FIRST, WHAT IT “ISN’T” ABOUT
Freecycle is NOT about giving only to the poor. It is NOT about getting as much free stuff as we can. It is NOT about getting things to earn money on the side. It is NOT about getting rid of junk that would be better off in the landfill. It is NOT about posting a “wish list” for expensive items and expecting a fairy godmother to fulfill it for us. It is NOT a community bulletin board for finding rentals, dentists, mechanics, or advertising our businesses and services or special events.
Freecycle IS about keeping useful things out of the trash. It IS about giving away something that has no use in our life anymore to someone who could extend its usefulness a little longer. It IS about giving gifts to people while clearing out our own clutter. It IS about creating, building, and sustaining an environmentally aware community.
When we post an OFFER, we’re offering to give someone a gift. It is up to us to give this gift to whomever we feel would be the best recipient. We’re not obligated to give our gift to someone who is rich, poor, single, married, has no kids, has 1 kid, has 15 kids, has a car, doesn’t have a car, or has a purple octopus named George living in their backyard. We can choose the most polite, the rudest, the funniest, or the shortest response to receive our gift. We can put their names in a hat and do a draw, or we can wave our magic fingers over our screens and pick one that way. We can choose the first, 3rd, or 53rd respondent. We can wait 24 hours and then decide. It is up to us.
LETTING OTHER PEOPLE KNOW WHAT WE NEED
When we post a WANTED message, or respond to an offer, we’re requesting a gift. The odds are that no one on this list will be able to give us what we’re asking for. But sometimes somebody will see a WANTED for a bowling ball and go “AHA! I have one in my closet!” But, you know what? Just because we’re rich, poor, single, married, have no kids, have 1 kid, have 15 kids, have a car, don’t have a car, or have a purple octopus named George living in our backyard, does not mean we’re more worthy of receiving a gift from a fellow Freecycle member than the average person living down the street.
Sending emails that don’t say “please” or “thank you” are a way to not receive an item. Sending emails with nasty comments in them are one way to find ourselves in a bit of trouble.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN FREECYCLE
When you want to find a new home for something — whether it’s a chair, a fax machine, piano, or an old door — you simply send an e-mail offering it to members of our Freecycle group.
Or, maybe you’re looking to acquire something yourself. Simply respond to a member’s offer, and you just might get it. After that, it’s up to the giver to decide who receives the gift and to set up a pickup time for passing on the treasure. You can even post a Wanted message to the group because somebody might have just the exact thing you really need stored away in a closet.
One main rule: Everything posted must be free, legal, and appropriate for all ages.
YOU’RE BUILDING A COMMUNITY BY PARTICIPATING
We’re part of a community. In every community, there are people who don’t get along. And in most communities, when two people don’t get along, they just avoid each other. To do that on Freecycle, all you have to do is set up a filter to send any email from someone you don’t want to hear from straight into your trash bin.
So, just remember: If you’re offering a gift, it’s up to you to decide who gets it.
And if you’re requesting a gift… well, be patient. Your turn will come eventually, but if you’re not careful your name could end up on a ‘will not give to’ list. You may want to try making an OFFER to the list, just to see how the process works. Look in your closet or in that box you haven’t unpacked since you moved in two years ago. Prime stuff for Freecycle!
Above all – keep on keeping “stuff” out of the trash!