Here’s a green idea: Ok it’s hardly new, people the world over have been using it for quite a while, but it’s a relatively new experience for me. It’s Freecycle! Just incase you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s a kind of TradeMe type idea for giving stuff away… Or asking the community if they have something you’re looking for (for free).
Initially I found it quite challenging to get signed up. You have to become a yahoo group member and then work out how to join your local Freecycle group. With two separate attempts and quite a lot of patience I finally worked it out -phew! Others I have spoken to about getting started have reported the same frustrations. But not to be deterred!
Let me be honest here, I signed up with a request in mind… but I was hoping it wasn’t too big an ask. I was looking for some old unused roofing iron -just a couple of sheets- to put a roof over my chickens’ heads. The amazing thing is, I received three answers within hours of posting my request, and all with very generous offers including a bunch of sheets of ColourSteel. So happy lucky me and my now warm and dry chickens. I felt I had really done well but also that that was it for me.
Or so I thought… within the next week, two really unbelievable offers came up. A food processor and an over locker. Somehow or other, my replies to both offers were accepted and I felt like I had won jackpot, and I guess in a way I had really.
So it felt like it was my turn. Just the other day we were clearing out the garage and I managed to get together a pile of things to pop on Freecycle. There were two heaters, a nice old canvas and leather suitcase, a CD rack, two boxes of home-brewing bottles, a stereo, an amp, a cordless phone, and a pet rats cage (animals not included). Within two days seven out of the nine items had found new homes. The best bit was, we felt really good about it and have even started looking for more things we could offer. Since then we’ve added a single bed-frame to our give away list.
A few of our neighbours have been able to share the spoils also, with both the food processor and over locker being loaned out, and I’ve made quite a few jars of pesto which have been widely spread around (pun intended). Then there have been our stitch ‘n’ bitch evenings, two so far, where the over locker has been on offer for anyone who wants to use it.
I had no idea how good it would feel to clear out unused stuff and send it off into the world to meet it’s new owners no questions asked!