Do you Freecycle™? It’s not a new exercise class, or a way to ride a bike. It’s a free way to make sure that stuff you don’t want or need anymore goes to a good home instead of ending up in a landfill. The saying, “Someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure,” proves true. And you’re helping the environment.
You can also use Freecycle to acquire things you want but don’t want to pay for or, in this economy, can’t afford.
Pros: The recipient picks the item up. You can make someone’s day…recipients have been so happy to get what I’ve Freecyled. You can Freecycle things you can’t donate…like a can of paint or even half a bottle of shampoo. I’ve Freecycled a shopping bag (5 lbs) of unused computer, phone and TV/VCR cords and cables, which was better and certainly easier than trying to find a place to recycle them. Freecycling can be fast…sometimes you offer an item, promise it within minutes and have it taken the same day. It’s a great way to regift…I was given a laptop bag that was too big and heavy for me, but the recipient was thrilled to have it for her son.
Cons: You will receive a lot of emails, even if you go on digest. A surprising number of people will want what you don’t, and sometimes it’s hard to choose who to give the item to. (I usually go with the first responder so I don’t have to decide between heartfelt explanations.) Sometimes you’ll make pickup arrangements, and the person doesn’t show up or call to say why…taking up your time. There may be items you take the time to offer that no one wants: I offered but still have a Radio Shack phone battery I neglected to return it in time that was supposed to fit my phone but didn’t.
Other: You’ll need to carefully read the etiquette and posting files and follow all the rules. You’re supposed to offer more things than you want.
You may have items you’d rather donate, for tax benefits. But if you have things you no longer need, consider joining your local Freecycle group.