The Give and Take of Freecycle

Are you the kind of person who stores up all sorts of things because you think that they might come in handy one day? I’ve got good news for you. Your stuff can come in handy right now. maybe not for you but for someone close by.

I’ve posted about Freecycle before but I figure it’s worth another mention.

What do you do with an old Queen Sized Mattress you no longer need? Find someone who has an even older one and give yours to them. We did through Freecycle.

My dog, Boris, left this world many years ago, so when a Freecycle email arived asking for a dog kennel I volunteered the one that we had sitting behind the shed since Boris died.

Emily needed a three quarter sized guitar for lessons at school. We sent an email and some hours later Pauline was arranging to pick up an old one, free.

We’ve given away all kinds of kitchen appliances as well as other bits and pieces. We’ve got some beautiful roses growing in our garden thanks to a fellow freecycler. I’ve even managed to upgrade or build several computers through Freecycle.

These are just a few examples of how we’ve used Freecycle. It’s a worldwide, free network that helps to keep what some consider to be junk out of landfill.

As they say on their main website,

When you want to find a new home for something — whether it’s a chair, a fax machine, piano, or an old door — you simply send an e-mail offering it to members of the local Freecycle group.

Or, maybe you’re looking to acquire something yourself. Simply respond to a member’s offer, and you just might get it. After that, it’s up to the giver to decide who receives the gift and to set up a pickup time for passing on the treasure.

We’ve responded to pleas for various items, accepted offers, and posted details of items we’ve needed.

I’ve seen everything on our local Freecycle group from a car or two through to clothes, books, plants, pets and a lot more.

If you’re looking to unclutter or there’s something you need, why not check out Freecycle for a group in your area?

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • What a cool idea, I just threw 4 bags of Liams baby stuff in the Sammy’s bins yesterday, if I knew before I could have passed it on. Some stuff I kept for my best friend who hopes to fall pregnant this year, gave a few things to my neighbour and the rest just went. I was so amazed that I had kept it all, ever since he was born, we were hoping for a 2nd but then decided against it. My heart was quite sore to see it all go, it felt so final LOL. But I know the Sammy’s bins are a good cause also.

  • I’ve used Freecycle! Not yet to give anything away (I’ve too recently moved out of home for that) but I managed to get a folder for uni. My local freecycle group has gone independant – I can’t remember why. So there are other ‘freecycle’ ideas out there!

  • I started using freecycle after you introduced it last and it’s great! Gave away an old computer I haven’t used in years, and some other stuff I don’t need that’s been cluttering my place.
    Thanks for blogging about it! =)

  • Bartercycle is a takeoff of that idea and you are allowed to sell (or trade) items there rather than just giving for free if you’ve got something of more value.

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