I've been using an online-based service Freecycle for quite some time now, and I want to share with you because it's pretty cool. The Freecycle Network claims to be made up of 4,749 groups with 6,737,000 members across the globe.
Basically, it's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.
You have to set up a Yahoo! username if you don't have one already, but it's an entirely free service that helps you get rid of things you don't want by matching you with people in your own community who need those items. Or, you can post a "wanted" item, and group members will e-mail or call you with offers. It really is that easy.
First, you'll want to go to the Freecycle home page and search for the city (or county) and state where you live. Don't be surprised when something pops up. Freecycle is everywhere! Click on that group page, and then click view page. You'll be taken to the group page, where you can click the button that says "Join this Group!" You will have to go through a few steps where the group moderator asks a few questions through e-mail to verify you, but after that, you're free to post wanteds or offers on the wall. (Just be smart and meet people for items in public places.)
The basic rules are that everything listed must be free, legal and appropriate for all ages. I check the Lebanon (where I live) and Franklin (where I work) Freecycle pages daily.
Things I've given away:
- When my mom got a new kitchen table, I gave away her old one to a family with two little girls who didn't have a table big enough to eat dinner together.
- Old tennis balls to a teacher for placing on the bottoms of chairs
- Small propane grill good for camping (We used it when we lived in an apartment.)
- Bowling ball with bag
- Portable garment rack
- Small Lexmark printer
- Large Toshiba office printer
I've also gotten some great stuff from Freecycle:
- A working hood to go over our stove
- Three large metal shelves to go in our storage building
- An answering machine for my mom after my dad passed away
Remember the old addage: One man's trash is another's treasure. So, get out of your neighbor's trash can and get Freecycling!