Saturday, June 7, 2008


Melanie from Bean Sprouts has posted today about joining your local Freecycle group. I couldn't agree more. Freecycle is a great way to get items you need or want for free, as well as a great way to get rid of things you don't need anymore and saving them from the landfill.

One thing I wanted to add to Melanie's excellent post, is that you don't HAVE to get a bunch of emails. In Yahoo Groups (which you must join to participate), you can opt for digest emails, which group together 25 or so posts in one email. Or you can opt out of emails altogether.

Here are some of the things I've recently gotten from other local Freecyclers - a big bag of blue jeans to wear and for crafts, an old manual typewriter for the kids to mess around with, some old blue canning jars and tons more.

Some things I've given away on Freecycle include clothing (both good and worn, although I disclose if clothing needs some extra care before use), packing paper, moving boxes, old towels for pet bedding, etc.

As a receiver, you never know what you can get, so it's worth asking. As Melanie points out, it's generally bad form to ask for luxury items, but this may vary depending on your location. We live in a somewhat affluent area, so asking for, say, an older digital camera is not necessarily seen as bad manners here.

And as a giver, you never know what people want. So again, worth asking!

Once you're in the group for a while, you get a feel for which items are popular and definitely worth your time listing.

Make sure you read your group's rules. Each group's moderators determine limits on things permitted. For example, our group does not allow animals to be traded on the group. They used to disallow plants, but reversed that decision.

Once you've signed up, head over to Bean-Sprouts and vote in Melanie's poll!

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