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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Whocycle? Youcycle. Wecycle. Freecycle!

I'm loving Freecycle. You should too.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, Freecycle is an international movement based around voluntarily administered Yahoo groups where people list stuff they want to get rid of. They list it, you email them, you pick it up. That simple. All free of charge.

The idea is to reduce the amount of completely serviceable and useful items we tend to junk when they cease to be of use to us, passing items along within your local community to those who can put said items to good use. It's a great way to clear the cupboards, pick up nifty bits and pieces (if you're quick), and even indulge in such high-minded ideals as encouraging a generous sense of community. It's great fun to pass stuff onto people, picking a recipient from emails you receive like some sort of second-hand Santa.

Okay, so classifieds devoted to giving stuff away aren't exactly new, but Freecycle is a fast-growing community dedicated to a nice ideal, and it's busy. The amount of emails I get in my Freecycle directory on a daily basis is pretty impressive (which could be seen as annoying, but they can all be dealt with pretty efficiently thanks to subject conventions: don't want, delete, don't want, delete, interested, email, etc), and you have to be on the ball to actually get stuff. I haven't actually managed to get anything yet (though I came close on a breadmaker), but it's been great for ditching old stuff I don't need. I've shifted an old 17" crt monitor, a VCR (with no remote), a DVD player (with iffy playback), a telephone headset, and an old digital camera, all of which have gone to very grateful folks: a guy building a computer for his sister; a woman who wants to give her young kid a knockabout camera; a guy who is starting a youth centre, and a woman who talks on the phone a lot.

Hey, they can't all be heartwarmers.

In short, well worth a look. All kindsa stuff on offer, and all kindsa people wanting the crap that's been gathering dust in your cupboard/kitchen/yard for the last few years. Don't kid yourself. You don't want it. Somebody might.


  1. is a improvement over Freecycle where free items are listed. It has a lot of advantages over Freecycle like pictures and search and it's easier for beginners to pick up.There are lots of advanced features too, like RSS, a Google Earth layer, and gmail-style conversation views. I hope you check it out.

  2. Looks good, but currently only available in the US!