Freeycycle is the modern day dumpster diving, without having to touch a dumpster or trash can. From the freecycle site: It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers (them’s good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on ‘Browse Groups’ above the search box. Have fun!
I had my first free items from freecycle.org a couple of weeks ago. Three empty 5-gallon paint buckets from Home Depot. I really needed just one, but the others will come in handy too, as I need to get rid of most of the paint I’ve been hoarding for years.
A few days ago, I got 3 lamps from freecycle. One of them being a really cool, ultra-modern lamp, but needing repair to the on/off switch. I haven’t repaired the lamp yet, but I can use the electrical from one of the other lamps that was missing a shade. This lamp was not cheap and is probably the nicest lamp I own now. The other small lamp, also missing a shade, will be my new energy efficient light in the nook on my staircase. I ran electrical to that a couple of months ago since there was electrical in the closet underneath the stairs.
I’ve also gotten rid of things that I don’t need anymore. Clutter is not my friend, so this made it easy. I had some fence boards that I had no place to store. Someone on freecycle was getting as many fence pieces as possible so he could build a new fence. Smart dude, as he probably saved $5k and kept a lot of wood out of the landfill.
Freecycle for good. There are many people using freecycle to collect stuff for recycling purposes and goodwill. This email to the left is someone collecting old phone books for a recycling drive at their school. Another one I saw several weeks ago was someone collecting coats for the homeless.
If you haven’t freecycled, you should give it a try. Here’s a few things that might help your freecycling:
- How does it work? Freecycle uses Yahoo Groups, so if you’re used to craigslist and eBay, this is not as user friendly. Once you’ve gotten it set up, it’s not too bad. I get emails with all of the new listings.
- It’s local. You join your local group so you don’t have to weed through listings that would be too far to pick up.
- Offer things. You can make offers for people to come get the stuff you don’t want anymore. Most do driveway or porch pick-up, all you do is wait a few minutes for someone to say they want your stuff after creating your text listing. A few might ask for an emailed photo, like I did for the lamps. The listing said “modern lamp“, and I just wanted to make sure we had the same definition of modern.
- Want stuff? Place a listing for things you’re looking for. Chances are someone has it and they’ve been meaning to get rid of it for a while.
- Recycle freecycle. Most of the time people will make a listing and you have to take all or nothing. Like the lamps… I just wanted the big one, but I found a use for the small silver one and I can use the electrical from the ugly lamp to fix the awesome lamp. If I have any “leftovers”, I will freecycle them again or find a home for it elsewhere.
- Commit and go. Don’t say you’re going to get something if you’re not going to do it. There are plenty of people that want this stuff, as you will quickly see if you list something.
- Share the wealth! If you get a lot of stuff, don’t hoard it, share it! None of us need a lot more stuff in our garage… just sayin’.
I’m sure there’s more to come on this topic. If you have some tips to share, please feel free to comment. Happy freecycling!