At Freecycle, a similar site where participants typically offer up some 20,000 items each day, the number of posts each day has increased by about 15% in recent months, driven by the financial concerns, founder, Deron Beal says.
“People, understandably, they’re buying petrol or going to the store and seeing high prices…seek to pinch their pennies a little bit and Freecycle… is a good alternative,” he says.
Even families with higher incomes, who might ordinarily be insulated from the pressures, are reconsidering their ordinary spending, says Tania Brown, a financial planner based in Georgia, with more than 20 years’ experience.
“There is an across-the-board sense of worry about inflation: ‘How long is this going to last, how this is going to impact their daily life’,” she says. “I am definitely hearing differences and changes.”
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.
GET IT FREE: See if you can pick up tools, plant pots and other gardening bits without paying a penny on Freecycle, Freegle, Freelywheely or Trash Nothing – or very cheaply via Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace. Not only will this save you money, it will prevent unwanted items from going into landfill.
The Freecycle website works a bit like any online auction, except no money changes hands. People gift unwanted items — anything from furniture to electronics, clothes, plants and even musical instruments — to neighbors in the same community. The winning bidder is usually the person who was the fastest to respond or had the best reason for wanting it. Unlike sites such as eBay, groups are formed locally, so most items are exchanged within a few kilometers of each other.
Reducing landfill waste and reusing items is at the core of the mission of the Freecycle Network (freecycle.org/town/TucsonAZ), a nonprofit grassroots movement founded by Tucsonan Deron Beal in 2003. Since then, it has grown to 9.5 million members globally who give and receive items for free through more than 5,000 local groups. Membership is free and the organization also offers small personal Friend Circles that allow members to lend items between friends and family members.
Fly-tipping Action Wales also encourages people to reduce the amount of waste they have to dispose of by using services such as Freecycle, donating unwanted items to local charities and looking into the free and paid services your local council has available.
Regarding the article headlined ‘Clearing the way for clutter-free holidays’ (Dec. 24): Hamilton has an active Freecycle group, part of the worldwide non-profit, which accepts offers of usable household goods to members. Freecycle is free to join, and all items offered must be free. Membership is free, too. If you have clutter too good for the landfill, chances are that a Freecycle member will be happy to pick it up off your porch and give it a new home. Check out Freecycle.org to see how it all works.
• regift unwanted items that are in good condition to others, donate them to charity shops, give them away on free sale sites like Freecycle or Freegle or on local Facebook groups, or take items that could be fixed to repair cafés and give them a new lease of life