Monday, February 22, 2010

ON FUN ~ The Giving Tree...

Of course you are familiar with the children's book "The Giving Tree" - about the tree who gives so much to the little boy throughout his life, providing an example of the virtue of giving. Although now that I think of it, other than his awfully demanding company, the boy never really gave anything back to the tree. The tree would have been a big fan of the site Freecycle. The little boy would need some practice learning to do more than take however.

Freecycle was created in Tucson, Arizona in 2003 and has since blossomed into a world wide movement of sorts, where people offer up items for free to other members in their local community, keeping things from accumulating in our landfills and reducing wasteful production. It also helps those in need, and is great incentive for spring cleaning. (Spring is coming soon - don't try to tell me otherwise)

By signing up at Freecycle you can find the group nearest where you live. Or if there isn't one, you can start one. The groups themselves reside on Yahoo and you will need to join the group separately through Freecycle.

Have you got a spare toaster oven sitting in your basement collecting dust? Post it on your local Freecycle group. Someone interested will come on over and take it off your hands, for free. In need of a stroller? Post the request on your local Freecycle group and chances are someone near you will have one available, for free.

It isn't a swap. It isn't free stuff mixed in with cost items. It isn't an auction. It is simply free stuff. Our local Freecycle group had the following items listed just in the last 2 weeks:
  • Furnished Barbie Dreamhouse
  • 4 year old car seat
  • Framed Victorian snow scene artwork
  • 2 year old pillow top Queen mattress
  • Various packaged, unopened medical supplies (oxygen/feeding tube related)
  • Self-help marriage books
  • Wooden toddler desk
  • Clay planters
  • EMS women's hiking boots
  • Assorted gym/canvas bags
  • Logs for firewood
  • Computer keyboard
  • Humidifiers
  • Computer desk & hutch
  • Video games
  • Needlepoint booklets
  • Baby bottles
  • Packaged unopened chopsticks
  • Kids clothing
  • Packing peanuts
  • Cradle

As you can see that is quite a variety of items - all for free - all located within minutes from our home. The hiking boots are my size and sound tempting. So does the free wood for our fireplace. That free mattress was snapped right up - though I'd be a little hesitant about bed bugs myself. And I wish those packing peanuts had been listed a few months ago when I was buying bags of them at Staples for shipping Christmas gifts.

Freecycle is a terrific option for seeing if anyone near you has whatever it is you are searching for (a friend recently scored a pair of ice skates through Freecycle just by posting for them) or for getting rid of those things you hate to toss but don't have time to bring to a donation center or the dump. But be forewarned - if you can't resist a bargain, Freecycle might turn you into a hoarder. If you are trying to come up with craft related projects to justify those chopsticks, you might want to forget all about this post.


Matty said...

I'm intrigued, and on my way to check it out.

jehara said...

That book always makes me tear up at the end.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Interesting. We have a few things that we would put on there. I've tried Craig's List and Ebay and can't sell them, and I don't want to deal with dragging it to Goodwill. Thanks for the tip!

Susan said...

I've gotten rid of a few things on Freecycle, but every time I find something I want, it's already been taken! I need quicker fingers!

Anonymous said...

I just joined the East Cleveland group. Thanks for letting us know about it.
If you ever need packing peanuts I'd be happy to send you as many as you need. I never thrown any away ;)

boliyou said...

I founded my local Freecycle group when I lived in Illinois, and moderated it until we moved to Providence. Now I'm an assistant moderator for the city's Freecycle group. Although it's intended to be an environmental cause, it does have the added benefit of helping out others in the community. Thanks for featuring Freecycle!