Last month, as I prepared for my move, I had to get rid of a lot of furniture. I posted everything on Facebook, and then a friend suggested I also try Freecycle, a site where, as its name suggests, everything is free. So I posted everything. And then I was intrigued by the other side of Freecycle, where people asked for something they hope to receive.
This intrigued me. Although I knew it was the logical other side of the transaction, it also felt like wish making. On a lark, I posted that I would love a pair of used snowshoes, nothing fancy, just to walk with my two Newfoundland dogs through the woods this winter. I didn’t expect a reply, and I went on with my life.
Angela Barton, a writer and editor in Los Angeles, likes cutting her carbon footprint as well as traveling more using the money she saves. Julia Park Tracey, an author and journalist in Forestville, California, refurbished her home using materials that otherwise might have been discarded. She bought new energy-efficient appliances but gathered most supplies from The Freecycle Network, Craigslist and the nonprofit Habitat for Humanity ReStores, which sell donated paint, flooring, appliances, furniture and building materials.
The City of Frederick “Freecycle” Roundup Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 5th from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Acceptable items will be collected at The City of Frederick, Yard Two, located at 531 Highland Street, officials said in a press release.
Listed below are items that will be accepted by The City of Frederick and Goodwill Industries:
Items not listed below will not be accepted and it will be the homeowner’s responsibility to dispose of those items. All items must be less than 7 feet in length, said officials.
City of Frederick Collection Goodwill Collection
Furniture (indoor/outdoor) Clothing
Appliances with refrigerants removed Purses
Large toys (playground, kitchens, Shoes
slides, etc.) Books
Swing sets (7’ or less) CDs, DVDs, VHS, etc.
Box springs & mattresses (3 each Furniture
per household) must sign Electronics
affidavit Computer equipment
Mowers, weed eaters, trimmers, Monitors
etc….with all fluids removed TVs
Grills with tanks removed Plastics
“Freecycle” Roundup Day is for City of Frederick residents only. ID’s will be checked to verify proof of residency, officials continued.
You folks in dire straights who need free stuff, have you tried www.freecycle.org? I read the pleas for “help” in the daily Missoulian. Often, what folks are asking for is readily available from generous folks offering free stuff to give away on www.freecycle.org: furniture, food, vehicle parts, housewares, computers, building materials, do-dads and dust-catchers.
Both Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley have Freeycle groups. It’s free to post both “wanted” and “offers.” A yard sale is a lot of work. Giving it away is a cakewalk.
Monday, April 15: Consumption, trash and recycling
– No Impact Freecycle Extravaganza, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the atrium of the Havener Center. The freecycle is a no-money “yardsale.” The public is welcome to donate any household items they no longer use and take home any donated items they find interesting. No cash changes hands and leftover items will be donated to a local resale shop.
Martini glasses. Magazines. A futon. Styrofoam packing blocks. These are just a few of the items I’ve Freecycled over the years. And boy was I relieved to discover that Freecycle was already established in Des Moines, since I had been a long-time Freecycler in the SF Bay Area. What is Freecycle? Well, I’ve had a few people ask me that. Especially when they see me leaving items in bags on my doorstep.
557306_10151082410412993_391868685_nFreecycle was started ten years ago by Deron Beal in Arizona. You can read the whole story here, but in summary, it’s a network group of folks who sign up to post items that they would either like to give away or they’re in search of. I’ve been on various Freecycle networks for years. It’s yet another way to keep stuff out of landfill, share with and help others in your local community, and meet some interesting people to boot.
Back in San Francisco, I had a number of friends who were also in the same Freecycle network. We play the game of “okay, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen on Freeycle” because as you can imagine, there are some rather interesting posts. For me, I think the all-time weirdest item I saw “offered” (posts start as either “offered” or “wanted”) was empty dog food containers. And no doubt, someone took them. And I’ve seen some interesting “wants” too, like when I was a member of the Oakland, CA Freeycle group, and someone wanted a diamond ring. Well, why not.
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.
Four years ago, Mandy Moore of Chesterton saw someone was giving away a turkey on the Freecycle website.
Out of curiosity, she contacted the giver and discovered 50 people wanted the holiday staple. Sensing an unfilled need in her community, Moore put together seven meals and put that up on Freecycle.
I even sold some items on Craigslist. Then there were some other items that weren’t really sellable in my opinion. A few odds and ends. I decided to list them on freecycle. Freecycle is a site in which you offer items that you don’t want to others for free. Its based on the premise of recycling and keeping things out of the landfill.
I often struggle to balance our family budget. This daunting task becomes increasingly harder with the rising cost of gas, utilities, and food. On top of this, my daughter hit a growth spurt and her jeans are capris.
I recently encountered a group in Louisville that makes your budgeting a little easier by offering free products. FreeCycle is a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Louisville has an online group. The Louisville chapter was founded in 2004 and currently has 14,689 members. Here individuals and list the product they are offering or items that want. Other members respond to this post saying they either want it or have it to give.