Reduce, Reuse, Freecycle!
Our Favorite Freecycle ItemsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Top Reasons to Freecycle
- New or alternate uses for objects
- Make a do-it-yourself project less expensive
- Safe exchange of items/no exchange of funds
- Benefit others on a local level
“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!”
My children learn this chant at school and we do our best to implement at home. I am not the greenest person you will meet, but we try to be environmentally conscious.
We recycle and try to purchase from companies with environmentally safe practices. A few years ago I learned about freecycle.
Freecycle is an organization which fosters reusing items that might otherwise end up in the landfill. The goal is to find your ‘stuff’ another home as opposed to just throwing it in the trash. After learning about this movement, I signed up for our local freecycle group and receive daily email alerts about items that are wanted, offered or taken.
In addition to keeping items out of the landfill, these are my top reasons to freecycle.
We Freecycled our Broken Umbrella
How to Sign up for Freecycle
- Search freecycle to find your local group
- Sign up to be included in the email distribution list
- Read and understand terms and conditions of the freecycle program
Test Your Freecycle Knowledge
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New or Alternate Uses for Objects
What I love most about freecycle is when someone is very excited about receiving something that I seriously considered throwing away. We had a children’s picnic table that was cracked on top. We were planning on getting a new one and figured I would try to freecycle the old one. I clearly listed in the description that the top was cracked, but I received emails instantly from those interested in the table. Many did not have a table for their children and were excited at the prospect, regardless of the condition. We ended up giving it to a grandma who was hoping to do more artwork with her grandkids outside. I liked knowing it was still getting good use.
I also enjoy hearing how an object might be used in a different way. Our patio umbrella broke during a windy thunderstorm. It would no longer open correctly so it was heading to the trash. I decided to try to freecycle it first. I was shocked and pleased at the interest in a broken umbrella. The first responder and recipient said that she had a small leak in her barn roof and her goats were getting wet. She planned to use the umbrella to divert water from her animals.
A dry goat is a happy goat!
I laughed and then realized how glad I was that I didn’t just throw away the umbrella. Even though its usefulness for me was gone, it still could be useful for others.
We Made a Ballet Floor Using Freecyle Materials
How to Freecycle
There are four terms used in Freecycle correspondence:
Offer: Use this term in the subject of your post when you are offering an item for pickup.
Wanted: Use this term in the subject of your post when you are wanting something from the freecycle group. Always submit an offer post prior to submitting a wanted post.
Taken: Use this term in the subject of your post to let the group know that an offer has been taken and notifying the community that it is no longer available.
Received: Use this term in the subject of your post to indicate that an item that you have wanted has been received.
Make a DIY Project Less Expensive
Last year, my daughter was taking dance and my husband and I considered building a ballet floor for her. Utilizing freecycle, we found hardwood floors from someone redoing their kitchen and mirrors from someone redoing their bathroom. We were able to make her dance floor for under $50.
Do you have any do it yourself (DIY) projects that cost is holding you back? Find a few items to offer on freecycle and then try wanting a few of the supplies that you need. Maybe you can get the cost down enough that you can get the project started!
- No money is exchanged.
- Be accurate about the condition of the object you are offering. If it is broken or damaged, please state this in the description.
- No shows are not appreciated and can be reported.
- If you are chosen to pick up an object, honor your commitment.
- If you are unable to show up on the agreed upon day and time, attempt to reschedule or suggest that the items are offered to another freecycler.
Safe Exchange of Items/No Exchange of Funds
I have heard stories of odd exchanges using Craigslist. Freecycle involves a very safe and simple exchange of items and no exchange of money. All freecycle items are given away which eliminates the need to exchange money or have contact with a stranger.
While I do provide my address for pickup, depending on the object, I have set them at the base of my driveway or in a bag on the front porch. The recipient comes, picks up the object and leaves.
Use Freecyle to Donate Excess Toys
Do you freecycle?
Benefit Others on a Local Level
Using freecycle, you not only offered the items, you also choose the recipient. Sometimes I chose a recipient based on first come first serve and I provide pick up details to the first email responder. Other times, I might ask how they intend to use the object or request that the recipients are in need of the objects I am offering.
A few years ago, we had a revelation that in order for Santa to come to our house, our play room needed to be purged. I put a post on freecycle and requested that the toys go to a family that was in need of Christmas toys for their children. We wanted the toys to be able to change a child’s Christmas morning as opposed to go to another family who, like us, already has too many!
It was great for the children to know that their gently used toys would be further loved by another child and it was great for us to know that there might actually be room for any new toys that Santa dropped off.
Recycle: A Handbook for Kids
We Love to Freecycle
I cringe when I see large objects sticking out of trashcans waiting for the trash truck to take them to a landfill. What might be trash to you could still have use for another family. Before you put an object in the trash, pause for a moment and think about freecycling it. You don't have to pack it up in your car to drive to a donation site and you are keeping it out of the landfill. I enjoy lining up bags on the porch for pick up by fellow freecyclers. I am getting rid of unused objects in my house and finding them a new home.
Freecycle is an absolute win-win.
Consider signing up for freecycle today and please share you freecycle success stories!