Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Beauty of Freecycle

In 2003, Deron Beal started The Freecycle Network in Tuscon Arizona through a small non-profit called RISE. RISE was a recycling service to downtown Tuscon businesses. However, a lot of the items offered up for recycling were still working. Instead of channeling those items into recycling, the folks at RISE found themselves making phone calls to other non-profits/charities/friends who might be able to use them. To make distribution easier, Beal launched an email service, which is now known as Freecycle.

For those of you unfamiliar with how Freecycle works. you sign up for a group near you through their website. As a registered user, you can post items to give away, items you're looking for, or you can browse.

Recently, I was reading our local Freecycle and saw a post looking for an "Sonicare electric toothbrush base". While cleaning out my tool box, I found one. (We used the brush for cleaning items. The brush stopped working consistently, so I was ready to recycle it.) Instead of channeling the entire item into recycling, the base was "allowed another chance at glory" 1.

If you haven't given Freecycle a try, perhaps now is the time while you're cleaning out your closet and/or toolbox fueled by the promise of a new year's resolve.

1. Mr. Jalopy, bike advertisement for Coco's Variety, c. 2008ish.

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