When we were kids we lived in a rural area where my dad used to take regular dump runs to throw out our trash. We kids sometimes would go along for the ride and help dad toss stuff from the back of the truck into the heaping pile of steaming garbage, and occasionally drag new junk home in it’s place (much to mom’s disapproval). Well, the Freecycle Network is a present day version of dump recycling – except it’s much cleaner and you dig through a computer site instead of a junk pile. The Freecycle Network is a world-wide phenomenon where people give away stuff – stuff they don’t need/want/use, or they otherwise might throw away – and other people who want it come pick it up. This recycling allows less junk to end up in landfills, so it helps the environment. And it allows a wonderful magic to take place between kind people who give and get freely. People make offers online though their local Freecycle group, and others email them directly saying ‘I can pick that up tomorrow at 10am’ or whatever. It’s a civil and friendly exchange.
I’ve been enjoying the Freecycle Network group in my area for several years now. Some of the things I’ve picked up have included an electric keyboard (the lady had it at a preschool and with the constant pounding/loudness she just wanted it GONE), and crutches (my daughter wanted some to play with and these were old and made of wood – not comfortable for daily use in modern life but perfect for play). One of my favorite things to give away was our Thanksgiving turkey carcass (the ladies who picked it up wanted to make soup and didn’t host Thanksgiving that year and so didn’t have any leftover turkey). I also regularly give away bags of accumulated household clutter (broken crayons, weird shaped packaging, eye dropper bottles, etc.) and it gets picked up for creation station arts and crafts projects.
I feel good because my house is cleaner. Someone else feels good because they found something they could put to good use. The city feels better because items are kept out of landfills. Check out the Freecycle Network here to find or start a group in your area.