Hampshiresgreenbook’s Blog

January 20, 2009, 8:35 pm
Filed under: Recycling

I was on the phone to a friend and we started talking about Freecyle.

“You must join,” she said. “It’s so easy and it’s so useful, especially at the moment!” my friend enthused.

She then started to rave about all the things she had picked up over the years as a result of ‘freecycling’ and all the great things she had been happy to give away because she or her children no longer needed them.

“I have tried to join my local Freecycle,” I said, “but I just can’t work out how to do it. I would really like to sign up, especially as I want to write about it.…!”

“It’s so easy!” Michelle said, again.

Her enthusiasm was catching.

I was sitting in front of the computer,  so I googled ‘Yahoo Groups‘ which came up with http://groups.yahoo.com. Under ‘Find a Yahoo! Group’, I typed ‘Freecycle’ and clicked on search. Over 11621 entries!

“You’ve got to search for your local area,” Michelle said patiently.

So I went back to the ‘Find a Yahoo! Group’ page and typed in ‘Freecyle’ and the name of my local  town and clicked on the link. Then clicked on ’Join This Group’.

At this point, I decided to go it alone and thanked Michelle for her help and for encouraging me to get started.

I needed to create a Yahoo! email account. That was easy enough. Then the screen said I was 3 steps away from joining. The 3 steps included dreaming up an original alias (or you can use your email address- for identification), and explaining in less than 200 words why I wanted to join the group.

After completing the three steps, the screen said:  “Your membership request has been submitted to the group.  You will receive a confirmation email when your membership has been approved.”

So what exactly is Freecycle?

 According to their website: “The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,650 groups with 6,243,716 members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely non-profit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and thus keeping good stuff out of landfills.

“Membership is free, and everything posted must be FREE, legal and appropriate for all ages. To view the items being given away or sought in (your area), you must be a member of the local group.”

In the week since I joined my local Freecycle group I’ve received over 200 emails! I receive emails as and when people post them, but there is an option to receive a daily digest. The emails state clearly in the subject line whether the objects are ‘Wanted’, ‘Offered’ or ‘Taken’, what the objects are, and where the person is based. So you can easily choose which ones to open.

There’s a truly amazing range of items on offer – from baby and toddler clothes and toys, to dining tables, old televisions, sofas, musical instruments, computers, you name it. Some people have also posted wanted items, including tumble dryers, pieces of wood and toys.

Michelle advised me to offer a few things before I ask for anything. I have posted my first offer – and I‘m excited to see what happens.

By Debbie Cowan

Please let me know about your Freecycle experiences.

If you would like a free listing or to advertise in Southampton’s Green Book and Directory please email info@southcoastbooks.com

To order your copy of Dorset’s Green Book and Directory see www.southcoastbooks.com