The Freecycle Network (TFN) is a non-profit organisation registered in Arizona, US and as a charity in the United Kingdom. TFN coordinates a worldwide network of “gifting” groups to divert reusable goods from landfills.
Freecycling is a combination of two words – free and recycling. The whole idea is to offer items in good condition to other people, for free.
Indirectly, you get to save money and encourage community interaction, too. It’s a great concept.
Websites like Swap.com, BarterQuest or The Freecycle Network each have millions of members listing everything, from old video games to Christian Louboutin pumps to electronic drum sets.
You just need to ask
Another swapping network that has been gaining popularity in Malaysia is The Freecycle Network (TFN).
Tagged as “a free version of eBay”, TFN is a non-profit cyber movement where members can give or get stuff for free within their local communities. It promotes reuse, which is one way to reduce waste and save our environment.
The Freecycle group has its own e-mail group and volunteer moderator in its individual city, town or district. Once you register as a member with the local group, you can post a message on anything that you want to give away, or receive messages on what other people are giving away. If you are interested in any item, all you need is to request for it. The moderator will match the requester with the giver through e-mail.
Among the best-known examples of collaborative consumption is the hugely popular Freecycle.org, which enables people to give away unwanted things to someone in need of them, as well as lelong.com.my and eBay, where people can buy secondhand goods. Travellers looking for inexpensive accommodation can spend the night in someone’s spare bedroom via CouchSurfing.org or Airbnb.com, and fashionistas can trade clothes via SwapStyle.com.
There is such a thing as a free lunch in the case of The Freecycle Network.
IT has been described in various ways: a free version of eBay, a grand curbside where people can drop off their things, a lifesaver. It all began in May 2003, when Deron Beal sent out the first e-mail announcing The Freecycle Network (TFN) to about 30 friends and a handful of non-profits in Tucson, Arizona, the United States.