Monday, October 26, 2009

one mans trash...

I participate with the local Freecycle program.

You've heard of it?
No? You're kidding.

They have Freecycle groups all over the globe. There are currently over 4,800 groups with 6 million plus members.

And it's free.
Yup. You heard me correctly...FREE.

You know how I love me the 'free' word...

The Freecycle Network is a way to keep useful items out of the landfills and keep out landscape clean. Promoting reuse. It connects people with stuff to give away to people who need it and can use it. A grassroots nonprofit Craig's list of sorts.

If you've got stuff in your basement that you know you're never going to use again, don't have the time or energy to put it up on eBay or have a garage sale...Freecycle is the way to go.

You can either offer things, or ask for things.

Now, of course, there are those that push it a bit. Which irritates me just a tad. Asking for cell phones, snow blowers or new washers and dryers. The best the other day someone had the gall to ask for white lace curtains and a Mac laptop.
Yeah, right.

"Oh, I've not using this $3000 computer, I'll just give it away to a random person."

I'm all for helping out, people, but c'mon. I want a snow blower and a Mac, but I'm not going to put a post up that asks for one. Please.

There are those really in need that can utilize the stuff that you were just going to throw away. I used to give a lot to Goodwill Industries. But with recent news about the executives salaries and how much gets pilfered before hitting their shelves, I found another source of charitable donations. Keeping it closer to home.

For instance, today I offered some GNC vitamins that I can't take. They were expensive. The women's mega vitamin packs, but I can't take 6 big pills each morning. It makes me gag.
I do not want to gag the first thing in the morning. Voluntarily or otherwise.

But I'm not the type to take them back. They've been opened. I used some.
So what to do? Throw them away?
Nah.

I put them up on Freecycle.

And within 3 minutes someone replied with, "Hey, I can use those."

So BAM. Out on the porch they go with Kathy's name on them.

Scott came by today to pick up the old office phones that had been collecting dust on their boxes in the basement. Michelle picked up a pair of my daughters outgrown muck-muck's. Danielle will be by tomorrow to pick up for her daughter Boo's running shoes. And then I got a bag of gourds and a big 4x6 piece of sandstone for my garden.

I give. I get.

Cool.

And nothing goes into the landfills. It's my little way of helping my fellow man and the Mother Earth at the same time.

Double cool.

I could add a triple cool, a quadruple cool and more...but you get the idea.

It makes me feel like I'm really helping out my fellow humans and my community. Last year I had a compiled a box of stuff that I no longer needed. Some of the items were gifts that had been given to me that I never had used. They weren't for me, but I knew someone might appreciate them. I started up a e-mail correspondence with this woman who was going to come by to get some a few of my daughters toys that she no longer played with. She was going to wrap them for one of her daughters for Christmas. I happened to find out through our correspondence that she had 5 children. I asked ages and put together a box of things that had gifts for each of her children. Stuff that I just had around taking up space.

She was quite delighted to be able to give gifts that Christmas. Especially at a time when she and her husband wouldn't have been able to afford that luxury. And it made me feel good. About myself.

It's about extending a helping hand. I know that my contribution may be small, but every little bit counts. And helps. I would hope that someday because I've helped another, if one day I'm the one that needs help, someone will extend their hand.

It's the pay it forward mentality. I believe it. I try to live it.

So can you join a Freecycle? Yeah, I bet you can. There's tons of them out there. You can click right here to get to the home page. From there you can search your city to see if a group already exists. And if it doesn't, you can start one up.
You know the saying, "One mans trash is another mans treasure." It's true.
Did I mention it's free?

Free.
I just love that word...
:-)



59 comments:

  1. I LOVE freecycle!!! Its one of my favorite places to virtual visit!!

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  2. I've heard of it, but I've never used it. Sounds like a great deal, though. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the reminder. :)

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  3. I'm going there today.
    And
    I'm number 2?? Is that EVEN possible?
    I wish I had something witty and awesome to say.
    Damn.

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  4. You're doing something great there for our beloved earth, mother nature and to mankind.. =)

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  5. don't you think it's kind of scary to have strangers come to your home?

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  6. I'll give it a try. Great tip!

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  7. OMG! There is actually a group in Prague! Wow, thanks, Nancy... I guess my week-end's planned now: digging and compiling. :o)

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  8. I'm going to have to look up Freecycle around here. Oh,and I had no idea about Goodwill. Looks like they're not getting anymore of my stuff either.

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  9. Love Freecycle! My son's dresser, a nice wooden rolling cart, and a Little Tykes basketball net are just a couple of our Freecycle aquisitions. As far as giving, it's way easier to set up than a garage sale, and I like to know that things have a home and won't be collecting the Goodwill smell. What's with THAT anyway?

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  10. This is not related to your post (and I will read it later!) but I have an award for you on my blog. If your into that sort of thing (and who isn't?)

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  11. Gosh I love anything for free. I'm a Scotsman - a Scot loves a bargain of any sort.

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  12. I hadn't heard of this! It is fantastic. I have a million toys I'm sure someone could use.

    much love and thanks for sharing...

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  13. Another great network for recycling and reusing this way is the ReUseIt Network.

    Also around the world, ReUseIt groups are owned and operated on a community level; therefore, all the groups are tailored to the community - not a coporation and it's rules.

    For the community approach, come and visit the ReUseIt Network at www.reuseitnetwork.org

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  14. I will have to check that out! Hope it's in our area.

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  15. I think I'll put my entire attic on Freecycle! It's the only way it's ever going to get cleaned out!

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  16. I usually just put "free" on the box and place it at the end of my driveway, but I like the idea of being able to fulfill a specific need. I'm heading over to check it out now.

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  17. Is there a way to participate without having strangers come to your house? I think it's a great idea, but that is a concern.

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  18. FREE! Love it! I have to check it out now :)

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  19. Thanks. That's a great thing to know about. I will go check it out.

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  20. I googled and got to know that these people are ultra-inactive in my city.....though this is my city's problem of being small and low profile..

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  21. That is good to know, I checked it out and joined my local group. Thanks!

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  22. @JenJen - HA! You ended up #3, but that's still pretty darn good!
    :-)

    @ Sharon and Jen - No. I've nver heard of any problems with people coming to the houses to pick up. I CAN see your point, but I've not heard of anything ever happening. I'm sure you could arrange to drop off if you'd like. Or ask the mediator of the group of any potential problems before joining.

    @Dan - FOR ME?! An award? I'll be right over!
    :-)

    Thanks to EVERYONE foryour comments! You DO KNOW that I read each and every one of them. It's like my life blood.
    So thank you thank you thank you for allowing me to live another day!
    :-)

    Nancy

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  23. Awesome post, I have never heard of this and am now on my way to check it out!
    Cheers,
    C

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  24. Nope - never heard of it. Just signed up with my local group and I think I ended up with a pile of shoes just my size. Whoo hoo! I have a whole PILE of stuff I've just been waiting to give my sisters, I'm thinking freecycle might be the way to go.

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  25. my husbands motto is "if it's free it's for me, if I have to pay I stay away!"

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  26. I JUST found out about Freecycle and became a member of my local grop about an hour before I saw this blog posting...craziness! I have a feeling I am SO going to love freecycle...maybe a bit too much for someone who should be focused on her desk and her work at this very moment...

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  27. That's pretty cool of you Nancy. I always new you were a humanitarian. I applaud you.

    But where I work, one man's trash is also another man's trash. haha:)

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  28. I've been doing Freecycle for about a year now. Awesome program! I am in a small- to midsized- town, and I love the sense of community in addition to everything you have mentioned above. I'm always telling people about it...good job getting the name out there! :)

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  29. Have heard of this and there is one in my area although I have never used it. I rarely throw things out ~ although I am really not a pack rat ~ I send a lot to charity. Great eye opening post Nancy!

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  30. And wanted to add ~ thank you for the wonderful comments you have left for me ~ they mean the world.

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  31. This is a great idea. Thank you for leting me know. Wish i had thought of it.

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  32. I sure wish I would have known of this organization when we were downsizing and getting rid of our stuff before we hit the road. We had a dismal garage sale, and practically had to PAY people to take our stuff away. We did donate to the Veterans. Also donated 650 books to the library. So, I don't feel too bad! Thanks for this tip - I'm checking it out now!

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  33. Wow, I had never heard of that organization before. Thanks, I will see if they have one in our area. Good for you, sounds like you made that families Christmas.

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  34. i LOVE freecycle and have been freecycling for several years. it is great that you are giving it a plug. less stuff in landfill and in use. less stuff bought etc...
    those of you who are concerned about folks coming to your home??? do you live in the middle of a warzone or dangerous place? or have you been taken in by some fear campaign? are the people in your area that bad? you get to choose who collects and they don't come into your home and are trackable. i have given many items on freecycle and conversed with many other freecyclers and the worst issues i have exerienced or heard spoken of are 'no shows'. give it a try and see for yourself.

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  35. I too want a Mac... Can i get it there on freecycle... :P

    Gosh, I m gonna check this out for sure...

    Mac on sale... :P

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  36. I've heard of this! My boyfriend is moving here from Colorado (to Laguna Beach) and my apartment can't even fit my second chin, let alone his stuff. We need Freecycle to unload! Thanks, Beauty! :)

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  37. You are awesome! Thanks for sharing this info.

    You'd think that I'd already know about Freecycle given that I live in Alaska, but we aren't always as concerned with the well-being of Mother Earth up here as we would like for you to believe. (Last fall may have been an eye-popper on that front...)

    Anyhoo, I have stacks of stuff I don't wanna toss because I know someone can use it.
    Thanks again!

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  38. We bought a table on eBay years back, then gave the chairs away on Freecycle. The woman was profoundly grateful and that in itself was the greatest reward. Much better than some cash.

    It's a great concept - we don't use it anywhere near as often as we should.

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  39. I agree about goodwill. Never heard of Freecycle, I will check them out. I donate everything to CASA it either goes to their safehouses or their used but not abused store. This sounds like another good option. Thanks.

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  40. I have heard of the site multiple times but never visited. Must check it out.

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  41. My friend did a 'freecycle' type party. Everyone came over with stuff they didn't use or want and we picked #s out of a hat and could pick anything we wanted.

    I scored some great steak knives and some brita water filters while sipping a yummy drink.

    Whatever wasn't taken had to leave with the owner at the end of the evening.

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  42. freecycle is one of the most altruistic things I've ever seen on the Internet. Anyone who believe in the power of recycling should do it :)

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  43. I made my wife stop to get an office chair over the weekend. Someone had it in front of their house, with a note that said "free".

    I drive her nuts.

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  44. I love free stuff, and this is a great idea!

    Pearl

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  45. I've never heard of this before! Thank you for sharing the information. My husband and I do the garage sales and we barter on Craig's List. He doesn't believe in just "throwing stuff away." I think he'd like this idea a lot! Thank you!

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  46. You're right, freecycle is absolutely awesome.

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  47. Phew! I am EXHAUSTED clicking to the bottom of this page....wading through all those comments.....

    I'll have to rest and then I'll check it out.

    You're such a good girl! Smart idea, great for the planet!

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  48. Interesting. I have lots of useless crap I can shower on other people!

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  49. Yeah, freecycle is terrific, and props to you for helping that family out, and making their Christmas so much better than it might have been. Good people do good works. Nice going!

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  50. Hi Nancy,

    I'm visiting via The Jules. Thank you very much for the Freecycle link. There happens to be one in my nearby geography.

    U

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  51. OMG! I am new to the blogging . . . but!! I just wrote about getting my house together and what happens (you've got to read the blog to understand this) through my procrastination process I start reading your blog and I think some of my problems are over. I will check out this site. Thank you so much!!!

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  52. Guess what? I do have an old mac to give away . . . go figure!!! Thanks again. ;-)

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  53. Freecycle is a great program. If I wasn't so attached to the junk in my house, I'd give it a try.

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  54. Very good article! If you have time, just have a look at http://aaareplicawatch.blogspot.com!

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  55. Very good article! If you have time, just have a look at http://goodwatches.blog.com!

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  56. but I've never used it. Sounds like a great deal, though. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the reminder. :) Work From Home

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  57. Wow! I've never heard of this, but it sounds really cool. I'm definitely going to have to go check it out. I'm quite the fan of Craig's List, but I'm an even bigger fan of "free."

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Do it. Do it NOW!
:-)