Transition Derry

Tackling Peak Oil, Climate Change and Economic Breakdown

Do you freecycle?

In 2003 Freecycle started as a local group in Tuscon Arizona several global not-for-profit organisations have grown up that support networks of local groups. Each group is concerned with facilitating the re-use, within their locality, of things that might otherwise go to landfill. It is based on the view that "one person's junk is another person's treasure".

Recycling is good but re-use will always save more energy than will recycling. On the scale of "reduce, re-use, recycle" re-use is always going to make a bigger impact.

Why have a jar smashed and melted down and made into a new jar when you can give it to your neighbour to fill with home-made jam? Why recycle old cardboard when a gardener could use it to suppress weeds. Why have your tatty old fridge "disposed of responsibly" when someone without a fridge could make use of it.

Founded on 1st May 2003 Freecycle was six years old last week. Throughout that time it has grown steadily. There are now 5,000 local groups affiliated to Freecycle spread across 70 countries around the world and about 7 million individual members.

The local gifting and re-use group is affiliated to the Freegle network and is called Foyle Freegle, its catchment area covers the Foyle Basin - as such it stretches from Strabane to Moville and from Lifford to Limavady, with Derry City at its centre. It is part of the Freegle network which emerged in 2009 in the UK.

There are about 1200 members in the local group - it has more than doubled its membership since April 2007. Like every other freecycling group it is based around a simple Yahoo discussion group. Things can only be given away within a Freecycle group there is no buying, selling, nor even bartering. This reflects the original Freecycle slogan "changing the world one gift at a time".

Every Freegle transaction starts from either an "Offered" or a "Wanted" message posted on the local discussion group. Through a follow-up email the person offering and the person accepting arrange for the item to be collected - usually by the person receiving the item. A Freegle "Wanted" notice is best thought of not as a declaration of ones craving to consume a treasured item but as an offer to take away something regarded as "junk" by someone else.

Recent offers on Foyle Freegle have included such things as:
- Vacuum Cleaners,
- Exercise equipment,
- Chairs and other furniture,
- Old Magazines,
- Trees For Firewood,
- Computer Equipment,
- A washing machine,
- Old televisions,
- Children's clothes,
- Toys.
- An old oil tank,

Some of the more unusual items exchanged on Foyle Freegle have included:
- Shredded paper that was taken by a farmer for bedding material for his calves,
- Hamster droppings that went into a gardener's compost heap to ultimately produce more vegetables.

If you are not a member of a freecycling group you can join the local group at the page:

If you are already a member of Foyle Freegle then please encourage others to join.

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