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Freecycle.org - A Giving Resource For Property Managers and Real Estate Owners By Lisa Wells
Property Managers and Realtors, here's a great resource to use when you have a garage to clean out, household items to unload or past renters who have left behind their unwanted furniture! The Freecycle NetworkTM [ http://www.freecycle.org/ ] will find your unwanted goods a new home - and the beauty is in the name. Everything offered on this website is FREE - it's free to advertise or receive any item!
What is The Freecycle NetworkTM?
When you visit their website, you'll learn that "the Freecycle NetworkTM is made up of 4,299 groups with 4,721,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer. Membership is free." To sign up, find your community online [you can browse groups at http://www.freecycle.org/group/US/?noautodetect=1 ] and subscribe to their daily posts.
How to post items or ask for those being offered Check out the member guidelines at http://www.freecycle.org/faq/faq/faq_guidelines. Remember, abide by the community rules to keep this a safe place for giving. The volunteer moderators are serious about the guidelines and member etiquette - two strikes and you're out! The basics are:
1. KEEP IT FREE, LEGAL & APPROPRIATE FOR ALL AGES.
2. NO POLITICS, NO SPAM, NO MONEY, NO PERSONAL ATTACKS/RUDENESS, NO PROSELYTIZING/RELIGION.
3. NO TRADING PLEASE.
The site works similarly to Craigslist and Ebay with the community posting system [with the key exception that everything listed on this site is FREE], but in order to view the postings, you must subscribe to your local list group to receive notifications by email - either in list form or individually. Warning: These are very active groups, so if you don't want to fill up your inbox, subscribe for the list version.
What Freecycle is NOT:
The Freecycle NetworkTM is *not* a place to just go get free stuff for nothing.
It *is* a place to give or receive what you have and don't need or what you need and don't have -- a free cycle of giving which keeps stuff out of landfills.
That perspective makes all the difference! Think about the impact that attitude has on the ActiveRain community...the same is true for this non-profit. Freecycle empowers people on a grassroots and local level to take charge and make the world a better place, keeping countless tons of reusable items out of local landfills. It is a cycle of giving, not charity. Everyone gives to everyone with absolutely no expectations of anything at all in return.
Below are some examples of people whose lives were positively impacted through the giving community on http://www.freecycle.org/.
" I gave a loveseat to a lady who had nothing. Her husband had walked out on her and her children, and they were starting over from scratch. She was so thankful she cried - over a loveseat I would have probably thrown away. " -Louisville, KY
" My Daughters' stolen bicycles were replaced in time for Christmas! " - mom of five, Austin, Texas
" A truckload of diapers, clothes and supplies was collected through Freecycle for an orphanage in Haiti. FedEx donated the shipping! " -San Jose, CA
" At a local Freecycle "Hurricane Help Project" event, hundreds of local community members helped victims of the latest hurricane with free furniture and building supplies. " -Melbourne, FL
Author's Note: I'm a believer too and an active member of the Atlanta community.
How did Freecycle begin?
According to the group's website, "On May 1st, 2003, Deron Beal sent out the first e-mail announcing The Freecycle NetworkTM to about 30 or 40 friends and a handful of nonprofits in Tucson, Arizona. At the time Deron founded The Freecycle Network, he worked with a small nonprofit organization, RISE, which provides recycling services to downtown businesses and transitional employment to Tucsonans in need.
As the team recycled, rather than watching perfectly good items being thrown away, they found themselves calling or driving around to see if various local nonprofits could use them. Thinking there had to be an easier way, Beal set up that first Freecycle e-mail group in a way that permitted everyone in Tucson to give and to get. Freecycle was off and running.
The Freecycle concept has since spread to over 75 countries, where there are thousands of local groups representing millions of of members -- people helping people and "changing the world one gift at a time." As a result, we are currently keeping over 300 tons a day out of landfills! This amounts to four times the height of Mt. Everest in the past year alone, when stacked in garbage trucks!
By giving freely with no strings attached, members of The Freecycle Network help instill a sense of generosity of spirit as they strengthen local community ties and promote environmental sustainability and reuse. People from all walks of life have joined together to turn trash into treasure."
The Freecycle Network is incorporated as a nonprofit in the State of Arizona.
Freecycle provides the following links on their website to help you learn more ways to reduce, reuse and recycle:
The Story of Stuff The Story of Stuff is an interesting discussion of the materials economy with Annie Leonard.
New American Dream The Center for a New American Dream helps Americans consume responsibly to protect the environment, enhance quality of life, and promote social justice.
The Internet Consumer Recycling Guide This recycling guide provides a starting point for consumers in the US and Canada searching the 'Net for recycling information. The goal is to help make recycling so easy and automatic that it blends into the flow of everyday life.
The Consumer's Handbook for Reducing Solid Waste Reusing products is just one way to cut down on what we throw away. This booklet outlines many practical steps to reduce the amount and toxicity of garbage. These aren't the only steps that can be taken to reduce waste, but they're a good start.
call2recycle This organization is the only nonprofit group committed to comprehensive, nationwide program to collect and recycle rechargeable batteries and cell phones. Local drop-off sites noted on their site. A portion of proceeds goes to select charities.
As always, information in this article is not intended to be used, and should not be used, as legal, tax or accounting advice.
This is a blog offering residential rental management and property improvement advice, tips and ideas. I'm glad to share these articles for use on your real estate-related website, and only ask that you publish them in their entirety including the author byline.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.