According to Deron Beal, founder and director of the 9-million-member Freecycle Network, which helps local communities set up free exchanges around the globe, people are itching to tap into the free economy — some because they are in need, others because they know their luck and can give.
Since the pandemic hit, Freecycle has grown at two or three times its normal rate, Beal said, with 10,000 new members joining per week. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-05-17/coronavirus-economy-neighbors-barter-trade-produce
PASS IT ON
You may have items that you no longer need but that still work and other people would be interested in.
That old chest of drawers or dining chair might be just what your neighbour is looking for.
You can use sites like Freecycle, Upcycle or local Facebook groups and find people in your area who might be interested in taking items you were planning to throw away.
This will save you money and also reduces waste. Make sure the process is contact free during the lockdown period!
7. Arrange Seed and Plant Swaps
Sharing is caring as they say and arranging seed and plant swaps is a great way to expand and diversify your plant stocks whilst supporting fellow gardeners. Whilst in-person gatherings are currently off-limits, you can take it online. You can use existing sites like freecycle and local community pages on social media or set up a new group dedicated to local plant swaps where members can post their plant requests and offers. And of course, you can keep it simple, doing a few swaps with friends and neighbours, collecting or delivering as part of your daily exercise.
Freecycle lets people give away and get stuff for free. As with many unexpected wonders in life, its main benefit is the one you’re not expecting: not the possibility of acquiring more things, but the chance to end up with less. In this time of corona-fuelled home-office creation, I’ve given away three rickety Ikea bookshelves, assorted pieces of white melamine, and a brand-new curtain rail that doesn’t fit a single window in our house.
Jessica Lewis-Tatton, who is originally from Nottingham, completed a degree in Fashion Design in 2017 and has now launched her business 237interiors.
The business specialises in reupholstering chairs and other small furnishings with bespoke prints using sustainably sourced yarn.
Jess said: “I’ve always enjoyed knitting and crochet and at first I just wanted to do something for my own home. When I saw the end product, I realised it was something other people might be interested in.”
She added: “I use yarns that are sustainably sourced. There is a yarn shop in Bury that sources yarns from factories that will just go onto landfill. I also use GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified cotton yarn.
“I work with the customer directly to design a print that is bespoke to them and in the colours that matches their house.”
Jess hopes that by providing an opportunity for people to purchase bespoke reupholstered furniture it will encourage people to be more sustainable with the furniture choices.
She added: “I furnished my flat with all second-hand furniture. I managed to find a brand-new mirror by the bins and it just made me think about how I can help encourage other people to buy sustainably for their home, considering that so much goes to landfill each year.
“People can bring pieces that they’ve found to me, or I get the furniture from freecycle or Gum Tree. It saves things from ending up in the bin and ultimately going to landfill.”
Freecycle: As the name suggests, everything listed on this website is completely free – the idea being that sellers want to find new homes for their unwanted goods. It stocks everything from furniture to clothes but you must live near the seller so you can pick the item up.
Aside from planning her upcoming May wedding, giving followers money-saving tips, budgets and tax advice, Jennifer shares her stylish home filled with budget-friendly buys and colourful statement walls.
“Facebook Marketplace or freecycle groups are great for free or cheap finds, I bought my sofa on Facebook for €140! My kitchen table is also a meeting room table my office was getting rid of, I just painted it white,” says Jennifer.
Here, I reveal how we can cause less waste, less pollution — and save money at the same time.
1) Learn to sail past the sales: We all want to bag a bargain in the New Year sales. There might be some-thing you’ve had your eye on for months. But think first. Do you really need it? If you do, check that you can’t get it on a “pre-loved” website even cheaper first — look at freecycle.org, gumtree.com and craigslist.org. It all comes down to TV nature guru David Attenborough’s top tip: Stop wasting stuff.
TTL has also been backed by the Letchworth Heritage Foundation, which has provided a grant to fund a small shed, tools and raised beds. The project team are using freecycle – a non-profit network of reusable goods within local communities – and are asking for any unwanted garden tools in a bid to keep as low a carbon footprint as possible.