In consumer societies, we frequently have more 'stuff' than we can use, and often no longer want items that could be useful to someone else. There are some excellent sites that help dispose of unwanted items, but also help people to find things they need. It's a win - win situation, and it's environmentally friendly because it keeps stuff out of landfill.
Once you have created your free account on each site you can view the posts for wanted items, and items that need a new home. If you are interested in an item, you send a message to the person who posted it. People often receive many responses and give it to the person they choose. You arrange to collect the item. You can also post a wanted item for something you need, or post items you no longer want. Both Freecycle and Freegle will send you daily emails listing the new posts.
Sites like Freegle and Freecyle are a wonderful way to help others, and to get help when you need it. Best of all, it saves stuff from going to the tip.We've been slowly redoing our kitchen with stuff we've collected, which has included a fridge, dishwasher, cupboards and even a cooker, which sadly was not working. This does happen sometimes, so be aware that with the best intentions in the world, things may not go well. On the whole, our experience of both giving and receiving stuff has been very positive, and we have been able to find a lot of things we needed or wanted on these sites.
The three sites I use regularly are:
Freecyle is a registered UK charity, and operates around the world. They say ' The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 5,322 groups with 9,287,497 members around the world, and next door to you. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and neighborhoods. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers (them's good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on 'Browse Groups' above the search box. Have fun! '
Freegle says: ' Don't throw it away, give it away! Got stuff you don't need? We'll find someone to come and take it. Looking for something? We'll pair you with someone giving it away. All completely free. Freegle: it's like online dating for stuff. ' There are community groups throughout the UK. If you join the group in your area, you can see what people are giving away, or of course, give away stuff you no longer want.
This is a new kid on the block, and is actually a selling site on Facebook. You can browse and buy or sell items in your local area, or further afield. But people also give away things, and a quick search for Free items will show what is around.
Some words of wisdom
Remember to be polite in your messages, and if you do agree to pick something up, or deliver something, make sure not to be 'a time waster ' who does not do what they say they will. It is annoying for everyone concerned!
A word of caution - be wary of giving out your address until you have agreed a date and time - this means strangers don't know when you are not home. Also, NEVER pay for an item to be sent to you - this is usually a scam.
The sites do have moderators, and do try to keep everything open and honest.
The next time you have something you don't want, or need something, take a look at these free sites. Who knows, you may get what you want for free, and help save the planet in the process.