Perspectives

freecycling

Freecycle

Hello EcoDesi here.
So a few days ago I wrote about the 3 R’s of environmentalism.  To recap for those of us that don’t remember or who probably didn’t read my blog (which is probably the majority of you I know  ) , they are:

Reduce,
Reuse,
Recycle.

In my opinion Reducing and Reusing is probably the hardest thing to do especially in our disposable obsessed society, where buy, buy, buy is the mantra.   But I think I’ve discovered a really clever way in which we can practice REUSE.  I think I first read about it on Oprah’s website but I can’t find it there anymore.  So you will just have to take my word on that.  But it is this fabulous online community that calls itself  The Freecycle Network.

Freecycle makes a play on the word recycle.  But by definition we know recycling means the breaking down of items and making use of the raw materials we extract to make something new.  In contrast to this if you freecycle something you are actually re-gifting something that you don’t use to someone who will make good use of it.  To date I have re-gifted quite a few things.  If memory serves me correctly they are:

  • A DVD/VHS player (given to someone who didn’t have cable but had a two year old they wanted to keep entertained)
  • An old fridge (the person who took this gave me a box of candy to show their gratitude)
  • A foozball table (someone wanted this for their nine year old)
  • Scrap pieces of cloth (that someone used to make a quilt)
  • An old BBQ (that someone needed for their backyard wedding)
  • 4 old patio chairs (a father and son trio came to pick those items up)
  • A freestanding hammock (given to another environment enthusiast like me)

Just remembering these old items that I’ve given to people gives me a lump in my throat.  Not because I think I did something exceptional by giving them something that I wasn’t using but more because they were so happy and grateful for it.  And I in turn have gotten a few things from generous people such as Lilly buds,  maple saplings but since I’m all about practicing the art of reducing these days and trying to buy less and consume less this has been more about re-gifting for me than taking.

Now don’t get me wrong.  There is a bit of work involved.   If you want to give something away you have to post a message and that message has to follow a certain format which is approved by the moderators of that group before it goes on the board.  Then if someone likes it they email you and you have to set up a pickup date, time and place.  You can pre-arrange to leave things on the porch or garage so if you are not home you can tell them to come by and pick them up.  It is definitely easier to throw things in the garbage but trust me the feeling of giving it to someone who you know will make good use of it is far more rewarding.

Anyway until next time. Take care people.

About the Author:

Zehra (EcoDesi) is a programmer by profession, environmentalist by nature.  She believes that no effort is too small and everyone should think of this earth as a gift as opposed to a right.  The EcoDesi mantra is that when we take into account the monetary cost of buying something then let us also look at the environmental cost.

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