What’s This “Freecycle” Thing All About?

For the last year I have been a member of my local freecycle group.  If you are not at all familiar with it check out this link that describes what freecycle is all about.  Just to give you a quick idea of what this organization is all about, this is their mission statement.  “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”.

Now if you are already a member of freecycle then that is awesome and you know what it is all about.  If you are not, then let me tell you a bit more and maybe persuade you to join.  Like I said, I joined about a year ago. Initially, I found all of the emails they send a bit overwhelming and annoying.  You can opt out of the daily emails if you want.  However, the annoyance of a full inbox is worth it for several reason.  First,  it is a wonderful way to keep perfectly usable stuff out of our landfills.  Freecycle really proves that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.  One of my first experiences with freecycle was with me having an opportunity to provide something to someone else.  There was a post from someone who was looking for a new glass turntable for their microwave.  It just so happened that we still had the old turntable from our old microwave.  I emailed the person and left it out at the end of my walkway for him to pick up.  I realized at that point just how awesome this organization is.  I was literally days from throwing that old turntable away (it was in the pile of things to take to the dump) and instead was able to give it away. The person I gave it to was so appreciate and happy to now not have to buy a new one. Mission accomplished!  I am also one of those people who does not like a lots of “stuff” lying around the house, so I often reorganize and get rid of stuff.  Freecycle makes getting rid of my old things simple and green.

Basically how it works is you can post things as “Offered” or “Wanted” and then you create a post just like Craigslist only everything is FREE.  I have to admit that about 99% of the posts do not interest so I don’t even open them, but sometimes you find a real gem.  The whole inspiration for this post is that today, I picked up a FREE Craftsman table saw that is in perfect working condition. I mean seriously this was such a great find for me because a table saw is a very handy tool to have if you do any sort of building.  I have gotten a few other good things, but today’s deal was awesome.  MOstly I just use it to offer stuff to others.  The other amazing part is that anytime I clean out my home, I come up with a list of stuff to post and people come and get it.  It is nice that because there is no money exchanged I can just leave the item out for the person to pick up.  No need to wait around or even interact with the person coming to get it.

There is  more to learn about freecycle and many different organization similar to this.  If you are interested in joining your local freecycle group check out http://www.freecycle.org.  The freecycle network is  made up of 5,040 groups with 8,966,874 members around the world. There is likely a group in your town so check it out.  There are many other organizations similar to freecycle.  Check out freecycle alternatives if you are interested.  My hope is that this post will inspire even one new person to join freecycle and do their part of keeping good stuff out of the landfills.  Thanks for reading and happy freecycling!

From a Freecycle tee-shirt


Are you a member of you local freecycle group?  Are you a member of any other organizations that are similar to freecycle?  I would love to hear about your experiences with these types of organizations!


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