Sunday, January 29, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Freecycle...

I'm sitting here getting more and more frustrated as I wait for yet another no-show Freecycle member to come get the item that's waiting on my front steps. I went on a tangent a few days ago and cleaned out my computer drawers. I found a brand new pack of CDs that I know I'll never use (hello, they've been sitting there in their shrink wrap since 2004). I figured before I throw them in the Big Brothers Big Sisters box I'll offer them up on Freecycle. I had two people ask for them. I'm still waiting for the first person to show up.

I think most people know about Freecycle. Below is a direct quote from the home page of :

It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers (them's good people). Membership is free.

I got involved with Freecycle quite a few years ago. I've passed on quite a few perfectly good items. I've also received several great items both small and large. Five things that I'm thankful for are (I'm sure there's more but these come immediately come to mind):

1. Our cordless phone. For the life of us we could not keep a cordless phone working in our house. They kept dying on us every couple of years. I put out a request on Freecycle and within a day or two I had one. That was back when my kids were young enough that I had to sit outside while they played in the yard (that's the reason for needing the cordless phone). They're 13 and 16 now, so that kind of tells you how long we've had it. 

2. Set of plastic drawers on wheels (a wide, short Iris cart type thing). I needed this for my scrapbook area. Some guy had one sitting in his auto shop - never used but kind of dirty because, well, it was sitting in his man shop. I took it home, gave it a good bath and now it holds all my chipboard and bags of scraps. 

3. Christmas window candles. Not something I needed but when someone offered them I said "hey, that would be nice to have!" I made the 30 min. trip to pick them up and we used them for a few years. Last year while cleaning out the basement I found much nicer window candles that I bought eons ago and forgot about. We used those this past Christmas because they're prettier, but I'll never forget getting those others from Freecycle.

4. Kitty condo. OMG, my cats were so happy when I scored this gem. It's one of those towers with three holes for them to hide or sleep in. Oliver loves to perch or sleep on the top and he uses the outside as a scratching post. 

5. Crop In Style Jr. scrapbook tote - brand new, never used. If I never got another item from Freecycle I would still be happy. This, to me, makes all the no-shows worth it. I was one of many who requested this when it was offered. I'm the lucky one who got it. The woman who offered it received it as a gift and never used it. I use it for crops all the time. Every time I pack it I'm thankful for that generous person who passed it on for free.

Now I'm not one to take and never give. I've passed on plenty of good items to appreciative people. Curtains, a school desk, toys, baby stuff, books, magazines, craft and sewing items. My Declutter Mission of 2010 was a major boon to Freecycle's business. The last few yard sales I had I let fellow Freecycle members pick through the leftovers before I packed them up for charity. 

But back to my original paragraph...
The thing that inspired me to write this is the little pack of CDs sitting on my front steps waiting for a no-show. A no-show is someone who asks for your item, promises to pick it up at a certain time and then never bothers to show up. No-shows are rude. If you can't come, just send an email. It doesn't matter to me what the reason is, just have the courtesy to let me know. This particular person has another two hours to contact me before I offer it to the next person. Yes, I'm that anal that I'm watching the clock. We're all busy but it only takes three minutes to fire off an email to let someone know you're not going to make it. 

If you're not part of Freecycle, have never heard of it or are interested in getting involved with it, you can find information and local groups on their website Let's do our part by keeping  perfectly good stuff out of the landfills. 

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