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.
TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — “Freecylcing” is a way to get rid of things kicking around your house and of no use to you. Instead of paying the garbage company to carry them away, post your items online at www.freecycle.org and someone else might just need them. We had a box of old random ceramic tiles in our garage. These were the “extra” tiles they always give you in case one should break on your bathroom or kitchen countertop. We posted them and they were gone by the next day. We have also given away fabric remnants, old National Geographics, twin-sized sheets for college-sized twin beds, and a perfectly good inkjet printer that didn’t have the correct connection for our new laptop
Where to buy
Freecycle and Craigslist are two great places to get started. Freecycle is a network of thousands of members-only mailing lists, localized by geographical region. Members give stuff away for free to others who can use that stuff. The goal: Keep things out of landfills by encouraging reuse. I’ve used the service before to snag stuff like vintage Macs and a Commodore Amiga, complete with a big crate of classic Amiga games. The online classified service Craigslist is also a great place to find stuff for free or at a very low cost from people looking to make space in their family room.