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Freecycle is a concept of trying to keep usable goods out of landfills by gifting it to those who need them. Founded by Deron Beal in May 2003, Freecycle is a nonprofit organization to promote waste reduction.

Freecycle appeals to people's thrift, to their green impulses and to their sense of community.


[edit] Why should I be aware of this?

"One Man's Trash Is another Man's Treasure." We throw out things, some of which are in perfectly good condition and others which can be repaired or in some cases ( like an old pair of socks with holes) might no longer be of any use, to reduce clutter in our homes. Some of us are aware that these things go to overcrowded landfills where they take years to decompose.

Apart from being the perfect solution to the landfill problem, Freecycle also helps those in need.

[edit] All about Freecycle

A community gifting movement made up of local and individual city groups, Freecycle promotes reuse through local gifting among their members. Members have the opportunity to give and get items for free. Numerous local nonprofit organizations in each community are also members of local groups. Each group is run by a local moderator and membership is free. To sign up for a Freecycle group, interested users simply need to choose the appropriate region on organisation's website and then find the closest Freecycle group.

To either gift or receive a gift, one needs to subscribe for membership. Each group is run by a local volunteer who is responsible for making sure that the group is used as it is intended. The main rule for these groups is that everything posted must be free and legal.

In 2008, Freecycle had over 5.5 million members across 4,556 communities. In 2007, Freecycle was getting a small cash grant - about $10,000 - and technical assistance, including help from Citizen Agency, a leading Web 2.0 marketing firm.

[edit] Freecycle rules

  • Freecycle gifts have to be legal. This means no moonshine or drug paraphernalia.
  • The gifts must be "family friendly".
  • You're usually allowed to offer a pet to a loving home, but you cannot offer an animal for breeding or other purposes.

[edit] Freecycle and environment

Freecycle not only reduces waste and pressure on overcrowded landfills, the recycle mantra also helps save useful renewable and non renewable resources and additions to greenhouse gases.

[edit] Freecycle and health

The concept of gifting and being of use to someone in needs gives a good and healthy feeling. The removal of clutter from homes also results in a healthy household.

[edit] What can I do?

You can become a member of your local Freecycle group or if no group exists in your area, start a group there. Do not throw away anything that could be potentially reused by someone else

[edit] Useful tips

  • Join a Freecycle group
  • While making an offer, write "offer" in the subject line first.
  • Avoid putting your phone number. Instead ask individuals to email you with their phone number.
  • Always state what area you live in. People need to know whether they have the means to get to your place to pick up the item.
  • Once you have gifted your item, make another posting that saying that it has been gifted.

[edit] Learn/Unlearn

Some volunteers got disgrunted when Freecycle accepted grant from a company which did not have a very environment friendly past record. There were others who did not like promoter Beal's request to be a moderator in their groups. A few left and started similar ventures and others looked for alternatives to Freecycle.

If you want to find alternatives to freecycle to give books, CDs or DVDs, try swap services like Titletrader, Paperbackswap,, Peerflix, or If you want to get rid of cosmetics that turned out to be the wrong color for you etc., try swapping at [1]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  • Freecycle
  • Freecycle
  • Treasure not trash.....freecycle my cycle
  • Waste Lines
  • How the Freecycle Network Works
  • The amazing Freecycle story