Things That are Genuinely Free

Are you looking for a stroller but can’t afford one? Want to get rid of that old sewing machine but don’t want to just set it out for the garbage? Then Freecycle may be the place for you.

Freecycle is a non-profit organization where people are giving and getting things for free every day in their own communities and there’s one right here in Merrillville.

With many families on a new budget brought on by the economy, people are looking for creative solutions to help them get the items they need. Couple that with the fact that we don’t want to see landfills grow even more and you’ll see the reason for Freecycle’s success.

Harkening back to days gone by when communities would share goods, Freecycle is a way to help others out while helping out the environment. Their website estimates that by swapping like this 500 tons of goods is kept out of landfills every day. This amounts to five times the height of Mt. Everest in the past year alone when stacked in garbage trucks!

It all started in 2003 when Deron Beal sent out an e-mail announcing The Freecycle Network to about 30 or 40 friends and a handful of nonprofits in Tucson, Arizona. 6 years later Freecycle is made up of 4,762 groups with 6,846,000 members across the globe.

The site is very user friendly and easy to use. Firstly you have to apply to be a member of one of the local groups. Then you can either offer an item or post that you want something. Many people post “offer” and “wanted” ads in there daily and there’s lots of things to be had from bikes to bricks and everything in between. If a fellow Freecycler has an item you want, you request it, meet and voila you’ve got that new stroller you needed for free!

For more information or to join, go to freecycle.org.

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