Founder of Museum Freecycle, Caroline is committed to using technology to help the museums reduce their environmental impact. Museum Freecycle is an online network that enables unwanted equipment to be recycled sustainably and easily between museums. It is the first industry-wide Freecycle group in the world and is run voluntarily with no budget. Caroline is based in London and works full time running her e-commerce business, Museum Bookstore, an online store specialising in art books and exhibition catalogues.
The Freecycle Network: This forum emphasizes keeping items out of landfills, so members give away unwanted items, rather than pitch them. Search Freecycle.org to find a group near you.
1) Don’t buy what you can get for free
There are many ways to get free things. Your friends and family can give things they don’t need anymore to you, like furniture and clothes. In an increasingly environmental-conscious world websites pop up where people offer things they don’t need anymore, which you can pick up for free, for example freecycle.org. Besides these two great options you can find lots of free stuff through dumpster diving, where you pick up stuff people don’t want anymore. Try it, and you will be surprised what kind of stuff people throw away.
Until you discover Freecycle. What a greatbrilliant initiative. I know some people have reason to want to realise some cash for their unwanted goods, but many of us just want to get rid of them and find the process less painful because they are going where they are really wanted.
Here is my advice to you when using Freecycle:
DO-Respond to any emails you receive from the person with the stuff immediately.
DO-Do make sure you are able to pick it up in a timely manner. No one wants to warehouse things.
DO-If possible ask if they can leave in on their porch or entry way for you to retrieve.
Don’t- Don’t waste peoples time.
Don’t-Go back and forth trying to figure out how to retrieve the item. Have your ducks in a row before you ask for the item.
Everyone has a bunch of junk lying around their house that they have no idea what to do with. Maybe it’s an old iPhone that you were going to try and sell but 3 new iPhones have come along since. Maybe it’s a stack of old textbooks from school. Or maybe it’s an ugly chair that clashes with everything in your living room. Or a broken food processor. Or a…you get the idea.
Deron Beal has set out to solve this problem with his website Freecycle.org, which has helped many unwanted items find new homes — 32,000 items a day, to be exact.
“Freecycle’s mission is really to make it easier to give something away than to throw it away,” Deron explains.
With online communities set up all over the world, 9 million members have used Freecycle to breathe new life into things that would have otherwise ended up in landfills. In the past year alone, if you were to pile the items gifted through Freecycle into garbage trucks, it would be 15 times the height of Mt. Everest!
If you’re looking for a way to get rid of that old mattress or couch, the city of Frederick may have a solution for you.
The city has a new plan to help people who have no way of getting large, unwanted items to its next Freecycle Roundup bulk item drop-off event.
Employees of Frederick Community Action Agency’s Green Jobs program have agreed to help out.
The employees will drive around during the next Freecycle Roundup event in April to pick up items from people who preregister for the service, said Nikki Bamonti, executive assistant to Mayor Randy McClement.
“If it works out, it solves every problem we have had with this event,” McClement said.
The next Freecycle Roundup event will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 11 at Walnut Ridge Park, 1151 Rocky Springs Road. City residents are asked to bring their unwanted bulk items to the park, and nonprofits will be waiting to sort through donated items to see if they can be repurposed.
Want something for nothing? Go online, because Freecycle’s got company.
Free beauty products, children’s items, restaurant meals, furniture, electronics or even cellphone service – all you have to do is look.
But, given that Freecycle is a volunteer organization, it’s a little hard to complain. Besides, when it works it’s fabulous. A relative has picked up furniture, children’s clothing and other goodies. When I lived in Seattle, I received canning jars and tree fruit.
I also used Freecycle to give away framed prints, a two-CD set of “The Nutcracker,” a paraffin hand spa and an unopened pair of anti-embolism stockings, which saved car-free me from having to lug all this stuff to the thrift store by bus.
Have you heard about Freecycle? Most communities have one. It’s an amazing opportunity to either purge your unwanted stuff or go treasure hunting. As with most people the beginning of each new year is the time to clean out the old and make room for new stuff. Time for organizing closets, and cabinets, and so on. I have been a little OCD over the past week or so going through the house and making piles of “things to keep”, “things to donate” and “things to get rid of” and trust me there are a lot of things that I would like to find new homes for and Freecycle is a great way to do that. Just yesterday I listed a bunch of stuff and it already has been claimed by various people anxious to come and collect it. Whats the old saying??? “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and that certainly is true. Over the next few days I hope to purge a bunch more stuff on freecycle, list a bunch of stuff on either Craig’s list or Ebay and most likely make several trips to our local recycling center to drop off misc. other stuff. Oh, it feels so good!
So, we finally got rid of the futon. It was broken, but I posted a full disclosure notice on the Charlottesville-Albemarle Freecycle list.
Futon, mission style frame wih mattress & coverAfter a few email exchanges and phone calls to arrange pick up between snow showers, a woman and her dad borrowed a truck to come get the futon; let’s call them Helen and James.
We showed Helen and James where the futon frame needs repair.
“I’m a carpenter by trade. This will be no problem,” said James.
Rick had already told me the frame could be repaired for under $10, so any guilt I had about passing on broken stuff, even for free, was really evaporating.