Thursday, July 05, 2007

I'm a Freecycling fiend

I joined the Oak Park, Illinois mailing list for Freecycle, one of over 4000 loosely organized groups dedicated to giving away and getting free stuff. Imagine an even more intimate Craigslist without any profit motives.

I've been giving stuff away on Freecycle for a few months now (everything from a too-tall dresser to a six-pack of Pedialyte), but I never seemed to have the quick trigger finger necessary to nap someone else's goodies. Until now. I was second in line for a Boppy pillow and a bag full of nursing bras, and when the first Freecycler failed to show up, I scored. Surprisingly enough, the bras are in good shape and they fit, saving me somewhere in the neighborhood of $100!

While many Freecyclers give away items of value, it is also a good way to find takers for stuff you might otherwise place in the trash. Think about it--there's no reason foam packing peanuts and moving boxes can't get a couple more uses before they're destined for the dump or recycling center. And plenty of folks use Freecycle to find the materials they need for hobbies and craft projects. I've seen offer and wanted postings for clean baby food jars, plant cuttings and leftover wood, sand and mulch.

It's sites like this that demonstrate the community-building powers of the internet and reinforce my faith in humanity. Hurray for Freecycle!