Sunday, December 7, 2008

Let us now praise...Freecycle!

Freecycle is one of the coolest Internet ideas ever. It works through Yahoo! Groups, so it's a mailing list, and its purpose is to keep good stuff out of the landfills that could be reused by someone--basically, "one man's trash is another man's treasure." If you have something you don't need that could still be useful to someone else, you offer it on your local Freecycle Yahoo! Group list. If you want something, you ask for it on the list. Like this:
  • OFFER: baby clothes OR mop head OR rocker/recliner OR just about anything else (Location)

  • WANTED: women's size 8 boots OR music stand OR queen size bed OR whatever (Location)
I've seen anything and everything offered or requested on my local Freecycle group: furniture, clothes, old magazines, bikes, cars that don't run, cars that do run, machines that sorta run, Halloween costume parts, concert tickets, canning jars, dishware, cookware, whatever-ware, even pets (although you should be very careful about that, to make sure your pet finds a good home). You list your location in parentheses at the end of your subject line so people know generally where they'll have to go to pick up your offered whatsit. Sometimes people post pictures of the whatsit they're giving away, but more often they don't (it's not eBay, after all).

Members who are interested in what you have to offer reply to your email and you arrange a time for them to pickup your whatsit. Or if you spot an offer you're interested in, you reply to that person to see if it's still available, and if they pick you (because other people may be emailing about that whatsit, too), you ask when you can pick it up. All very easy. It can be as secure as you want, too--you can always arrange to deliver your Freecycled whatsit at a neutral location rather than at your house.

Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (bless 'em!) and membership is free. To sign up, search Yahoo! Groups with keywords "freecycle" and the name of your town, or go to the main Freecycle website at and either type your city & state in the search box or click "Browse Groups" above the search box.

It's a great way to get otherwise-useful crap out of your house! And, hey, if there's not a Freecycle group in your town, maybe you can start one. Go to to find out how.  :)

1 comment:

Everycat said...

Our Mum loves Freecycle, we've got some brilliant garden stuff from it and also got rid of a lot of old crap, which makes Mum happy that someone found use for it!