Recycle imageI’m sure you all practice your three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. But do you Freecycle? I recently discovered Freecycling and I love it. I looked up “Freecycle” on Wikipedia, and there was actually a page for it: “Freecycling, the act of giving things no longer wanted or needed away for free.” Now, people have been giving their used stuff to other people since time immemorial, but in this day and time, when so many people are disconnected from their communities, it seems the way to find and give away free stuff is on the Internet.

I signed up for my local Freecycle group a few months ago, and at first, we gave away a lot of stuff. We were moving into a smaller space and some of our stuff just wasn’t selling. We sent a large load to a local charity, but as we continued to make decisions about what was to stay and what was to go, I decided to build up some karma on the freecycle site and start giving some of it away to my virtual “neighbours”.

That karma has started paying off. Before our trip to Utah for Christmas, I got a free snowsuit for Jenna from a fellow freecycler. We didn’t end up needing it, but when she grows out of it I’ll put it back on the freecycle site for someone else to use. And I didn’t have to pay $20+ for a snowsuit that we never even used.baby jogger photo

Even better, this week I got a jogging stroller. It needed a little cleaning and WD-40, but it’s in great shape and I used it today – it worked great! I could have bought a second-hand stroller for anywhere from $60 to $175, but instead, I got one for free. I like this!

The value of things that people are willing to give away for free, and also that they ask for, amazes me. I love reading through the freecycle emails just to see what crazy stuff is getting posted. Someone asked for a car! I guess there’s no harm in asking. Others have offered computers, office-sized photocopiers, large appliances and an “unused hospital bed”. I guess sometimes it’s just easier to get someone to pick things up, rather than deal with the hassle of trying to sell them or bring them somewhere to be discarded safely.

There are some strange items that get offered and snapped up, too. This week, someone posted sumo wrestler salt & pepper shakers, and they were gone very quickly. Who the heck grabbed those? I mean, I’m glad they’re not in landfill and that someone is enjoying them, but really? No accounting for some tastes, I guess (my apologies if you’re into sumo wrestlers).

I’ll let you know if I get the bike trailer I’m looking for. You never know, although I may have used up a big chunk of my karma with this jogging stroller.

Have any of you been freecycling? I’d love to hear about what kinds of things you’ve received or given away.

 

On the Kindle: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

Okay, this one’s not actually on my Kindle. It’s a for-real-and-true book. But I expect that many of the books I read going forward will be on my new Kindle (from Santa), hence the title of this section.

I’m really loving this book. I’m about half-way through and it’s getting more and more interesting. It’s a fictional collection of letters written just after the Second World War that tell the story of an author’s quest to find the subject of her next book. As you read, you learn about the German occupation in the Channel Islands during WWII, specifically in Guernsey, and how the locals were affected by it. It’s a fascinating and delightful read and I hope you all go out and buy or borrow it. If you live near me, I’m willing to pass it on when I’m finished.  (P.S. that’s one of the shortcomings of the Kindle – you can’t just pass on a book when you’re done reading it).

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