I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to blog about Freecycle. I’ve been doing it for almost a year now and I think it’s wonderful. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the program, it’s a way for us to better our environment, and save much needed space in our landfill, by donating (or “offering” as it’s called on Freecycle) our unwanted items rather than throwing them in the garbage.
“Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” Instead of increasing the demand for nearly-impossible-to-recycle objects (like TVs or unused gallons of paint), Freecycle allows these items’ owners to offer them on the local Freecycle group. So instead of becoming another item stacked on the pile of garbage at your local landfill, it becomes something someone else can reuse.
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” I think about this every time I go to throw something in my garbage now–is this something someone else could use? To date I’ve given away 100+ books, 50+ DVDs, 250+ VHS tapes, a large Rubbermaid tote of blankets and sheets, and three large moving boxes of clothes. I’ve also Freecycled scrap metal and wood, shoes, miscellaneous household decorations and knick knacks that were just clutter in my home and/or garage. All of these things just didn’t have a place in my new house.
My favorite Freecycled items include:
- my large, working A/C unit (collecting dust on my garage floor) that a woman gave to her daughter who was a new mother and had no A/C in her apartment;
- a working dishwasher that we removed when we remodeled my kitchen;
- an automatic cat litter box, which was hotter than gold I tell ya;
- a broken sump pump my landscaper asked if he could have during one visit, which he informed me he could get money for at a junk yard so I gave it to him after he promised it wouldn’t end up in the landfill;
- and my favorite of all was the five large moving boxes of toys that we Freecycled to a woman who said all of her daughter’s toys had to be thrown away because of mold contamination in their prior home.
It felt so good to help these people by simply giving away what I wasn’t using.
All of these good feelings didn’t cost me anything but a little of my time, plus I helped the people who took my items and our planet–well worth it!!
With spring just around the corner, I’ll begin my 2nd Annual Spring Cleaning for Freecycle project. I cleared out so much space last spring and summer that I know this year’s project will finish me off…for at least another year 🙂 I’m looking forward to offering some more clothes, books and several miscellaneous objects like a four phone-answering machine system and a bookshelf that was broken during shipping. “Broken?” you ask. Yep, it’s broken in half but I know someone in my local groups will be able to use that by either fixing it or making something new out of the wood. Isn’t that awesome?
So what are you waiting for? Start a pile for Freecycle today. Or don’t wait for a pile. If you have a single item that you’re thinking of throwing in the trash or has been taking up space (the evil clutter magnet) for far too long–OFFER it! You’ll be surprised how quickly your items get TAKEN!