Freecycling networks harness the power of the Internet to connect people who have stuff to throw away with others in their area who would like that stuff, so it doesn’t wind up in a landfill. We ALL have things in our garages, closets, attics, offices, etc., that we don’t need. Freecycle lets you find someone who does. No item is too big or too small but ALL must be 100% free with no strings attached. A perfect consumer/earth friendly circle: no overhead, no money, no waste and no catch.
The basic idea is that you join a local email mailing list (many are hosted through Yahoo Groups) and you then receive messages from people in your area listing items they have for offer, or items they are looking for. You can post items that you want to get rid of, and people then e-mail you personally to arrange to pick-up or deliver the item, all free of charge.
There are Freecycle groups all over the country, which you can locate buy visiting Freecyle.org to look up the groups in your area. Indiana has over 50 groups, covering every major city and many counties.
Indianapolis has two different groups you can join. One is hosted on Yahoo Groups at: IndyFreecycleNetwork, which allows you to join and either receive e-mails or to set your options to only browse online. Another group is hosted on MSN Groups.
There is some basic netiquette to posting items; never post identifying information, all items must be free, only make arrangements with one person, post a taken message once the item is claimed, no politics, religion or spam messages. People are also religious about sending Thanks/Praise messages for people who have helped them out or offered items.
I’ve been a part of the IndyFreecycleNetwork Yahoo group for almost a year, and found it to be invaluable, especially when getting rid of stuff. I found dozens of takers for a kitten I rescued this winter, and for some other items. Because the mailing list is so popular and the volume of messages so large, I tend to read it online in a browser rather receive the messages in my inbox.
Items get claimed very quickly, too, so if you’re looking for something, you have to pay attention and send a message right away when you see what you want. This group is also one of the most polite and friendly online communities I’ve ever been a part of, which stands to reason, I guess, since it’s made up of people who both care about the environment and want to help out their fellow man.
IndyFreecycleNetwork has a separate discussion mailing list, (IndyFreecycleBulletinBoard) too, where you can get information and chat with other freecyclers about lost and found pets, pet rescue and adoption organizations, not-for-profit sales and other consumer/community building information.