Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Building Community Through Freecycle

So I ended up posting my portable CD player along with the miscellaneous cables and cords on Freecycle. And the next day I had a woman eager to take all of it off my hands (except the phone cords. No one wants those for some reason.)

She came to pick them up, and we had a 5 minute conversation about where she used to work and where I used to work and it was so ... nice. And it made me realize that Freecycle isn't just about saving stuff from the landfill (though that's a wonderful thing.) It's about building community. Because had she gone to the store to buy a CD player and an ethernet cable, she probably wouldn't have spent 5 minutes just chatting with the store clerk. And when she left, we both thanked each other. Me, I was thankful that those darn cords and cables were finally out of my hair after seven years. And she, she was grateful that she didn't have to go out and buy new stuff.

I did end up keeping the mic though.


Chile said...

That's one reason we like craigslist. Lately, though, people have been totally flakes there and we're getting turned off by it. And our local freecycle is badly abused by people that resell stuff. Sad, considering I live in the birthplace of the whole freecycle movement. :(

Sam said...

I am terrible at small talk and am never sure if I should stay and chit chat. I do say my hellos and thank yous...but what else? I do listen if the person giving away the stuff wants to talk about the item they are giving away...it seems polite.

Rejin L. said...

I've met some nice people through Freecycle as well, including some that we contact directly now as hand-me-downs become available. I know that some people resell things, too - but it still keeps those things out of the landfill. Since I don't have the time (or business skills?) to sell the stuff myself, it doesn't bother me.

this.digital.me said...

We recently started using Scoodi.com Same principles but much easier to use. There's no moderation either and because you can also sell stuff it gets less abuse.