One of the growing trends, especially as frugality becomes more popular, is freecycling. Freecycling is the practice of giving your stuff away for free in order to avoid adding to a landfill. It’s also possible to find free items when you are part of a freecycling group. Not only is freecycling popular amongst frugalistas, but it is also popular because it is also generally considered environmentally friendly.
How Does Freecycling Work?
While it’s possible to engage in freecycling simply by giving your things away, and taking advantage of items that others are giving away, many people like to join freecycle networks. The idea is simple: If you have an item that you no longer want, that is in good condition, there is a chance that someone else wants. You offer to give it away for free, and space is saved in the landfill.
On the flip side, if you want something, before you buy it and participate in the further depletion of natural resources, or add to pollution, you can check to see if someone else has the item used, and is willing to give it away for free. Instead of a perfectly usable item going to the landfill, it finds a new life with a good owner.
Where Can You Freecycle?
It is, of course, possible to freecycle in your town. You can set up your own group in your local area, and encourage swap meets, or run a list that others can refer to. If you don’t want to set up your own group, you can check to see if there are already freecycle groups near you. Some of the sites that help freecyclers find each other include:
- Recycling Group Finder
- Freecycling Group Finder
Freecycle.org is the premier freecycling web site, and it includes groups all over the world, including several in Canada. Additionally, it’s often possible to participate in freecycling via Craigslist. Sometimes, you can find locals who list items for free, and you can place your own free items in a Craigslist ad.
Helping the Environment through Freecycling
Of course, one of the keys to a sustainable lifestyle is to avoid making more trash. Continually buying new things only promotes further degradation of the environment. Additionally, throwing away items in landfills pollutes your community. If something can be used again, there is no reason to throw it out.
For best effect, join a local freecycle group so that you don’t have to drive long distances, or ship an item in the mail. When you can keep it local, you are following practices that are more eco-friendly.
16 thoughts on “What is Freecycling?”
I was on a local freecycling email list a few years ago. 90% of the emails were pregnant moms begging for baby items, so I got off of the list. Whenever there was a great item to be scored (used hottub, etc) it was gone within a few minutes of the email going out, making it difficult to get any awesome things either.
I signed up for a freecycling thing a few years ago as well and found that most of the people just had sob stories and wanted free stuff :p The one I signed up for was also not very user-friendly.
I tried freecycling in the past, but found that my email was bombarded with ads… and it was a lot of work to wade through the “junk” to try to find something worthwhile. I’m also a bit of a minimalist… so I really had no need to get anything.
However, I have given away lots of stuff. Everything from a bike, to a pool ladder, stone and sand from the yard etc. etc. I thoroughly enjoy getting rid of stuff!