Our popular Meet the client series reveals the inside story on the organisations we support with legal services. This time, we caught up with Deron Beal, Founder and Executive Director of The Freecycle Network. He shares his inspirational story of building the largest nonprofit international gifting community and keeping over a thousand tons out of landfills and incinerators each day.
Freecycle.org is a great resource started by people interested in keeping stuff out of landfills. There are more than 5,000 groups (usually community-based) around the world. Chances are there are one or more groups near you.
I belong to the one for my town as well as two nearby communities. This gives me more opportunities to get things for free and give stuff away. As a mom of two young kids, it’s been an invaluable way to get rid of outgrown toys.
Before you jump into the world of Freecycle, though, brush up on these rules of Freecycle etiquette.
A variety of online groups such as Buy Nothing or Freecycle make it easy for you to get items for free from your neighbors who no longer need them. These groups are gaining popularity, with Freecycle giving away more than 24,000 items each day across more than 100 countries.
Now that we’ve rolled out the new Freecycle user interface, we’re starting a new occasional column in Newswire to bring you tips and tricks for getting the most out of Freecycle. Today the topic is My Messages. This new Freecycle feature lets you handle most of your communications online.
Tip #1: When you reply to a post, choose Reply Online to keep your email private.
Tip #2: Whenever you make a post or reply to a post, be sure to keep an eye out for new messages so you won’t miss anything! Simply click on the envelope icon at the upper right on any Freecycle page to get to My Messages.
My Messages is where you’ll see:
Replies to others’ posts (online replies only)
Replies to my posts (online replies only)
Chats with Friends
Notifications (system notifications show up here)
By having more ways to communicate we can keep more stuff out of landfills and save the planet, one gift at a time!
If you’d like to share with people in your local community, consider groups like the Freecycle Network and BuyNothing (search Facebook Groups for one nearby). Freecycle, for instance, has more than 5,000 local groups worldwide, where members give and get free items.
“The window air conditioner you’re replacing with a new one is basically trash to you but could change someone else’s life,“ says Freecycle’s founder, Deron Beal. (These donations don’t qualify as charitable deductions.)
With a little ingenuity, old barrels can really become something with a whole new, useful lease on life. Plus, completing a great DIY project just feels so good. So, get on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Freecycle, or wherever else to find a few old barrels for next to nothing and get to crafting.
Source any equipment you need for free through Freecycle, a community website on which people can recycle unwanted items, or the freebie section of listings sites such as Gumtree and Craigslist. Right now, for example, someone is offering a free office table in London and free catering equipment in Edgbaston