Friday, March 25, 2011

Recycle it, Upcycle it, Freecycle it!

A couple weeks back I shared a link with readers on the Upcycled Stuff Facebook fan page for an organization called Freecycle.  It was a brief encouragement to consider donating some of the things that you might be tossing out during your spring cleaning to someone else who might be able to use it.  Well, I had a really interesting Freecycle moment this week that made me think this whole Freecycle movement might be blogworthy.

My latest Freecycle ask
Freecycle is an amazing community of people across the country who form smaller community groups to share their unwanted goods and find things that they need.  It is a grassroots effort to share perfectly good stuff within a community and keep it out of the landfill.  It's completely free and each community has local volunteer moderators.

Made from an olive jar
This week on my local Freecycle there are people offering up children's clothes, "well loved" furniture, a french drainpipe still in the box (that they found stuck in the tallest parts of a tree after recent windstorms), and much more.  On the other side, people were looking for fans and air conditioning units, moving boxes, a push mower and lots more.  It's true you need to be careful and realize that there are some people who will go ad to ad and take everything they can get their hands on and have a yard sale or put it on craigslist.  It is a bit disheartening when you see people from abuse shelters asking for donations for the families they serve and then you have takers who are just trying to make a buck.  I just try to remember, it's not going into the landfill.  But I digress.

This takes us to my Freecycle moment.  I put up an ask early this week for people's trash. Yup, you don't see too much of that but that's all I ever ask for.  This time it was for aluminum cans and glass food jars for a project I'm working on. As typically happens, I got a lot of responses asking what on earth I'm going to do with it all. I've sprinkled some of the pics of my projects throughout this post.

Go Clemson Tigers!
One of the women, Debbie, who responded to my plea didn't have the items I requested but told me she'd be happy to collect them for me as she used them.  We started chatting and one thing led to another and I ended up collecting a TON of packing materials from her.  She had just moved and was happy to pass on some small boxes and padding for shipping.  Here's the story I love!  The packing paper that I collected from her originated in Puerto Rico when another freecycler moved from there to Florida.  It was passed on to Debbie for it's most recent move from Florida to South Carolina.  Now I will use it to ship product all over the country.  Hopefully, the folks on the receiving end will find some great use for it in a craft project or their own shipping needs. To top it all off, I think there may be a great friendship in the making!  You see Debbie owned her own craft store when she lived in Florida and we had a lot to talk about.

Cute project in progress

That is my Freecycle story and I hope you will give it a chance. Pay it forward and keep it from the landfill!


  1. That's awesome! What a fantastic post!

  2. Love these - especially the olive jar.

  3. Thanks, Kathy. That dragonfly is my favorite, too.


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