...

  1. Blogger Devil Mood said:

    That's great!
    Usually when I don't want things anymore, I give them to charity organizations that sell them in shops and the money goes to help other people, which is even better :)

  1. Anonymous Anonymous said:

    my area wasn't on the list. :(
    That's okay I donate all my used stuff to the salvation army.

  1. Anonymous Anonymous said:

    Oh my Cathy do I have things for these people. I am going to look into this. Thanks for the idea.

    Hope you are doing well.
    Take care,

  1. Blogger Crystal said:

    I run our local freecycle group. It's definitly helped me. My husband (married 8/19/07) & i are still trying to combine 2 households & every week i'm gining something else away.

  1. Blogger Rositta said:

    There's also Craigslist where you can get rid of stuff you don't want. We do a garage sale once a year, the whole street and most of us give the money to charity, usually the Cancer Society. Clothes and stuff goes to Goodwill. Although because of Global Warming, I am on a serious no buying kick and definately nothing from China, just my little protest...ciao

  1. Blogger HORIZON said:

    Hi Cathy- l think this is a terrific idea- will have to look up to see if it's done over here.
    Hope you are all well and getting geared up for the summer.
    Bests xx

  1. Blogger Ephilei said:

    GigoIt.com is a improvement over Freecycle where free items are listed. It has a lot of advantages over Freecycle like pictures and search and it's easier for beginners to pick up.There are lots of advanced features too, like RSS, a Google Earth layer, and gmail-style conversation views. I hope you check it out.

  1. Blogger Trundling Grunt said:

    I got rid of LSWMBO and am working on Mr Happy. Or wasn't that the point?

  1. Blogger Endevourme said:

    nice blg u have i esp liked the template..
    btw the other blg is good too, me too loves animals n a veggie...
    keep posting :D

  1. Blogger nikinpos said:

    Until recently I took all unwanted clothes back to England to give to Oxfam. Now I have discovered a company that come and collect bags of clothes, sheets, shoes and distribute them to the poor. I give my daughters unwanted toys to the orphanage (Yes, I was surprised to find that orphanages still existed and that there was one in Sorrento). I do book exchanges with other expats here...but can't find anyone who wants a baby highchair. Italians aren't big on receiving second hand goods.

  1. Blogger missy said:

    Working in an place with high turn-over, there are a lot of freecycling– it's great!

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