Freecycle “Changing the World One Gift at a Time”

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If you are not familiar with Freecycle, I am excited to be the one to let you in on this fabulous group.

It is a worldwide network with over 9 million members, where people give away stuff and also get stuff … all in their own neighborhood!

It costs nothing to participate, and the rewards are great.

Their mission statement sums it up, well:
“Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.”

Simply, this is how it works:

First, you join your local Freecycle group. (links will follow)

(After joining, I suggest you follow the threads for a few days to get a feel for the activity in the group.)

Then …. jump in! Let the group know if you have something to give away, and members will contact you if they would like to ‘receive’ your item. OR If you see something that you would like, just contact that member and let them know that you would like to have it. It’s people just shifting around their stuff. Genius in its simplicity.

I have participated in Freecycle for years. I have given away lamps, a ping pong table, outdoor furniture and more. Things that I no longer needed, but were gladly received by others. I’ve been on the receiving end a few times, as well, and the experience has been delightful. Everyone wins!

Learn more about Freecycle at

Find a group in your area and make others happy as you simplify your life and whittle down your ‘stuff’ πŸ™‚


36 thoughts on “Freecycle “Changing the World One Gift at a Time”

  1. I tried giving my kids away on Freecycle but it didn’t work πŸ˜‰

    Seriously, it is a godsend for people with no money. I found it really useful. Although there are some who use it and then sell what they have on eBay

    • Yes, Alastair, you are so right. What a godsend for people who need things …. such a resource! Many ‘givers’ ask for end-users only, but I know that doesn’t stop some from doing the selling-thing. That’s a shame, really. As a ‘giver’ I try to avoid those who I think might be taking advantage of the system.

    • Oh, yes! Once I had a big metal gazebo in the yard and people just came over, took it all apart and carted it away. They were happy and I was thrilled. Great organization.

  2. Daniela says:

    I did not know about Freecycle but here in NZ we have something similar and I have given loads of stuff away that way and received some stuff … it is a fantastic idea! There is also a nice feeling of doing something useful without causing any harm at all!

    • That’s wonderful, Daniela. It is such a basic simple idea, and it’s so wonderful to see that it is working all over the world. Someone gets to use what you don’t need any more. Perfect!

  3. what a great idea…will be getting on to this… I usually take stuff to the womens refuge who give it away for free, but again, as you say some people take advantage of this, and it really annoys me to see a small gang of not needy women getting down on it and carting it away!
    Never mind, I say, someone who does need will find something here…

  4. What a fantastic idea. Being in the hazardous waste remediation industry and knowing the pressure on landfill sites, this one definitely appeals to me. Of course, here in South Africa, it is always easy to find someone who is more than grateful to receive anything you no longer want, so I give away constantly. In fact, just gave a lamp away about 5 min ago. Weird how I read this post so shortly thereafter.

    • I love coincidences like that (your lamp). I looked on Freecycle and I see there is a group in South Africa. There are quite a number of “wants” on the list. I always find that hard. If I have it, and I see someone wants it, I feel the urge to give it away even if I wasn’t planning to! But then again, I can always spare sheets and towels and stuff like that, so it’s all good.

  5. I’d never heard of this before I read your post. Anyway, just signed up and found a group for Johannesburg! I regular have clear outs and looking for homes for good stuff. I noticed there was a family that recently lost everything. I’ll take your advice though and follow the threads for a while.

    • A lot depends on how active the group is, and you’ll learn that quickly by following the threads. Here in my town, it is VERY active, and things are exchanged with lightening speed. I hope it works out well for you. If so, it is a treasure!

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