I’ve been a part of the Freecycle group for over a decade. For seven years now we have been doing an “adopt-a-family” event at Christmas.
What we do is find families in need and “adopt” them. Then, with the help of others in the Freecycle group, friends, family and local businesses, we get donations of gently used and new clothing and toys.
Once everything is gathered we have a wrapping party. All the gifts are sorted and wrapped. A few days before Christmas we deliver to the families.
For some it is a little uncomfortable or embarrassing when we arrive. It isn’t easy asking for help. But they relax as we are there.
We usually have the kids open one present and they can save the rest for Christmas morning.
This year we did something different and picked two senior citizens, sometimes a forgotten part of or community, especially if they do not have living family.
The point of the Simi Valley Freecycle group is to keep things out of the landfill by recycling & repurposing.
—Freecycle Day Sept. 15: Freecycle helps reduce waste by connecting people who are throwing away unwanted items with others seeking the same items. There are freecycle groups in both Morgan Hill and Gilroy. Visit trashnothing.com and click “Join Now” to sign up.
Freecycle – Freecycle is a grassroots organization built on the idea of people in an area giving away stuff for free that they don’t need. The network has gotten extremely large and can be a great place to find stuff, including boxes for moving. You need to sign up first and then post what you are looking for.
5. The Freecycle Network
The Freecycle Network is made up of nearly 9 million members worldwide. It is dedicated to enabling members to get and give stuff for free in order to put goods to their most efficient use — and keep usable items out of landfills. This nonprofit describes itself as a “grassroots movement,” and local volunteer moderators help handle network activity to keep exchanges safe and posts accurate. Membership is free.
. Join the Freecycle Movement
The Freecycling movement has been around for more than a decade now, and it’s the act of giving away your stuff instead of throwing it away. It’s a huge money saver; the idea is that you’re not spending money on things you don’t need. Instead, you’re recycling (or freecycling) them.
To get started, you can check out one of the many freecycling organizations out there — The Freecycle Network, FreeSharing and FreeUse — and see if there are meetings in your area.
Your trash, someone’s treasure
Lisa Mark of the Time Butler (www.thetimebutler.com) cautions that selling slows down the purging process. She encourages clients to donate. Some favorite sites:
The Freecycle Network, as well as the free lists on Craigslist. Bonus: Items listed tend to go fairly quickly. www.freecycle.org, www.craigslist.com
Before the Internet, you had a few choices for offloading unwanted stuff, including garage sales, donating it to a charity or tossing it.
But Craigslist, Freecycle and similar websites have given us another option: offering up waste to complete strangers, which is at least better than adding to landfills and may help someone in need if that someone happens to need a bag full of used wine corks.
A valuable sharing resource local to thousands of communities, is freecycle.org, which is moderated locally by volunteers. I have enjoyed this service as both a giver and receiver. ”Freecycle performs many wonderful functions: building bonds and community, keeping material items from the landfills, and redeeming the clutter that consumes by moving it forward to a new, productive life.” I’ve been amazed by the specific items posted and gratefully taken – the old one person’s trash is another’s treasure thing. But items of value are also offered, maybe because the transaction feels better, cleaner, than attaching a price and posting it on Craigslist. It’s generosity among neighbors in the larger sense.
Ten years ago, I brought Deron Beal’s Freecycle (freecycle.org) group’s method of giving and getting usable items to Vacaville. This year, I’ve created a group to share plants within Solano and Yolo counties.
How many times have we, as homeowners and renters, filled our green bins with plants that we’ve pulled from our garden just because we don’t know anyone who would want them?
How many seeds have we seen ready to harvest, only to ignore? After failing to give away my extra iris bulbs, it dawned on me. “There is a need here,” just as there had been for Freecycle.
With the ease of social networking, a seed-sharing movement is evolving. In fact, I recently read about a seed-sharing library in Vallejo. With further research, I discovered many towns around the world are holding seed-sharing events.
One person is looking for a rocking chair for a newborn baby.
Another, a tote bag to carry a pet guinea pig. One person offers up a nearly new yoga mat; another, a “large-ish cardboard box” that is “not sturdy enough for shipping but great for summer fun with kids.”
Welcome to Freecycle, a grassroots “cyber curbside” where people can drop off unused items and others can pick them up — for free.
As an environmentally motivated, volunteer-based nonprofit, Freecycle sets itself apart from other similar websites, such as Craigslist, said the organization’s founder, Deron Beal.