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Do you free-cycle?

Do you freecycle?My brother is moving across the country and decided not to move anything he couldn’t fit into his pick-up truck. He just gave away most of the things he isn’t taking—a big screen TV, a couch, a bed, a stereo receiver, etc. I was a little surprised at his decision, but after chatting for a while I discovered that he belongs to a group called Freecycle, dedicated to the starvation of landfills.

This coincides with an article I read last month in Sunset magazine about a group of friends that decided not to buy anything new for a year except food and healthcare items. It seems like I’ve been bombarded with this message lately, and maybe I need to soothe my conscience.

Whether or not you have enough money to buy everything you want, there is a growing number of people who don’t want to buy everything they want. In a strange way, this makes sense.

I hate throwing stuff away when it’s useful. But I am not a packrat. I’m not going to keep it around just in case I want it next year, nor am I the type to keep it around till next summer’s garage sale. So it goes into the trash most of the time. Sometimes with things like baby clothes I can give them away (but my only friend with a girl right now lives across the country). And sometimes I donate stuff if it’s too good to trash. I’ve tried selling a few things online, but it rarely seems worth the money and effort. And my local “used” mom/baby shop doesn’t pay enough to make it worth selling ($5 for a garbage sack full of excellent condition clothes and a clean booster seat?!)

But since my brother told me about freecycle.org, I can hardly wait to have something to give away. You post a message about what you have, and someone local who needs it comes and gets it. Or you can send a message looking for an item you want. There are few rules: nothing for sale, trade or barter—just free!

So my brother got rid of his things in San Francisco. Then when he sets up his home in Columbus, OH, he’ll just ask for what he needs there. What an idea!

Since babies go through a LOT of stuff in their first year, it seems like a fantastic way to get a lot of use out of something that isn’t worn out. Unless you have a lot of children, swings, bouncers, boppies, exercises and other things just don’t get used up. If you don’t have a friend who can use them, and you aren’t planning on having another little one in the next couple of years, why not give it away? Or maybe you need a highchair? You can find a local freecycle group online. Have fun!


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