Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Trash to Treasure: Combat Planned Obsolescence by "Freecycling"

by Ashley Quinones

Many people recycle to make an impact on their carbon footprint, and it certainly helps. There is also a pretty common phrase that states how one man's trash is another man's treasure, so it's no surprise that a site called The Freecycle Network exists.

As it states on their main page, their goal is to make the idea of recycling easier - instead just give your unwanted items away to others who do want them. You enter your location, such as Portland, OR., on the site's front page to see a listing of the groups nearest to you, and then it's just a matter of joining up. From there you can make posts offering something up for others to claim, requesting something you are looking for, or browse and contact post-makers to request their unwanted goods.

This isn't just a site for working items, or like-new items, the way using a consignment shop or donating to Goodwill is. People frequently post offering up old electronics that don't function for parts, scrap wood that others can turn into art or planter boxes, or old clothes for fabric scraps. The requests are just as encouraging. Something in your closet you haven't used in months or that old, nonfunctional computer monitor you have laying around just might be exactly what someone else is looking for, and giving it to them certainly cuts down on the amount of waste all around.

Example of another use for wooden shipping pallets - an item frequently requested
and offered on Freecycling groups. Photo from Inspiration Green Blog.

With the issue of planned obsolescence looming over us, the less working items we throw away for new ones the better. Why not give them to a new home instead?

For access to more information about The Freecycle Network and groups near you, just click the link provided in this sentence.

Happy Freecycling!

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