Shop less or secondhand
Before buying, think about whether you really need it. If you do, look for options that have a smaller footprint, said Casey Taylor, a partner in Bain and Co.’s retail practice. Invest in used products or in reusable, high-quality or easy-to-repair items. Check thrift shops, garage sales and community groups like the Freecycle Network. Another sustainable solution? Rent clothes through services like Le Tote and Rent the Runway.
The Freecycle Network is a grassroots nonprofit that allows users to post items they intend to give away and browse items offered by others in their local community. Based on a desire to keep good stuff out of landfills, strengthen communities, and instill a spirit of generosity, The Freecycle Network has been serving communities across the globe since 2003, and estimates that they keep over a thousand tons of usable items out of landfills each day. While browsing The Freecycle Network for items in Olympia, I found a pair of zebra finches, a rhododendron bush, baseball cards, a box spring, and a small trampoline being given away for free.
Similar to Craigslist, Freecycle is a website that makes it easy to get free items. While there are not as many posts on the website as on Craigslist, the competition for posted items is also lower. If you are searching for something in particular, like a queen size bed, you can also post on the site so people will contact you if they
have what they need. Go to freecycle.org and enter in Corvallis, or your town, to see available items.
Freecycle is nearing its third anniversary in Corvallis, but the organization has nothing to do with a bicycle event.
The Corvallis group of the Freecycle Network has nearly 1,000 users who post online when they have an item they want to give away or when they are seeking something they need but cannot afford to buy retail.
Christine Dashiell started the local group, and she is its moderator, meaning that she attempts to ensure that the site is posting legitimate offers. People need to join to participate.
Freecycle’s main aim: “It’s just keeping items out of the landfill — and changing the world through that,” she said.
Some things have remained free, or already paid for, through the years. Just check out the good stuff at your local public library. And if you want to give or receive all kinds of free stuff — unwanted lamps, children’s bikes, appliances — join The Freecycle Network in your area, via freecycle.org.
Or we suspect you don’t have to wonder about it at all, because you, too, might be experiencing symptoms of Failure to Launch It Syndrome. The palette-shaped pasta-measurer that came free with something so long ago we can’t remember. A mini whisk whose performance can’t hold a candle to a table fork. Things that might be a little worse for wear, but are of too little consequence to post on Freecycle.
MOSES LAKE – If your budget is tighter than usual or you are looking to help with the environment, there is an option with Grant County Freecycle.
The Yahoo! web group is geared toward anyone from the resident looking rid themselves of that somewhat battered but still comfy couch, to the new parent searching out gently worn baby clothes boxed up in someone else’s basement.
The concept is simple. People sign up to receive messages about items up for grabs or to post their own unwanted stuff. Group members communicate directly with each other via email, and make arrangements for pickup or delivery when they see something they like.
Don’t limit your sights to thrift shops. From your pediatrician’s office to local police and fire departments, there are plenty of other groups that could benefit from your child’s unwanted toys. Contact local churches, libraries, grade schools, day care centers, children’s hospitals and foster care programs—or post an ad on the website of The Freecycle Network (www.freecycle.org), a green grass-roots collective that acts as a digital curbside. Members list items they wish to part with, but with one catch: It must be free, and it must be local.
Though most people do their major purge and deep cleaning in the spring, I am a couple of seasons behind. During our last major purge a couple of summers ago, inspired by the kids, we had a yard sale. They earned money to spend on summer vacation and donated 25% of the proceeds to the Whitehaven Foundation, a non-profit that builds schools in Haiti.
Looking for free goods? There’s a website with a local user group to help.
Freecycle.org started in Tucson, Ariz., and now has local user groups in cities all over the nation, including one for Central Oregon.
The rules say everything must be posted for free, with no expectation of trading or bartering. Those with an old refrigerator taking up space in the garage can link with those who just happen to need one.
The goods can range from a chair to a fax machine to an old door. The one realm Freecycle stays away from is pets.
Freecycle is free to join. Consumers must then be accepted into the user group by a moderator.