When one of my printers recently died, I started sniffing out places to recycle it rather than send it to the landfill where it could stay for years and potentially cause a hazard for future generations. What I found is that even though being green is becoming very much the vogue, there aren’t a ton of places to recycle much of anything.
I did make a jewel of a discovery though — The Freecycle Network. Freecycle’s mission is to “build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources and eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.”
The brain child of Deron Beal, Freecycle was created in 2003 to recycle perfectly good items rather than throw them away. The Freecycle concept has since spread to over 50 countries, where there are thousands of local groups that have more than a million members – truly a grassroots wildfire of people helping people by “changing the world one gift at a time.” According to the site, they are currently keeping approximately 50 tons a day out of landfills. That’s a lot of stuff.
Freecycle works via email lists where members post items for giving or asking with no strings attached. By giving freely, members of The Freecycle Network help instill a sense of generosity of spirit while strengthening local community ties. People from all walks of life have joined together to turn trash into treasure. There may just be a group in your area. Take a look at freecycle.org.
Have you used the Freecycle Network? What do you think of this concept? Leave me a comment.