I learned about Freecycle when my husband and I first moved out to Halifax, Nova Scotia. During my unpacking I discovered quite a few things that I really didn’t want to hang onto any longer. I know it makes much more sense to make these decisions during the packing stage (less to move!) but with pregnant mommy brain at the time, this didn’t happen. I’m much more organized this time around.
In any case, the thought of throwing out all the “stuff” I had accumulated over the years just wasn’t an option for me. I grew up in a family that loved to garage sale. We loved having them and frequenting them. Unfortunately, I’ve lived in an apartment most of my adult life and it’s rather tough to have a garage sale without, well, a garage (or driveway, or walkway!). Not to mention the fact that this was November and I don’t think I would have gotten very many passerbys. I started looking online for local places to unload my stuff and came across Freecycle. You know that awe-inspiring music that’s heard in movies when you’ve “seen the light”? Well, you can insert that here.
Freecycle was started in 2003 in Tucson, Arizona to promote waste reduction and help save desert landscape from being taken over by landfills. The Network provides individuals and non-profits an electronic forum to “recycle” unwanted items. The Freecycle concept has since spread to over 50 countries, where there are thousands of local groups that have more than a million members. It’s truly a grassroots wildfire of people helping people by changing the world one gift at a time. As a result, approximately 50 tons of garbage a day is being kept out of landfills.
By giving freely with no strings attached, members of The Freecycle Network help instill a sense of generosity of spirit as they strengthen local community ties and bonds. People from all walks of life have joined together to turn trash into treasure. Over the past few weeks, while packing for our move back to Ontario, we’ve passed on furniture to friends, clothing to community members, toys to those who needed them more than us, office odds and ends to local small businesses and even food to a non-profit group that collects it for the homeless.
During your spring-cleaning this year you might consider participating in this fabulous movement. There really are no strings attached. I promise! To find a Freecycle Network near you, visit http://www.freecycle.org.