How Do I Reuse? Freecycle!

Many of us learned the three R’s in school – Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Some things are easy to reuse, like old clothes that become household rags. Other things are a bit harder to figure out how to use again. What do you do with the glass jar when the blender stops working? Freecycle it!


Freecycling is when a person gives unwanted items to another person for free. The items can range from extra screws to an unused hot tub, and each item freecycled frees up land fill space and keeps one more unnecessary item from being produced, which is a green practice. It is economical because it saves both the giver and the receiver money in the long run as well, the giver doesn’t have to make a trip to the dump or throw that one extra item away (over time saving money for trash pick either through fees or taxes).  The receiver does not need to buy the item new, and only spends money on the gas it took to go pick up the item.

To start freecycling, check to see if there is a group near you. There are several organizations that you can search to find if there is a group near you. You may want to check Recycling Group Finder with your zipcode. If there is not a group nearby you can start one by going through one of these online groups: ReUseIt Network,, The Freeuse Network,, Sharing Is Giving or The Freecycle Network. Groups with members in close proximity to each other usually are more successful because people are more willing to drive short distances.

If you join a group, it is very important to read the rules. Not following the rules could lead to your membership being suspended or revoked. There are three terms often used when posting on a Freecycle group. Those are Offer, Taken, and Wanted. An Offer is posted when a freecycler has an item that would like to give away. Taken lets others in the group know that the offered item has been picked up or spoken for. A Wanted posting means someone is looking for a particular item or items. Some groups also use the term Found, when a wanted item has been located. Many groups have rules about specific ways to post things and often you need to post a number of offers before posting a wanted.

Before you throw something away, think about posting it on your Freecycling group. It is surprising what may be offered. On my local Freecycle group, I have seen offers of tires, beds, furniture, light bulbs, and yarn. I have offered and had picked up many items including flooring I took up from our basement, an old hot water heater, my kids outgrown clothes and toys, and some items we found in our house when we moved in.

Freecycling is a fun, easy and economical way to help the environment. Don’t delay, start Freecycling today!

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