All about Freecycling Freecycling, or free recycling is becoming an increasingly popular trend in the UK and worldwide. It is a term used to describe the process of passing on any unwanted items for free whether it is a bike or a computer to someone else who needs one, rather than throwing it away. There are thousands of groups around the world which have been set up with the aim of helping people to freecycle their unwanted items. Freecycling is all about the environment, using items a while longer when they are still in a useable condition rather than throwing them away into a landfill. There are many freecycling websites around the UK, and they often work best with small localities to facilitate the transfer of unwanted items.
What kinds of items can be freecycled?
Any item which is in good working order can be freecycled, from televisions to children's toys and clothing. There are always people wanting to get rid of unwanted household items and freecycling is the ideal way to do this without throwing them away.
Items which can be freecycled include;
• Books and Magazines
• Electronic items
• Garden furniture and equipment
• Musical Instruments
• Health and Beauty
• Sports Equipment
• And many more!
Popular freecycle items include PC's and laptop computers which parents often look for as starter computers for their child to complete homework and school projects. Furniture is also another popular category for freecycling. An array of quality pieces of furniture from tables to sofa's can be sourced on freecycle websites, with children's furniture being an extremely popular freecycled item. Pieces of furniture such as cot beds, play pens, small tables and chairs can all be easily sourced on freecycling websites.
Outdoor play equipment for children such as swings, slides, trampolines and baby equipment are all widely available on freecycle websites. It is important however, if you are thinking of taking a freecycled item that you check it first to ensure that it is safe for your child before you give it to them. If you are going to collect the item, then you can view it before you decide to take it. Children's clothing is also widely freecycled as children grow up so quickly clothing is often replaced after only being worn a few times, particularly with babies and toddlers.
How to start freecycling
If you have some items you wish to freecycle there are a few ways in which you can advertise your items. The first step is to find a local freecycling group, or a website such as freecycle4u which provides the facility to freecycle in 26 countries across the world. Another excellent benefit of this particular site is the fact that you can post a classified advertisement which allows you to sell items which are of value. If you are particularly interested in the freecycling concept, there is nothing to stop you joining a website such as freecycle4u as well as a local freecycling group. Type in ‘Freecycling' and your local area and you should be presented with a list of groups who are local to you. If there aren't any groups in your locality, consider whether you would like to set one up yourself. You can be guaranteed that local people will want to join and it is a way of helping the environment around where you live. Freecycling works much more smoothly in areas where local people can advertise and exchange their items as people are not going to want to travel huge distances or pay lots of money in postage to send their freecycled items to another part of the country.
Each freecycle group will have their own rules and regulations so be aware of this before you sign up as a member and make sure that you are fully conversant with the guidelines before you advertise or submit a request for an item. The freecycle websites predominantly operate around four main categories; Wanted, Found, Offer and Taken.
Wanted - This will allow you to search for an item that you are looking for.
Found - You can let others know that you have found what you were looking for.
Offer - If you have an item that you would like to freecycle.
Taken - You can let people know that the item you have offered for freecycling has been given away.
When you are looking to purchase a new item for your home whether it is a laptop, a swing or trampoline for the back garden, have a browse around your local freecycling website. There may be someone offering an item on the website that matches exactly what you need. You will not only be helping the environment, but you will be saving money too!
Rules around freecycling
There are of course, like with any website or organisation rules which have to be followed and freecycling is no exception. The following rules generally apply to all freecycling websites but the rules may vary slightly depending on the website you join;
• If you are posting an item to be freecycled, take time to carefully describe it and include some photographs. Use a digital camera to ensure that you take a good quality photograph and include at least one photo for each item you are offering to be freecycled. An unclear or inaccurate item description will not only give you as the freecycler negative feedback, it may also reflect badly on the particular freecycle website.
• Any item that you place on a freecycle website needs to be safe, legal and appropriate for all age ranges. There are often specific rules which have to be adhered to about items which are not permitted.
• Sometimes people may want to offer you a small amount of money for your item, but don't be tempted by this. If freecyclers start accepting money, no matter how small, it takes the whole meaning out of what freecycling is about. If you want to set up a website where people can purchase items for a small cost, ensure that this is clearly stated on your website to let visitors know that some items are for freecycle and other items are for purchase.
• When you post or respond to a message, keep it concise, clear and simple. Those wanting to offer or take items are often only looking for brief messages rather than long detailed accounts of why an item is to be freecycled or why an item is required.
• Many freecycle websites operate on a first come first serve rule.
• Remember safety when you are collecting or dropping off your items.
Well, that's about all the information you need to start freecycling your unwanted items, it's as easy as that. All you need to do is to find a local group, sign up and you are ready to start freecycling your unwanted items.