My grandfather was a hoarder. He had an entire barn full of rusty old tools. I think I might have inherited some of his hoarding instinct, because I hate throwing stuff away. ‘You never know when you might need it’. Worst of all is throwing away stuff that I think other people could use. But, as I run my business out of my house, space is limited and something has to give.
I recently took a perfectly good 21″ ‘fat-screen’ monitor to the rubbish tip because I didn’t have room for it and I couldn’t find a home for it. Previously I have had major problems finding homes for desks and other equipment that were surplus to requirements. But I have now found a way to avoid consigning serviceable stuff to landfill: www.freecycle.org .
Like most great ideas Freecycle is beautiful in its simplicity.
- You subscribe to your local Freecycle mailing list.
- If you have something you want to give away you post an “offered” email.
- If you see something offered that you are interested in you contact the offerer.
- You can also post “wanted” emails.
- Your first email to the list must be an “offered” email.
That is pretty much it.
High Wycombe, my local town, has a group with over 3000 members and the mailing list averages over 40 posts a day. Items offered this week include mattresses, TVs, desks, a 6′ tall plant, a complete set of the encyclopedia Britannica, surplus cat food, ‘Sex and the city’ videos, Beano and Dandy annuals, and various IT equipment including a cordless mouse, a laptop, a USB hub, a monitor, and a modem. So far I have given away a set of roller blades and 2 huge Java programming tomes I am never going to read.
Freecycle started in the US in 2003 but has quickly spread around the world. According to the freecycle.org website there are currently 4,076 communities with 3,673,413 members. You can find your local group here. If there isn’t one near you then maybe you should start one? Get full details from the freecycle.org website.