The Freecycle movement, started in Tucson, has spread world-wide keeping thousands of items out of landfills and trash piles.
Freecycle has taken the phrase, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” to heart by providing a forum for people with everything including the kitchen sink that they don’t need any more to find people who want the … um treasures.
Freecycle is simple, when you have something, you offer it. When you need something you ask for it. Many freecycle communities also have projects near and dear to their hearts.
Do you give it first email, first serve or see who lives the closest or who can pick up first? Since Freecycle communities encourage the giver to consider their item a gift, you can pick and choose who to bestow it upon. We chose a man who could pick it up the fastest – he was a first time landlord renovating a three decker apartment building in a nearby city.
What if you need something? If you need something specific, you can always ask for it. Requests range from the simple ask for kids shoes size 6 to the fairly specific asking for a particular issue of a magazine to the utterly sublime asking for high end electronics.
There are other abbreviations that make posting easier in the Freecycle world.
PPU – Pending Pick Up – use this when you have made arrangements for someone to pick up something you are offering, but they have not actually picked up yet.
TAKEN – when you have actually had someone pick up your treasure, post a second message with TAKEN in the subject.
RECEIVED – if you have received a treasure, you can post your thanks publicly.
Giving to Non-profit Organizations
Many local non-profit organizations use Freecycle to connect to the local community when they need stuff. Requests will range from asking for kids tee-shirts as packing for medical instruments for Haitian relief to bedding for local shelters that are moving residents to their new homes to paperbacks for soldiers overseas.
When you are offering a treasure, you can put in the post that you are going to give to a non-profit first or just choose to do that if one answers your offer. Remember it is your gift to give.
Helping the Local Community
Many Freecycle groups help build their community beyond getting and giving treasure. Some of them offer information on local services for people in need such as fuel assistance or on other places that might take large amounts of treasure such as a local Boys and Girls Club. Other clubs help with Earth Day Clean-ups or publicizing things like Earth Hour.
At the end
Remember that someone is giving you a treasure when you use Freecycle. A simple thank you goes a long way to showing your gratitude for such a wonderful treasure that someone is giving you for free.
Tricia Ballad says
We have gotten some great homeschool materials through Freecycle – including about 10 years’ worth of National Geographic!
Michele B. Decoteau says
I too have received a number of terrific items through freecycle including tadpole tanks and a brand new ceiling fan. My favorite part has been the connections I’ve made by giving things away. One of my really close friends I met when I was giving away some small kid chairs. Her mom wanted them and she picked them up five years ago. We work together now and our kids are in soccer together.