Archive for February, 2009

Free Stuff

February 2, 2009

I first learned about freecycle.org about five years ago. The basic premise is that you can a) Give away stuff you don’t need, b) Receive something that someone else is giving away, or c) Ask for something that you need.  Freecycle is actually made up of several thousand local groups, specific to geographic areas such as towns and counties. You join a specific group through Yahoo! Groups. For example, I am a member of the Amherst Freecycle Yahoo! Group. The way Yahoo! Groups work is that when you send an email to the group email address, everyone who is a member of the group receives the email. So, if you had a lawnmower to give away, you would send an email to your group with the subject line “OFFER:  lawnmower.” Then you would sit back and wait for responses from individuals who want to adopt your lawnmower. It’s up to you to decide who to give it to.

When we lived in Maine, I used the Southern Maine Freecycle group to give the following items away:

  • An audio-book version of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which went to a lady who listens to audio books while she is driving around as a dog-rescue volunteer.
  • Several dozen VHS tapes of M*A*S*H, which went to a lady who would be giving them to her home-bound uncle.
  • A 50-pound sack of whole wheat flour, which went to an avid baker.

In each case, I felt so good that the item went on to a good home in my local community where it would be well used. Also, in each case, the receiver came to me to pick up the item, so it did not cause any inconvenience for me. Full disclosure: I should mention that for the audio book and the VHS tapes, I had already established that the amount I could get for these items on eBay was not worth the effort to sell them. If I could have made a little more money, I probably would have gone that route.

So, I’ve given away several items via Freecycle, but never received any. Today I did a search for “baby” in the Amherst Freecycle group to see what baby items have been offered recently. I found these, posted just in the last month:

  • OFFER: bag o’ baby boy clothing
  • OFFER: Baby Girl Clothes
  • OFFER: 2 cribs and baby boy clothing
  • OFFER: baby stuff
  • OFFER: Graco baby swing
  • OFFER: baby/tot goodies
  • OFFER: Various toddler/baby items
  • OFFER: Misc . baby/toddler toys
  • OFFER: Baby bottles
  • OFFER: baby monitor
  • OFFER: baby bottles 4 oz and 5 oz

I will definitely be keeping my eye on this list in the coming months to see what new baby items come up!

 No Buy, No Cry,
~ Jennifer

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