The joy of Freecycling


Let’s try and get away from the smell of…you know what…and try to move towards the smell of…patchouli!

What’s he on about?” you say. “That sewer gas has gone to his head.” you say.

But it hasn’t.

What I’m talking about is a remarkable little scheme called FreeCycle, which is website that helps people to give away stuff they no longer need or want to people who do need or want it. And, of course, it works the other way, too – you can look or ask for stuff (for free – no money ever changes hands) that you might want.

Sounds very hippy, doesn’t it? (hence the earlier patchouli reference) but unlike, say, a massive didgeridoo jam session, this is one hippy idea that works really well.

You have to sign up first, but unless you specifically ask to receive lots of junk mail you won’t get any (and do remember to sign up to your local FreeCycle – there are sites for most parts of the country). 

Then if you have something to get rid of you advertise it on the site: just about anything, provided it’s legal; from computer bits to fence posts to baby clothes to books – even cars! – you put it on the site and see if there’s somebody out there who wants it; and if they do you arrange a time for them to come and pick it up.

It’s the same if you want/need something – you put a message on the site saying that you’re looking for such-and-such, and with a little bit of luck someone will contact you to say they’ve been trying to get rid of such-and-such.

It’s a beautifully simple idea that works remarkably well. We just got a load of paving slabs for our back garden, but we’ve also gotten a few bits and bobs for Millie, and given away some fencing and all the strong removal boxes from when we moved house (which saved us a trip to the local dump, helped out a lady who was about to move house herself and made us feel virtuous for “recycling” all that cardboard).
But the best thing is that everyone on FreeCycle seems, without exception, to be absolutely lovely. Whether giving or taking, people are always really really nice. Honestly, it fair lifts my heart just thinking about it…

So the next time you’re thinking of burning those ugly old dining room chairs or going down the tip to get rid of those unused bathroom tiles – or perhaps you’re dreading going to B&Q to try and buy some paving slabs for the back garden – then why not give FreeCycle a try first? It don’t cost nothin’… 😉

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