Finding Free Stuff
Believe it or not there are lots of people in this world who are eager to freely give away stuff they no longer have any use for. Their ultimate desire is to trash nothing – that can be repurposed – thus adoping the idea that one man’s trash can definitely be another man’s treasure.
Freecycle and other similar sites
Several years ago I happened upon this site freecycle.org – a world wide network of websites allowing individuals to reduce their carbon footprint by giving things away in their area while allowing others the opportunity to pick up the giveaway and repurpose them how ever they imagine. The concept is a pretty amazing one as it keeps items out of the landfill and reduces costs for the receiver as it’s one less thing they have to purchase. So you may be thinking what on earth are members offering on these sites!
I have seen some of everything posted from office supplies, food and home decor to tools, dishes, building materials and even cars! As long as it is free and legal it’s fair game to post – that is anything except for people! Once you sign up you will receive listings via email or you can look at them on the website. When requesting an item know that you will most likely have competition so the more you monitor the postings and the quicker you are able to respond the greater your chances of obtaining the requested items.
Never heard of Freecycle? Look them up at freecycle.org and locate the site in your area. There are also other similar sites which include:
- Trash Nothing – www.trashnothing.com
- Flooting – http://flooting.com
- FreelyWheely – http://www.freelywheely.com
- ReuseMoose – http://www.ReuseMoose.com
A great resource list that is locality specific offering a variety of goods and services. This is another option that offers some of everything! And there are a couple of ways to obtain their offerings:
Option 1 – Search for the items you are in need of, whether they are tools, building materials, decor or anything else, Craigslist will often have a wide variety of things for sale. Sometimes you can find new or barely used items and most are priced much less than normal retail. Sometimes people even offer things for barter for other items or services.
Option 2 – FREE!!! Yes I said free. Most Craigslists have a Free section where people list just about anything under the sun. The challenge is that often items will be listed as curb or porch pickups where the first person to show up is the recipient. Sometimes people will provide contact information allowing you to request the item(s) but they are often first come first served as well based on when you can pick up, who made the contact first and things of that nature. Basically it’s the luck of the draw but don’t ever let that deter you from trying your hand at getting great free stuff.
Find the Craigslist for your area at www.craigslist.org.
My personal experiences with Freecycle and Craigslist have been AWESOME! I have given away quite a few items that I have no longer needed thus reducing my own carbon footprint. BUT the amount and types of items that I have received from both lists have been nothing short of miraculous at times in terms of cost savings! Of all the items that I have picked up nothing hasn’t worked or been really inaccurately described in terms of condition. Quite often offers will provide photos with their posting or send them upon request.
Since finding out about both list close to 10 years ago some of the items I have obtained have included:
- Building materials and tools: Insulation, lumber, drywall, paint, drills, cleaners, ceiling fans, exhaust fans, cabinets, wall and floor tile, a baseboard heater…
- Electronics: My first flat screen TV which was a 42″ plasma screen in great working condition, stereo components, telephone and answering machine systems, Computers and monitors, laser printers, DVD Players, and so much more…
- Gardening and Yard Needs: pots, soil, plants, pavers, yard tools, bricks, shovels, a leaf blower/mulcher/vacuum, water hoses, patio furniture…
- Home Decor: Radiator covers, fabric, yarn, pillows, curtain rods, picture frames, holiday decorations…
- Furniture: Chairs, entertainment centers, stools, shelves…
- Appliances: Front loading washing machine, vacuum cleaners, ice cream maker…
- Odds and Ends: Books, Event Tickets, train set, cookware, children’s toys, moving boxes…AND so much more!
No matter which option you choose there are many low to no cost options for most projects.
Suffice it to say if you need it there is a great possibility that someone is eventually going to part with that thing that you need!
Wishing you good luck in reducing your carbon footprint and locating great items for your upcoming projects!
Next time I will share other options for low cost building materials.