Saturday, June 07, 2008

Freecycle Challenge

June's challenge is to join your local Freecycle group. When you join Freecycle, you join a mailing list. You'll get lots of emails each day but you don't have to read them so don't worry. The subject lines will say things like:
OFFERED: fridge-freezer, Chorlton
If you want a free fridge freezer and you can get to Chorlton, you can reply to the email and ask for the item. If the person offering the fridge freezer gets lots of replies, they will choose who to offer it to (it's up to them how to choose - first-come first-served, pick a reply out of a hat, anything they like). You could end up with a free fridge freezer, or all kinds of other weird and wonderful items.

It's nice to use it the other way as well. If you have a load of old books you want to declutter, a piece of furniture perhaps or an old lawnmower, you can offer it on Freecycle and somebody is sure to come and take it away. Saves you the trouble of going to the dump or the charity shop yourself.

Finally you can post WANTED ads. It's bad form to ask if anyone has a Porsche Cayenne they don't want with at least six months road tax and a full MOT. But if you want an old hose pipe, some paving slabs or a cat carrier - the sort of thing people might have knocking about unwanted - it doesn't hurt to ask. Just today I gave someone two pumpkin plants because hers had been eaten by slugs. I deliberately sowed too many as an insurance policy against that sort of disaster, so I was happy to share.

Here's a random selection of items offered in my local Freecycle group today:
  • Bath taps
  • Ikea TV Stand & matching Hi-fi stand
  • large rectangular dining table & 4 chairs
  • 3 Dimplex Radiators
  • 120 concrete garden-wall bricks, reconstituted sort
  • toddler garden swings &rabbit hutch
  • dozens of Bone china tea-plates
It's very easy to find your local Freecycle group. Just visit the Freecycle web site and type your location into the search panel in the middle of the screen. You need to have an email address, and a Yahoo account, but this is free and it's very quick and easy to sign-up. Once you've joined, read the rules of the group (how many times a week you can post WANTED requests, whether it's allowable to offer pets, things like that), and you can get started.

If you don't want to join Freecycle for some reason, or there is no group in your area, there are lots of alternative free recycling groups.

Don't forget to vote in the poll in the right-hand sidebar when you've completed this challenge.

16 comments:

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

I not only joined my local Freecycle Group but I help moderate it as well.

You don't have to receive lots of individual e-mails - I know this puts a lot of people off Freecycle when they first join - you can amend your profile to receive either a daily digest or to not receive e-mails at all and just view the offers/wanted on the website.

Daphne said...

I find your timing amusing. I joined Freecycle four days ago. The daily digest is a great way to go.

dottyspots said...

The one problem can be lack of transport. I can't drive and dh is usually working, so it's really hard for me to pick things up, which is a shame as there's the odd thing that would be really useful!

However, I have rehomed various items (including wheeling a tandem buggy up to the local school as the person who contacted me for it only lives round the corner).

So I've made friends (2) through Freecycle :0)

The Organic Viking said...

I have to say that while Freecycle is a great idea, I was a member of my local one for about six months, during which time I responded for any number of things (a close friend was about to have her first baby), yet pretty much no-one ever responded to my emails, even to say that the item was already taken. In the end I became rather disillusioned and left the group. So can I encourage people to reply to all requests, even if only to say 'sorry, you're too late'!

Woody Wilbury said...

Freecycle is v good indeed. I got rid of an old (good, but old) settee and acquired a very serviceable large filing cabinet (saving myself £90 in the process).

But Daily Digest of emails is definitley the way to go or your in box fills up with people offering a black bag of assorted coat hangers - I kid you not!

Sharon J said...

Long live Freecycle.

I've received a free-standing cooker (my old one gave up the ghost), a ceramic hob (for the new kitchen when it's finished), a breadmaker, books, and more. I've also passed on a range of bits and bobs.

The only problem with our local group is that there are far more 'wanted' ads than 'offered' ads. Some days there's hardly anything offered whereas there are dozens of people wanting stuff.

Mara said...

I started our local Freecycle! :D

Skipweasel said...

I've got rid of loads of stuff on FreeCycle. Often it's stuff that other people have put in my trailer for me to take to the dump. I should explain...many of my neighbours don't have cars and find it hard to dispose of large items like mattresses and dead sofas, so I let them put it in my trailer and when it's full I dump it. Except that often I repair what's in there and FreeCycle it. This year I've rehomed a sofa, mower, guillotine, strimmer, typewriter, door closer, weed fabric, scanner, several printers, a telly and stand and loads of other stuff.

Last week I got about a ton and a half of topsoil!

Stonehead said...

I enjoyed Freecycle in its early days, but I gave up on one group entirely and usually ignore the other I'm on as they're now infested by the "I want free stuff" brigade. They either post huge amounts of Wanteds (for cars, televisions, boats, computers, games consoles, etc) or respond very fast to offers, only to turn down items as not new enough, good enough or fashionable enough. About two thirds of the posts on the group I still subscribe to are Wanteds.

Lisa Sharp said...

I love freecycle!

I have given 3 things away so far and just listed another item. :)

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