Thursday, March 5, 2009

To Freecycle is to get free stuff

Posted By on Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Like free stuff? Have piles of things you'd like to donate to charity, but are too lazy to load your vehicle and haul it all away? Then Freecycle is for you. With 4,691 groups and almost 6.5 million members, you're bound to find something you like in your area. The Charlotte group, alone, boasts over 12,000 members.)

This grassroots, non-profit movement was started nearly six years ago in Arizona by Deron Beal. He conjured the idea while helping another non-profit organization with their recycling services. He thought, instead of getting rid of perfectly usable — or restore-able — stuff, why not see if someone could use it instead?

And, that's what Freecycle is all about: reusing stuff instead of pitching it. Not only are you keeping your junk out of our landfills, you're helping community members save a buck and, who knows, you might find a treasure yourself.

Need stuff? All you have to do is say you want something that's already listed — or let people know you're in the market for something particular — wait for the OK from the owner and go pick it up. For FREE. That's right F-R-E-E. But, that means you can't charge for your stuff either. If you post something on Freecycle, you're agreeing to give it away and ask for nothing in return. Remember: "free" is the key word. And, there's one more rule. Members are not allowed to sell stuff they receive through Freecycle. That's just not cool.

To get involved, find the Freecycle group nearest you and join their Yahoo! email group. A word of caution, though: Unless you just love sorting through tons of e-mail, sign up for their daily digest or visit the group when you want to either look for something you need or post an item of your own to give away.

Click here for groups in North Carolina and here for South Carolina groups. What are you waiting for? Free is free, and it's a great way to both lend your neighbor a hand and be sweet to Mother Earth.

Eric at RealWorldGreen.com explains more*:

Note: Since Eric's post, the group has grown by several million more members and the organization has expanded to 10 additional countries.

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