When you're cleaning out your garage/basement/spare room/storage area and you come across things that are just 'too nice' to throw out, what do you do? Most of us first ask the relatives, then think about the kids on the street, and then the church, and then maybe calling one of the charities that comes to pick up stuff...
...but what if you could get rid of it with the assurance it will go to someone who WANTS it, and that it won't end up in the landfill by you trashing it?
That's the idea of freecycle and I've been participating for about a year. Freecycle is a local community based disposal service, but is a nationwide trend. Some of the stories of how people use the things they pick up are heartwarming. Some of the stories behind the requests are poignant. Neighbors helping neighbors, family helping family, people helping animals (who knew there was a guinea pig rescue organization?) It is always free!
True Story: I had some 6 foot lengths of styrofoam packaging. Certainly didn't want that in a landfill. I offered it on freecycle. A lady responded and came to pick it up. Then she told me her son needs it for occupational therapy, pushing golf tees into the styrofoam helps him build fine motor skills. How cool is that?
It is so easy to join. For Reston/Herndon, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HerndonRestonVAFreecycle/ and follow the prompts. Be sure to put in that you LIVE in Reston/Herndon or you'll be bounced back out. After that, start cleaning out your storage areas!
If you're one of my visitors from outside the Reston/Herndon area, check your area to see if you have one. You can check at http://www.freecycle.org/. If not, consider starting one. It really is a very cool way to build community. Some of the items I've seen offered:
- left over baby items (high chairs, bibs, diapers, bottles, etc.)
- computer parts and peripherals (even a flat screen monitor)
- building materials
- outgrown sports equipment
- food -- fresh and packaged
- house paint
I think you get the picture. This is a win-win situation. And, after you've posted offers twice, you can put up a "WANTED". Maybe you need the parts for something to make it work -- trust me, someone out there has those parts and is wondering what the heck to do with them. This is the ultimate recycling, so join in!