WAIT-Don't throw that away-FREECYCLE!!!!
What is Freecycle??
Have you ever finished doing your spring cleaning, only to find a pile of "stuff" that you don't know what to do with? You hate to throw it away, its not really worth selling, and you don't feel like packing it all up and driving to a donation center. Well then I have the perfect solution for you....FREECYCLE!!
The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,864 groups with 7,603,875 members around the world. It is a nonprofit organization designed to help people give an receive their unwanted items for free. Its also about helping keep our landfills free of items that still have use left in them. Their mission statement is:"Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community."
How does it work?
To locate your local Freecycle group, simply go to http://www.freecycle.org/ and search for a group near you by entering your city and state. Once you find your group, you sign up, for free and become a member of that group. Then the fun begins!! You can choose different ways of receiving updates on postings-if you have regular access to a computer, you might want to choose to get an email each time a new post is listed. You can have an email sent to you showing 25 listings at a time, or you don't have to receive any emails, and do the searching and posting on your own time.
Once you post an item, you will get responses that are private and sent through your personal email address. People will tell you when they can pick it up and ask for your address. YOU NEVER HAVE TO COME FACE TO FACE WITH ANYONE!! Most people pick a spot to leave their stuff and label it with that person's name. I usually leave mine at the end of my driveway, for easy pick up. Be aware-you will have "no-shows", people that say they want something, tell you a time to get it, and never show up. Its up to you to give them another chance, or go to the next person who responded.
Once your item is picked up, you can post a "TAKEN" post for that item, to let everyone know that it is gone, so you won't continue to get interested responses
What can you "freecycle"?
Pretty much anything! You would be surprised at what people want, and find uses for. I have given away so many things that people have been able to turn into something else, or maybe just needed to fix or finish something. I have also received a lot of items that even my friends are surprised by. You can also post a "WANTED" listing, if there is something that you are in search of. I have found things this way as well. Here is a list of just a few things commonly posted:
baby items-clothes,cribs,high chairs, exersaucers,toys,diapers
children's clothes-usually in bags!
books, music, videos
scraps of carpet, wood, metal
broken but fixable items
older model tvs, computers, dvd players, vcrs
The Freecycle Network does have specific rules and regulations that their administrators enforce. You can go to the website to get all the rules, but basically it states that everything you post must be offered for free and legal. Items can not be offensive, or be owned by anyone other then yourself. There is a format that they require all posts have, to make it easy for everyone.
I've been "freecycling" now for over a year and have learned some helpful hints for a successful find!
- BE POLITE!! When responding to an add, tell the person why you want the item, and when you genuinely think you can pick it up--no one wants to read a response that says "I want it, were do you live?"
- BE SPECIFIC! When listing an item, make sure to include all information about it, expecially if it is missing items, or if anything is not working
- BE QUICK! I have found that "hot" items are gone within minutes of it being posted. If you have regular access to a computer, choose to receive individual emails for each posting and check it often
- DON'T BE AFRAID TO RE-LIST Of course not that same day, but some days there are so many posts that yours can get lost in the shuffle, so give it a day or so, and re-post
- INCLUDE PHOTOS- There is an option to create a photo file and you can upload photos of your items--this helps alot when you can't really explain what it is!!
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