: views from the Hill

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Ever heard of Freecycle?

The worldwide (!) Freecycle Network is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It's a grassroots movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. Each local group is run by a local volunteer moderator (them's good people). Membership is free.

The groups are run through Yahoo! groups, which means you can access your local group through the Web or have offers and followups sent via e-mail.

As an example of what goes down, here are some recent bits from last Friday through today from the San Jose Freecycle group:

TAKEN: White 500W Halogen Torchiere Lamp
TAKEN: car seat stroller
Taken: long black plastic trough
OFFER: 900W microwave oven (not working)
TAKEN: 12 gallons of chile red paint
Offer : 4 bicycle innner tubes with holes
Offer: empty rusty propane tank
OFFER: Dinette Set, 70's style
OFFER: Ugly Green Giant Carnival Monkey .....
OFFER: Maternity blouses
OFFER: Metal Storage Cabinet
TAKEN:Samsung microwave
offered- Queen size futon with frame
Needed: wire hangers
Offered - Stationary Bike
WANTED: Electric Mobility Scooter

See how it works? Easy, isn't it? Posts are labelled OFFER: TAKEN: WANTED: or some variant thereof, depending on whether someone is offering something, someone's taken an offered item and it's no longer available, or someone wants something.

The San Francisco Bay Area has a number of groups and there's been on-going discussion about whether some of the groups should meld, but the question always is, do you want to wade through hundreds of offers within an hour's drive or a smaller number of offers that are close to you?

I've been a member of various local Freecycles since last December and wholeheartedly support the concept.

"Think globally, recycle locally," as the Freecycle folks put it.

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