Is Freecycling right for you and your family? For young couples just starting out and for those who are experiencing a temporary crisis in the family budget, Freecycling can be a lifesaver, but saving money is only one of the reasons for joining this program which allows its members to advertise unneeded, useful items which are then given freely to others who need them. Freecycling offers all of the following benefits to those who join the organization and agree to follow the rules of the group:
- It keeps useful items in circulation and out of the overflowing landfills.
- It helps prevent the wasting of natural resources used in manufacturing new items.
- It helps reduce pollution.
- It helps every group member manage their budgets more easily.
- It fosters creativity and imagination as objects are refurbished.
- It introduces members to others in the neighborhood who are environmentally conscientious.
Freecycling and Furniture: “Nused” and Stylish
Freecycling is a concept that aims to keep the world in good shape for the next generation by stretching the life of the durable goods already in circulation. Furniture, for example, should never be thrown away unless it has become dangerous structurally. Couches, chairs, tables, and other pieces can be Freecycled to someone else who is willing to clean, repair, or update them. The following are ideas often used by members of Freecycle to furnish their homes with recycled items:
- Use sofa slipcovers to hide ripped fabric or ugly prints. Slipcovers are a great way to modernize upholstery and make furnishings stylish once more.
- Use leftover paint to brighten scratched woodwork.
- Distress the furniture even further with sandpaper and recoat with an eco-friendly sealant.
- Arrange a hodgepodge of eclectic furnishings collected from Freecycle for a Cracker Barrel feel.
- Use a table cloth, table runner or crocheted doily to cover scratches on wooden pieces.
Freecycle is a way to help others and be good to the environment. It is genuine charity, but everyone in the group benefits. Presently, there are close to five thousand Freecycle groups in cities all around the nation, with more clubs forming each month. These members of Freecycling groups work together to keep recycled objects moving into the hands of those who need them the most, and, in the process do their part in the ongoing green revolution.
Freecycle membership costs nothing, and most members benefit in the first month, either by using their local group to clear away clutter or by receiving an item free that they would normally have had to purchase. Joining Freecycle may just be the best decision you make this year so check online to find the group closest to home and get involved as soon as possible. You will be glad that you did!
Guest author Caroline Smith likes to find creative ways to extend the useful life of old furniture and other items. She is an active member of her local Freecycle group and also runs a website that offers a selection of slipcovers that can be used to give old couches a new lease on life and save them from landfill.
Reused is about as green as it gets, but if you still want new, check out our current listings of eco-friendly furniture, including storage & shelving, beds, and futons.
Image credit: juhansonin at Flickr under a Creative Commons license
Did you know Intuit has partnered with freecycle.org to release a freecycling product for organizations? Feel free to check it out and ping me! http://quickbase.intuit.com/freecycle
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Sounds like a great way to spread bedbugs. Used furniture should be bought with a lot of caution. Bedbugs can hide very well and in places you may not think to look until they are in your home.
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@Bob– We use the Thesis theme, which is paid WP theme… all the layout was done through it. There’s a link on the bottom right to the Thesis site.