Thursday, April 10, 2008
Do You Freecycle?
If you don't, you should! What is Freecycle? In summary, it is a community-based network for sending your perfectly good (but unused or unwanted) items to another home, instead of to the landfill! You can track down your local Freecycle group by visiting their website, and using the locater function. Most Freecycle groups operate through a Yahoo Group, where you receive emails from other list members offering up their used goods. In this particular case I recommend that you don't use the daily digest function. While it will keep your email from being overwhelmed with individual Freecycle offers, items tend to go fast on Freecycle. And it's likely that by day's end, the item that you've got your eye on will already have been 'adopted.' In the spirit of stewardship, and our commitment to REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE as much as possible, we are huge fans of Freecycle here in the Gauthier home. Have you seen the video over at Annie Leonard's site, The Story of Stuff? It may just turn you into a Freecycle freak like me ;) If you haven't yet viewed this compelling short, then brew a cuppa, and settle in for an enlightening, frightening, and inspiring 20 minutes.
If you have already stumbled upon this gem of a video at some point in your surfing, then you probably understand how compelled we feel towards 'doing our part' to keep the trash heaps and landfills from multiplying, the toxic chemicals from billowing, and our global community from suffocating under the weight of mindless consumerism fueled by the 'perceived obsolescence' manufactured by money-hungry marketers and corporations to keep us buying, buying, buying....
On that note, here are the (used) items that we've been the grateful recipients (not purchasers!) of, over the last several weeks:
As aspiring (pesco?) vegetarians, and admitted 'foodies' we were thrilled to receive 3 vegetarian cookbooks to add to our collection: The Best 125 Meatless Mexican Dishes (perfect for Robert!), Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings and The Vegetarian Epicure
Ella was the happy recipient of a fat stack of gently used children's books, including classics such as 'Danny and the Dinosaur', 'Dr. Seuss' ABCs', 'The Little Engine that Could' and a thick collection of Classic Children's Poetry. We are firm believers in the sentiment expressed by Robert Frost, that parents should "surround youngsters with so many books that they stumble over them."
I also got a few books out of the deal: a classic copy of J.D. Salinger's 'The Catcher in the Rye' in mint condition, and 2 volumes that caught my eye as a potential future homeschooling mom: The Homeschooling Handbook and one of Rudolf Steiner's tomes on Waldorf educational theory.
Did I mention that generous folks sometimes 'freecycle' BRAND NEW items? I was fortunate enough to be 'the first responder' and recipient of this Conair Garment Steamer...an item I've been eyeing for a couple of years now. SCORE!
Finally, I was able to acquire 2 items that we had not only been hoping to add to our home, when funds permitted, but that will also provide the perfect outlet for my restless hands and itching creative urges! (Check back soon for the 'after' photos!)
A chalkboard for the playroom wall:
And a vanity/desk combo for the 3-1/2 year old who loves to primp and to 'practice her letters.'
There you have it friends- Freecycle: just another (hybrid!) vehicle for saving the planet while also saving your budget! (Who can argue with that?!) Continue to reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose and reimagine!