Reduce, Reuse, Freecycle


Let’s face it:  Even the most conscientious consumer ends up owning useless items.  If only you could find the perfect home for, say, the cell phone charger you stopped using seven years ago or the Russian linguistics books left behind by an old roommate.

Earth Cubed
Photo by Mary Bogdan.

I regularly donate lightly used goods to charitable organizations such as The Salvation Army and Goodwill, but I turn to Freecycling when I have an item (such as the ones listed above) that I fear may not find a home through more conventional means.

According to Wikipedia, “Freecycling … is the act of giving away usable unwanted items to others instead of disposing them in landfills.”  What could be greener than reducing trash in landfills and preventing the need for another person’s new purchase?

How Freecycling Works

To find your nearest Freecycling group, simply enter your zip code into the Recycling Group Finder.  This is how I found my local group, Freecycle New York City.

In most Freecycle groups, individuals post items under the following headings:




Throughout the day, a listing of the newest items posted is emailed out to all group members.  If you have specific items to share, then you can either wait for someone to request that item in a “WANTED” post or you can list it yourself in an “OFFER” post.

Of course, I urge you to exercise the caution that you use elsewhere on the internet when Freecycling.  Be wary of any offers that seem too good to be true.  (Example:  “Free iPads to the first ten people to meet me in my apartment!”  Yeah, right.)  Whenever possible, be sure to choose to meet your offeror or taker in a safe public venue.  And remember, Freecycling is meant to be FREE, so no money should change hands.

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  1. Interesting. I will check it out my nearest recycling group. Thanks.

    • Dawn
    • April 14th, 2010

    I have been freecylcing for years. It is the best thing, it is also amazing what people will want to get rid of, meaning I have found some cool stuff. I also like that if I have stuff to get rid of, there is someone that will take it off my hands.

  2. The more folks do something about their phone books such as recycling, having them not delivered to their home as the above commenter mentions and/or your excellent idea.

  1. April 9th, 2010

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