I have just recently discovered the FreeCycle network, and wanted to pass this information along to all of you. If you check the main site you can look for a FreeCycle group that is close to you. I ended up joining 4, I think. I opted to get individual emails, but you can have it sent as a digest, if you don't want your mailbox filled with all the posts.
And what, you ask, is FreeCycle?? It's a place to post items you want to GIVE away, not sell. And it's a place to ASK for stuff you need. So far, I've only been reading, rather than asking or taking, but I find the whole process fascinating. And I do intend to get involved, once I can get myself off my duff and do some serious house uncluttering. You are expected to offer more to Give than to Ask, as that's what keeps it going.
I did answer a request from a lady looking for a cpap machine, with several links to places that sell them at discount online. But she wrote back that someone had already given her one. Considering how much trouble I'm having getting used to my brand new cpap machine, I can imagine lots of people have one they are not using.
It is heartwarming to see that there are so many people with such a spirit of generosity, and also a desire to keep "things" out of our landfills. This is even better recycling than taking things to the Thrift Store!
Although the stuff is not free on Craigslist, we have just recently gotten one of these for our area, so now I try to check there if I need to buy something. The advantage in this is that there is no advertising cost, and the items will be local. This saves all the shipping/handling cost of buying online, and does provide another opportunity to reuse something that someone else is no longer needing.
I remember as a child that all of my hand me downs went to a distant cousin of mine, who lived out in the country. They still used an outhouse, which meant that they were dirt poor as far as I was concerned, and I always was glad to give her my old toys and books. We didn't have any other children in the family to pass our girl's things along to, so their hand me downs always ended up being given to the Thrift Store. I doubt if that was nearly the lesson in generosity for them, compared to actually seeing or knowing the person who would receive the outgrown lovies, as I had been able to do.
FreeCycle would definitely be an easy way to teach today's children the satisfaction of being generous, plus the importance of using our resources wisely. And buying second hand, either at the Thrift Store or from a place like Craigslist, might be a good way to combat the pervasive materialistic attitude of so many of today's youth. And, if we teach our children how to be good stewards of their possessions, we will be more likely to bring up a generation that values living green.
So why not check out the FreeCycle network in your neck of the woods. You might be surprised to find one nearby. Then get busy sending all that stuff you don't use any longer to someone who can make good use of it. It's a Win-Win-Win situation. Win for you - less junk at your house. Win for them - getting something they need for free. And Win for the environment - one less item ending up in a landfill.