If you like to recycle, you are going to love FreeCycle, as in www.FreeCycle.org. It’s a cyber swat-meet, if you will.
Maybe you remember “swap meets.” They used to be held at drive-in movie theaters, where I grew up in Kansas City. Folks would show up, open their trunks or the backs of their station wagons and give stuff away. Or swap for somebody else’s junk. A radio station in K.C. also hosted audio swap meets every weekend.
Today, it’s more common to go to flea markets and garage sales, where secondhand stuff is sold instead of given away or traded.
I’m really dating myself.
Anyway, FreeCycle is a network of nonprofit sites around the world. They all trace their roots to Tucson, Ariz., where a recycling group in 2003 wanted to create a way to keep perfectly good items from clogging the landfill.
Visit the Web site, type in “Colorado Springs” and it will direct you to site on the Yahoo Groups. The local site looks like this:
It’s a place to ask for stuff or advertise it. It’s free. And it seems the most important rule is that no guilt trips are allowed. In other words, no begging for stuff. FreeCycle is about reducing the volume of trash entering landfills, not charitable giving.
That said, it’s a great place for folks on a budget to pick up free stuff. Or to unload stuff you’ve outgrown or don’t want anymore but you hate to simply throw away.
Here’s what a typical page looks like:
As you can tell, you can get everything from a ferret kennel to tire chains to a broken TV on FreeCycle. It’s kind of like looking in my garage!