If you have an overstuffed attic or garage–and admit it, most of us are burdened with things we no longer want or need–check out Freecycle. This global network of local groups connects people who have stuff they no longer want with those who will take it, for free. It’s the topic of today’s CNNMoney.com column.
I’ve used my local Freecycle Yahoo group for years, but it caught my attention again because the group won an award in a competition called Netsquared, which is all about using the power of the Internet to attack social and environmental problems. Here’s a page on the Netsquared website devoted to the winners of last spring’s contest, including Freecycle.
The column begins like this:
Three pairs of women’s shoes. A box of record albums. Stereo equipment. A stovetop. A quill and ink bottle. A wicker basket. An acoustic guitar. A dehumidifier.
As I write, all those things and more are being offered for free on my local Freecycle Network. By the time you read this, they’ll be taken. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
With more than 4,000 Freecycle networks operating in 75 countries, and with more than 3.5 million members signed up to give things away and take them, that’s lot of trash or treasure, all of it kept out of landfills.
The Freecycle Network is an amazing Internet phenomenon. In four years, it’s become one of the most effective environmental groups around. It’s also an example of how social networking – the connections people make on such Web sites as MySpace and Facebook – can be used to address social and environmental problems.
You can read the rest here.