‘One man’s junk is another man’s treasure’ is a phrase most of us are familiar with and if you’re into recycling and/or want to save money, the Freecycle Network is the place where you can give away and even pick up stuff for free.
Nothing Is Ever Free, Or Is It?
The Freecycle Network is an entirely non-profit group of members who basically give away and/or get things for free. The whole idea behind the program is to recycle or reuse good quality items that would otherwise end up in landfills and rubbish tips. Later, the whole concept would be aimed at people helping people by ‘changing the world one gift at a time.’
The History behind the Freecycle Network
Back in 2003, while working for a non-profit organisation, Deron Beal took completely good items that would normally have be thrown away and drove around looking to find if other non-profits could use them. Realising that there had to be an easier way; he founded the Freecycle Network in Tucson, Arizona. Initial membership started at 40 and now, this global sharing network is currently made up of 4,951 groups comprising of 8,517,852 members, a figure that is constantly expanding on a daily basis.
The Freecycle Network also operates in all the Australian states with each local group overseen and moderated by volunteers, and most importantly, membership is free. Signing up is a breeze – all you do is find your community using the search box and follow the instructions to join. Once you’ve become a member, it’s as simple as accessing your local Yahoo Group to view what items are being given away, or to post something that you may want to give. For the Freecycle Network to function properly, all items posted must be free.
In the interest of keeping the concept on the right track, there are of course some restrictions to what you can give away. These include:
- No pornography!
- No alcohol
- No tobacco
- No drugs (of any kind, including all medicines, vitamins, creams, etc.)
- No firearms or other weapons
Freecycle Network Guidelines
Given that people are willing to join the Freecycle Network and give away stuff for free to make the world a better place, it’s essential that a few guidelines be followed. These people are essentially volunteers, so be nice to everyone that is a member of the network.
Assume that any goods should be picked up within three days after an offer is made. You’re getting something for free from another Freecycle member so try and work out a suitable time that best accommodates them to pick up your item/s. When you do organise a time, be punctual, it’s only polite. Please remember that Freecycle members are, after all, giving you something for nothing without expecting anything in return, so common courtesy prevails.
Bear in mind that there are some safety issues you may also need to address. If someone is coming to pick something up from you, they are essentially a stranger coming to your house and Freecycle accepts no responsibility for this risk. The network does advise that you either conduct the handover in a public place, or leave the item/s outside without indicating whether or not you’ll be home during the pickup.
But having faith in society is the driving power that leads members of the Freecycle Network to give freely with no strings attached. Not only does it help instil a sense of generosity, it also strengthens local communities while promoting environmental sustainability at the same time. So if you think the days of getting something for free are over, join the Freecycle Network and together, you can help turn trash into treasure while having fun.
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Category: Eco Friendly